OK, this gotta bet he best interview this year out. You gotta read this. An amazingly long (and insightful!) interview with Clipse member Pusha-T, the rapper known to his family (and probably no one else) as Terrence Thornton. After the jump, the Virginian gets into what it’s like to have Kanye West as one of your biggest fans, the frustrations of disappointing people by not rapping about crack and being an angry gangster all the time, why regionalism in American hiphop excites him so much, and, fascinatingly, the songwriting philosophies of close colleagues The Neptunes.
Seattletimes: Alright, we’re recording.
Pusha T. Alright.
S: So what was it like working with Rick Rubin?
P: He appeared to be everything I thought he was. Very insightful, very much so a hiphop purist. And very no-frills. That guy is very simple. Simple and bare-bones, especially about the music. We didn’t produce anything with him. We met him in Malibu and hopped in his Range Rover, and he put his driver out the car, and just played the whole album. And just sat there and totally talked to us, said, “Make sure everything you do on this album, you love.” He was like, “I don’t want to talk about sales or any of that.”
S: So what kind of relationship did you have with him during the creation of “Till The Casket Drops”?
P: Not much at all. As we heard it, he just listened as a fan: “Oh, man. This is hot, this is crazy…. I love what I’m hearing, and whatever else you do, make sure you love it.” And that’s it.
Chad Hugo looking like a beer guzzling, bmx riding, chain smoking rockstar. Commonwealth introduces an exemplary approach to their version of the Oakley Frogskin. The Commonwealth rendition features an original “Cmonflauge” pattern inspired by the look of traditional tortoise shell. Using Oakley’s High Definition Optics, the sunglasses are equipped with a choice of Gold or Fire Iridium lenses. Only 150 pairs were produced with availability exclusively through the Commonwealth flagship stores (VA and DC Saturday, September 5th) and online at Cmonwealth.com (September 7th.). Thanks to TheSillyKidzz.
The Hip Hop Chronicle UK did a Interview with the G.O.O.D. Music Artist Kid Cudi where he talks about his new album “The Man On The Moon: End Of The Day” and reveals that he wants to release a “Compilation Album” named „Cudder“ after the album release where he is planning to work with the likes of Kenna, Green Day, The Neptunes, Robin Thicke and many others. Virgina rap duo The Clipse will be appearing on Kid Cudi’s forthcoming debut album „The Man On The Moon: The End Of Day“ which is sceduled for a September 15th release. Pusha T. of The Clipse recently revealed to Rap-Up.com that he has recorded a song for Cudi’s album called “Angels & Demons” which will also feature his brother Malice. Thanks To BucketOfNachos.
Kid Cudi – The Man On The Moon: End Of The Day (2009) (September 15th)
- Angels & Demons feat. Clipse
Kid Cudi – Cudder (2010)
Producers & Guests: Robin Thicke, Kenna, The Neptunes, Green Day…
Kid Cudi & The Hip Hop Chronicle UK (Check Out Part 8:20)
After giving some smashing hits on the Billboard, Shakira, the Latin diva is back. And this time it’s a new avatar ‘She Wolf‘ would be released in October 2009. So hold your breath as Shakira will sizzle with some jaw dropping moves. After giving some smashing hits like Whenever Wherever, Underneath, La Tortura, Beautiful Liar, Hips Don’t Lie with Wyclef Jean and many more on the billboard, Shakira is back with a massive package of some hit tracks and jaw dropping torques vertebrae moves. As the curtains lifted from Shakira’s disguise for her new album She Wolf, the singer’s 10 second teaser, went on to become a massive hit. The video unveils Shakira’s unusual imagination, when she composed the song. The tantalising music captivates the viewer’s attention; while Shakira’s saucy hip movements can’t obviously be ignored. Shakira is coming up with her new song ‘She Wolf‘ from her third English studio album She Wolf. Presenting a tight bond between art and artist. Featuring the metamorphosis of a woman told through her unique dance techniques. Folding herself in half, torques vertebrae, lifts legs over her head, pops her shoulders in and out of their sockets, hangs upside down, nearly topples over leaving everyone sweating. Thanks To Eclectic_E.
Shakira – She Wolf (2009) (October 5th)
- Did It Again feat. Pharrell (The Neptunes)
- Good Stuff (The Neptunes)
- Why Wait For Later (The Neptunes)
- Long Time
- She Wolf
- Spy (Wyclef Jean)
- Men In This Town
- Send Me An Angel
- Loba (She Wolf) (Spanish)
- Devoción feat. Gustavo Cerati) (Spanish)
- Años Luz (Spanish)
- Lo Hecho Está Hecho (Did It Again) (Spanish Version)
Good Stuff (The Neptunes) (Preview)
Did It Again (The Neptunes) (Preview)
Why Wait (The Neptunes) (Preview)
Midway through writing this post on Usher’s alleged next album Monster and it’s supposed release date of Dec. 8, the Rap-Up item announcing its street date (as well as a roster of collaborators that included Ne-Yo and Adam Levine) vanished. I might take that as a sign that, no, the record isn’t coming out then, but perhaps his people are actually trying to go for the scary element of surprise here, so as to make the creature alluded to by its title even more menacing? Or maybe they’re just holding off announcing the release date until they ensure that nothing as lousy as Here I Stand’s “Moving Mountains” makes its way to Monster’s final product, because, man, that song was terrible. The first single from the album is expected to impact American radio in late September or early October. The album is due December 8th.
Usher – Monster (2009) (December 8th)
- Certified feat. Pharrell
For those who have an intravenous Internet hookup, Jay-Z’s long-delayed, much-anticipated “Blueprint 3” leaked sometime in the wee hours of yesterday morning and debuts today on Rhapsody’s and MTV’s websites. Let’s just hope „ Brooklyn Girl“ will leak too. Thanks to SLRS for the Scan.
Jay-Z – Blueprint 3 (2009) (September 11th)
01 – What We Talkin’ About feat. Luke Steele (Kanye West, No I.D.)
02 – Thank You (Kanye West, No I.D.)
03 – D.O.A. (Death Of Auto-Tune) (No I.D.)
04 – Run This Town feat. Rihanna & Kanye West (Kanye West, No I.D.)
05 – Empire State Of Mind feat. Alicia Keys (Al Shux)
06 – Real As It Gets feat. Young Jeezy (The Incredibles)
07 – On To The Next One feat. (Swizz Beatz)
08 – Off That feat. Drake (Timbaland)
09 – A Star Is Born feat. J. Cole (Kanye West, No I.D.)
10 – Venus VS. Mars (Timbaland)
11 – Already Home feat. Kid Cudi (Kanye West)
12 – Hate feat. Kanye West (Kanye West)
13 – Reminder (Timbaland)
14 – So Ambitious feat. Pharrell (The Neptunes)
15 – Young Forever feat. Mr. Hudson (Kanye West)
- Brooklyn Girl feat. Pharrell (The Neptunes)
Jay-Z Rhapsody Commercial
Rapper Snoop Dogg who was announced to be releasing his upcoming album ‘Malice In Wonderland’ in conjunction with MTV in a global deal, as reported on HipHopRX.com, gave a preview of his upcoming album “Malice In Wonderland.” In an interview, Snoop Dogg thanked all the new rappers for inspiring him and bringing him back. “All these young n-ggas in the game, you know, they doing their thang. They inspiring me right now. I’m not a hater. I love it when they go hard…. They brought me back,” stated Snoop Dogg. Snoop Doog goes on to reveal that he worked with Soulja Boy, Jazmine Sullivan, R. Kelly, Dogg Pound, Dr. Dre, Danjahandz, Pharrell Williams and Lalo Shifrin amongst others on the album and it’s scheduled to be released in November and currently hasn’t decided what the first single to be released will be, but instead will let everyone decide for themselves.
Snoop Dogg – Malice In Wonderland (2009) (November)
Snoop Dogg – That’s Da Homie (Danjahandz)
Jay-Z – Blueprint 3 (2009) (September 11th)
- So Ambitious feat. Pharrell
- Brooklyn Girl feat. Pharrell
Sean Kingston – Tomorrow (2009) (September 22nd)
“According to the wikipedia’s tracklist, The Neptunes didn’t make the final cut, but we’ll see when the album leaks”
NERD emcee Pharrell performs for a large crowd Saturday evening at the IU Auditorium. The performance by NERD was in conjunction with Welcome Week 2009 events, co-sponsored by the Residence Halls Association and the Union Board. NERD funky beats not only served as entertainment for IU students Saturday night, but as a way to benefit children in need. All proceeds from the Welcome Week performance at the IU Auditorium were donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Caitlyn Kuhs, Union Board Concerts Director, said. The performance was sponsored by the Union Board and the Residence Halls Association. Before the event, senior DeAnthony Scott said he was not only excited to see the group perform, but to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation. “It’s for a good cause,” Scott said. “I expect the concert to be a very hype atmosphere, and everybody will have a good time.”
RHA’S Vice President for Programming Katie Lambert added that the proceeds will help 10 children in the Bloomington area. Before the groups’s performance, DJ 33 1/3 from Chicago opened for NERD and used a projector to mix videos and sound. “We like to get everybody pumped up for the year and excited to be reunited with each other,” Kuhs said. Freshman Anna Koker came with friends and did not skip a beat while dancing during DJ 33 1/3. “I’m not going to have a voice tomorrow,” she said, and added that she liked the way the DJ blended both old and new music. When NERD’s band finally came on the stage, the crowd erupted into chants of NERD. The group began with the song “Time For Some Action” from the “Seeing Sounds” album, released in June 2008, and proceeded to play other songs from their newest album, including “Kill Joy.” Williams made it clear to the crowd he enjoyed people knowing the band’s music by heart.
“So many of you guys know all of the words to our records,” Williams said. “You don’t know how much that means to us.” He then invited three students on stage. Each had different reactions, including swooning, dancing or singing. During the performance of the band’s first single from the “Seeing Sounds” album called “Everyone Nose (All The Girls Standing In The Line For The Bathroom),” about 30 girls went on stage to dance. For some students, this was an experience never to be replicated. Freshman Sarah Trubshaw had the chance to go on stage with NERD and said it was unreal. “It is amazing how wonderful the musicians are and how good the crowd interaction was,” Trubshaw said. “I sang with Pharrell.”
5. The Neptunes
Circa early millennium, the jingling of a Neptunes beat was virtually inescapable. While the Virginia duo (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo) flooded hip-hop with singles like Noreaga’s “Superthug,” Jay-Z’s “I Just Wanna Love You,” Mystikal’s “Danger” and Snoop Dogg’s “Beautiful,” an impeccable résumé earned them three Grammys, overflowing clientele and crossover appeal (Britney Spears, ‘N Sync). Moonlighting as artists, the pair sold respectably as two-thirds of NERD. Waning dominance aside— and a poor Pharrell solo effort— The Neptunes remain active, recently producing for Common’s Universal Mind Control, Mos Def’s Ecstatic and Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 3. Sky’s no limit.
XXL’s Top 10 Producers
10 – Scott Storch
09 – Wyclef Jean
08 – The RZA
07 – Swizz Beatz
06 – Jermaine Dupri
05 – The Neptunes
04 – Timbaland
03 – Kanye West
02 – Sean ”Puffy” Combs
01 – Dr. Dre
Nobody knows the peaks and valleys of a Rap career better than The Clipse. Their stripped down 2002 single “Grindin” became a dope dealer anthem and pushed their debut Lord Willin’ to platinum status in the tail end of an era when rappers not named Carter could still sell a million records. That album laid out the Virginia siblings’ simple enough but so effective blueprint: cocaine raps through a lyricist’s lense, set to The Neptunes’ most adventurous beats. But it would be a while before the rap world heard it again. The follow up, Hell Hath No Fury was tied up in label politics for two years only to be met with both critical adoration (XXL gave it an XXL, GQ called it, uh, “the gangsta Yankee Hotel Foxtrot”) and a resounding soundscan thud upon its eventual release.
In between two mixtapes happened that were inexplicably gobbled up obsessively by the type of people who actually know what a Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is. Since then they’ve left the wasn’t-playing-fair crackers at Jive for greener pastures at Columbia where they are preparing their third proper LP, Till The Casket Drops. And there they have at least one cracker in their corner. Hip hop’s greatest cracker, in fact: Rick Rubin . Younger brother Pusha T recently hit up HipHopDX to talk about that new deal, the value of writing and their unlikely new fan base.
HipHopDX: What’s the situation like over at Columbia/Sony right now?
Pusha T: I think Sony is definitely in tune, in touch and ready to fuck with The Clipse. We got out the “Kinda Like A Big Deal” record and video, we got out the “I’m Good” record and video. We’re on promo right now, street teams are in place. We just going at it. We shooting two more videos sometime this month.
DX: It seems like the singles are in a lighter tone than Hell Hath No Fury, is that the direction with the new album?
Pusha T: Hmmm… no. I would say that these singles are just what they are – singles. The tone of the album is still that shit. That energy and that aggression. I think singles are what they’re made for. I personally can say that because I know what it’s like to put out a 100% street record and work it for nine months and watch it turn into the biggest record of the year with “Grindin’” and I know what it is to put out a record like “Mr. Me Too” and not get any radio spins at all and get all the critical acclaim ever and not sell any units.
Hollywood may have Austin Powers, but hip-hop had it’s own international man of mystery, his name is Ol’ Dirty Bastard. ODB lived and suffered with the adage that any publicity is good publicity, he was repetitiously contradictory with his neurotic ramblings, who cares? That’s half of his appeal, as there is an irrefutable attraction to ODB’s carefree and inebriated outlook on life. With rhymes frequently so garbled that they are barely decipherable, calling ODB a quintessential lyricist would surely insult the intelligence of any hip-hop purist. Yet the dirt dog is indubitably a distinguished emcee and a uniquely abrasive one at that, as he turns an array of voice cracking and bloodcurdling hooks into grisly masterpieces. Examples include the nonsensical crooning of his Rick James interpolations on “Cold Blooded” from 1999 despite that ODB’s production chores are handled admirably by The Neptunes. ODB rarely stays on beat and there is little, or no structure to his rhyme sequences. Safely nestled away in his own little world, there is no containing ODB’s free-spirited outlook on life. Amidst whirling sirens, Ol’ Dirty Bastard turn „Pop Shit” boasts a comical Looney Tunes-worthy arrangement. It also must be said that no one but Williams could make a chorus like “Pop shit, n*gg*, what’s up? so effective on this 2003 studio session. His is a world that is heavy on shock value, yet undeniably entertaining, R.I.P. Ol’ Dirty Bastard.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard (aka Dirt McGirt)
Nigga Please (1999)
- Cold Blooded
- Got Your Money feat. Kelis
- Recognize feat. Pharrell & Chris Rock
The Neptunes Present… Clones (2003)
- Popshit feat. Pharrell
The Neptunes Present Clones (Studio Session) (2003)
- She’s Cold
Operator (CDS) (2004)
- Operator feat. Pharrell
A Son Unique (2006)
- Operator feat. Pharrell & Clipse (Remix)
Ol’ Dirty Bastard & The Neptunes Recording Pop Shit
Ol’ Dirty Bastard & Pharrell – Street Crack Gz
Right around this time three years ago, the Clipse were on the verge of releasing Hell Hath No Fury, their terminally delayed follow-up to 2002′s Lord Willin’. Anger–at their label, Jive, for failing to promote them, and at the game, for having forgotten about them–battled anticipation: HHNF was a classic in the making, and by late August, the Clipse knew it. When the record finally came out, it was critically acclaimed and commercially brutalized. Three years, two mixtapes, a new label later, the brothers Malice and Pusha T are trying their luck again, releasing their third album, Till The Casket Drops, in October. Atlantic label boss Rick Rubin is on board, as are a whole slew of guests (Kanye, Cam’ron, Keri Hilson) and producers (stalwarts the Neptunes, plus Timbaland, Scott Storch, the Hitmen, and more)–all unprecedented developments for a group that until now has pretty much kept things in-house. They’ll bring the three singles released so far off Till The Casket Drops and a murderous back catalogue to tonight’s J&R Music Fest in City Hall Park. Last week, we caught up with the two brothers to talk about the duo’s fraught commercial and artistic past, their various beefs with other rappers and critics, and whether Kanye really did get ‘em on “Kinda Like A Big Deal.”
Villagevoice: I remember the fall of 2006 so vividly, with you guys on your way to releasing Hell Hath No Fury, and all the anticipation in the room when you’d play shows. You released it, it was a great record, but at the same time, a bitter commercial disappointment. Now here we are, three years later, with the wheels in motion again. Does it feel the same? Different?
Malice: It feels good. I think it feels a lot like the first album. It’s not a bunch of drama. It’s not a bunch of politics involved as far as getting in the way of our production and our creativity and moving forward. The chains are off. There’s really no delays. I think the good thing about it is how the label is moving with a sense of urgency, and I think you’ll find that our spirits are in a better place. Especially compared to Hell Hath No Fury.
V: Have you guys been thinking about 2006 much?
Pusha: Nah, that’s basically water under the bridge to us. You know, at the end of the day, Hell Hath No Fury–there were no surprises with that. We knew what was to come, and we were totally happy with the fans and happy with all the critics for all the critical acclaim that we got. The whole touring schedule behind that whole album has been ridiculous. Like, still–the whole overseas run, you know, it was really a time just to link with our base. And I have to say the fans really stood up, and really supported us. Yeah, you don’t hear it on the radio, but it wasn’t like we weren’t in all of your cities, every day.
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