Pusha and Malice live in a world of their own devising. You’re welcome to visit, but don’t try to tell them they’re imagining things. Hip-hop may be an ever-changing beast, but one thing is constant: The Clipse’s sense of self. They might not be shouting it from the rooftops, but they clearly think they’re the best in the game—which is a little surprising, given their track record. After receiving a platinum plaque for their eerie and exceptionally witty debut, Lord Willin’, they fell into label purgatory. Four years and two mixtapes later, the even darker Hell Hath No Fury had critics and fans fawning, but still bricked like a Kwame Brown jumper. Despite the difficulties, Pusha T. and Malice still believe in the Clipse. And somehow, their bravado is understandable; it’s what’s gotten them here, after all.
When the Internet became saturated with no-name MCs and endless mixtapes, they concluded that fans value quality over quantity. When the economy cratered, they figured their fashion taste could sustain a clothing brand. And when they signed their Re-Up Gang label deal with Sony, they felt strong enough to branch out from under the Neptunes’ wings and recruit outside production for their third album, Til The Casket Drops. In fact, that unshakable certainty is probably why our boy KAWS jumped at the chance to design their album art (and this story). The whole thing may sound more crazy than confident, sure—but the best usually are.
Complex: It seems like Till The Casket Drops is very disconnected from the industry as a whole. Like, “Fuck that, this is what we’re on.”
Malice: This album is like redemption for me. We’ve been through so much with the label, with so much in our lives. Around Hell Hath No Fury, it was just rough times. You could probably hear it in the music. We had a lot of dead weight around us that got cleared out. This time around, everything is freer; we’re in a happier place. You can really hear the change in the music. Listen to “I’m Good.” You can feel it that we’re better. Definitely. Hell Hath No Fury is about when it was more raw. This album is more along the lines of Lord Willin’. And you know Hell Hath No Fury is my favorite album.
C: Why is it your favorite album?
Pusha: It’s everything I want to hear in rap. My taste isn’t the most commercial of tastes. When I put on an album, I find those records I like. If I’m listening to Ross, I’m listening to “Mafia Music.” If I’m listening to Jeezy, I’m listening to track 17. That’s what I want to hear.
Fans apparently have to wait longer to get a hold of Shakira’s “She Wolf“. The third English studio album, which was set to be released in U.S. stores on October 13, reportedly will not arrive until more than a month later. In the store section of record label Epic Records’ site, the singer’s latest effort is listed to be released on November 17. Last Friday two of your trusty DS reporters attended a listening session for the new Shakira album – a-whooo! – and here’s what we made of it. Like Shakira herself, the album is short but bursting with ideas. To be precise, it features nine new English songs followed by Spanish versions of three of those songs (‘Why Wait’, ‘Did It Again’ and ‘She Wolf’). Nothing else on it sounds like ‘She Wolf’ the song, but if you like ‘She Wolf’ the song, you’ll almost certainly find something to like on She Wolf the album. You know what we’re trying to say, right? The album’s second track, ‘Did It Again’, is also its second single.
It’s a midtempo Neptunes production with an “eh-eh-eh-eh” hook, marching band percussion and lyrics about that guy you keep going back to though you know you really shouldn’t.There are three further Neptunes productions on She Wolf. ‘Long Time’ is a sparse, carnivaly party tune; ‘Why Wait’ is the sort of thing you can imagine Shakira belly-dancing to; and ‘Good Stuff’ is a midtempo track with a Middle Eastern feel and a chorus that’s a bit ’80s radio. That last one, apparently, is Shakira’s favourite on the album. A mooted third single is ‘Gypsy’, an Amanda Ghost co-write that’s probably the most subdued moment here. It’s got a countryish feel to it, complete with mandolin and strings, but the beats are as contemporary as Cheryl Cole’s dress sense. Most likely to split opinion? ‘Men In This Town’. It’s an ’80s-style electro stomper, a bit reminiscent of No Doubt perhaps, with loads and loads of hooks that keep leaping up out of nowhere.
The lyrics are all about the lack of blokes in LA and it ends with Shakira singing “It’s a suicide waiting”. Ominous.The album’s nutjob moment comes on ‘Mon Amour’, a noisy hunk of stadium rock on which Shakira wishes her ex and his new girlfriend a terrible vacation in Paris. “Hope the French fleas eat you both alive,” she sings, “And your room smells, and the toilet doesn’t flush, and the locals treat you mean, and the service takes too long…” The only track we haven’t mentioned so far is ‘Spy’, which is a bit naughty because it’s one of the best on the album. It sounds like the sort of thing Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones might have come up with if they’d been asked to produce a song for a film noir soundtrack: disco strings, a ‘Billie Jean’-style bassline and trumpets that suggest something sexy’s about to go down.
Before we wrap up, we should make clear that this album isn’t nearly as bitty and disparate as we’ve made it sound – Shakira may shimmy from genre to genre here, but She Wolf still sounds like a cohesive record as opposed to a grab-bag of tracks. It’s also very, very good – a comfortable on first listen – and we’re really looking forward to hearing it again. It looks like ‘Did It Again’ In Spanish will be different besides it will be in Spanish because Stephen Marcussen is credited on it and the Miami Symphonic Strings Quartet has credits on The Neptunes produced tune ‘Why Wait’. Check out the Official Amazon Tracklist below.
Shakira – She Wolf (2009) (November 17th)
Producers & Guests: Wyclef Jean, The Neptunes, Kid Cudi, Amanda Ghost, John Hill, Miami Symphonic Strings, Lukas Burton, Future Cut, Jerry Duplessis, Stephen Marcussen…
01 – She Wolf (John Hill)
02 – Did It Again (The Neptunes)
03 – Long Time (The Neptunes)
04 – Why Wait For Later (The Neptunes, Miami Symphonic Strings)
05 – Good Stuff (The Neptunes)
06 – Men In This Town (John Hill)
07 – Gypsy (Amanda Ghost, Lukas Burton, Future Cut)
08 – Spy feat. (Wyclef Jean, Jerry Duplessis)
09 – Mon Amour (John Hill)
10 – Lo Hecho Está Hecho (Did It Again) (Spanish Version) (The Neptunes, Stephen Marcussen)
11 – Años Luz (Why Wait) (Spanish) (The Neptunes)
12 – Loba (She Wolf) (Spanish) (John Hill)
– Send Me An Angel
– Devoción feat. Gustavo Cerati (Spanish)
If you’ve been keeping up with perennial hip-hop underdogs Clipse, you already know the duo frequently collaborates with art icon KAWS. And with their third studio album ’Til The Casket Drops coming soon, we thought we’d keep the partnership going with our latest collaborative cover. The sick action figure image will be on newsstands everywhere on October 6, but we’re dropping the full feature and behind the scenes video online now to whet your appetite. Oh, and don’t forget, this is Complex cover week—tomorrow we’ve got a second cover collabo between a rapper and artist, and then on Wednesday we’ve got our third cover that shows off the sexy side of Complex. Stay tuned!
Making Of ‘Clipse Complex Cover’
Gillie Da Kid has been interviewed by the XXL Magazine where he has been talking about working with The Neptunes on 3 tracks back in 1998 when he was signed on “Suave House”. One of the tracks he did with The Neptunes is the T. I. tune “I’m Serious” and a unreleased tune featuring Clipse & Ab Liva.
XXL: You have a quick cameo in Clipse’s “Mr. Me Too” video. How did you first meet Pusha and Malice?
Gillie Da Kid: Yeah, shout out to Clipse and Pharrell. When I signed to Suave House back in ’98, me and Pharrell did three records together. One of the records that we did never came out, but it actually ended up being a T.I. record. Remember when T.I. came out with that record with Beanie Man [“I’m Serious”]? That was it. After Suave House lost their distribution, we weren’t doing nothing with it, so he must have sold it to T.I. I still got the actual record that I did with that beat. So I also did a record with Clipse back then and Ab-Liva was with me. Liva hooked up with Re-Up and he been cool with them ever since. Liva still always with the Figgas, but we get down with them. There was an opportunity for Liva to eat over there, so it’s all family. Thanks to mrmaestro.
Gillie Da Kid – Studio Session (1998)
– I’m Serious
– Untitled feat. Clipse & Ab Liva
2001 interview with Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo of The Neptunes. Mike D of the Beastie Boys is the interviewer. This was taken from defunct Grand Royal website. Thanks to Davy.
Mike D & The Neptunes Part 1
Mike D & The Neptunes Part 2
Mike D & The Neptunes Part 3
Mike D & The Neptunes Part 4
Mike D & The Neptunes Part 5
Mike D & The Neptunes Part 6
Mike D & The Neptunes Part 7
Mike D & The Neptunes Part 8
According to Amazon.com, NERD’s new track will be featured on the new Beverly Hills 90210 OST which is due October 13th, so we finally get to hear the studio version before the actual new NERD album release next year. Check out the tracklist below. Thanks to PChillyWilly.
Beverly Hills 90210 OST (2009)
01 – Adele & The Raconteurs – Many Shades Of Black
02 – N.E.R.D. – Soldier feat. Santigold
03 – Jet – One Hipster One Bullit
04 – Mutemath – Valium
05 – OK Go – I Want You So Bad
06 – All American Rejects – Sierra’s Song
07 – Anberlin – A Perfect Tourniquet
08 – Owl City – Sunburn
09 – Will Dailey – You’re So Cold
10 – The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus – Love Seat
11 – Parachute – One Small Step
12 – Sarah Solovay – Hearts Collide
13 – Darrelle London – Understood
14 – Stars Crashing Cars – City Girl
15 – John E. Davis – 90210 Main Title (2009 Remix)
N¤E¤R¤D – Soldier feat. Santigold & Lil’ Wayne (Live @ Jimmy Fallon)
Rap-Up TV caught up with Cassie on the red carpet at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards to discuss the delay of her sophomore album Electro Love, who she’s collaborating with, and her trendsetting haircut. Thanks To Andrei.
Cassie At The 2009 MTV VMA’s
Cassie – Electro Love (2010)
– Hide feat. Pharrell
According to Raquelle’s & NERD’s Twitter Page, Former “Hope” UK-Member Raquelle Gracie has been with The Neptunes in Miami to work on her solo album. Raquelle Gracie was one fifth of British girl group Hope which The Neptunes already worked with on the Tune called “I Appologize”. In 2007, Raquelle entered “The X-Factor” in the girl band Hope. They reached the semi-finals and came 5th in the competition. Following this endeavor, the girls went on tour with the X-Factor, playing huge venues and performing in front of sold out crowds often numbering in the tens of thousands of people. After securing management, the girls then toured with Westlife, Boyzone and Shayne Ward. Hope then went on to record a track with Pharrell Williams. “Recording with Pharrell was the most surreal and invaluable experience. He is a musical genius and I learnt so much from him. His professionalism and his method of working was inspirational.” Raquelle is now establishing her solo career, not only as a recording artist, but also as a writer and producer. “Its absolutely amazing what you can do from your bedroom with a keyboard, laptop and logic pro!”
“chad hugo NERD is a legend!! He plays those keys like i’ve never witnessed before!!!”
“# Up in the studio working on this new album. Crazy!!! Shout out to @raquellegracie with us down in Miami “
Her Blog From Miami
“Now where to begin- I am currently in the states. I came over here because I had an opportunity to audition for an acting agency and record with some fantastic producers! Sometimes life is about taking risks and chances and never missing an opportunity! I then travelled to Miami, which is where I am writing this from. I am working with some of the industry’s top producers and we are busting out the hits!!!I am then flying back to LA next week to plan shooting the video to my FIRST SINGLE!!”
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