Grindin' [Selector Remix][*] - Clipse, Harrow, Jason
As the first group to be released on the Neptunes' Star Trak imprint, Virginia-based rhyme duo and brothers Malice and Pusha T have at their disposal the most clever producers in music today. And they literally exhaust thi... more »s fine privilege. There are so many legitimate danceable club hits on their debut that you're pretty much forced to ignore the CD's lyrical shortcomings. The album blasts off with "Grindin'," the street-buzz single of the 2002 summer, with its heavy, old-school Run DMC-style drum claps. Similarly, "I'm Not You" flaunts an infectious calypso-pan loop, which makes you pay no heed to the dozens of street-drug verses. The hedonism continues on "Let's Talk About It," with the braggadocio of Jermaine Dupri, and the catchy, hook-driven "Young Boy." Overall, the beats are ridiculously good, but the emcees are quite average. Sorry, no instrumental version available at this time. --Dalton Higgins« less
As the first group to be released on the Neptunes' Star Trak imprint, Virginia-based rhyme duo and brothers Malice and Pusha T have at their disposal the most clever producers in music today. And they literally exhaust this fine privilege. There are so many legitimate danceable club hits on their debut that you're pretty much forced to ignore the CD's lyrical shortcomings. The album blasts off with "Grindin'," the street-buzz single of the 2002 summer, with its heavy, old-school Run DMC-style drum claps. Similarly, "I'm Not You" flaunts an infectious calypso-pan loop, which makes you pay no heed to the dozens of street-drug verses. The hedonism continues on "Let's Talk About It," with the braggadocio of Jermaine Dupri, and the catchy, hook-driven "Young Boy." Overall, the beats are ridiculously good, but the emcees are quite average. Sorry, no instrumental version available at this time. --Dalton Higgins
"Lots of people think that this is more of a accomplishment for the Neptunes than Pusha T and Malice, the two extremely gifted MCs who make up Clipse, when the lyricists shine just as much as their producers. Let me run you through it.1. Intro - The best intro I've heard in a while. So much wordplay on this track that it's one of my favorites. *****/52. Young Boy - I didn't like it the first time, but it's really a good song. Although, Pharrel's singing isn't really that...pretty, Clipse makes up for it. ****/53. Virginia - This is the only song on the album I didn't really like. The dark, slower beat doesn't fit the Clipse's style to well. **/54. Grindin' - The street anthem that everyone loves. Great song, but not the best on the album. ****/55. Cot Damn - A chorus that's just fun to say is what makes this track so good. ****/56. Ma, I Don't Love Her - One of my favorites, this beat matches Clipse really well. They keep it together with a good chorus and lyrics. *****/57. FamLay Freestyle - I don't consider this a Clipse track, first of all. Second of all, it's total crap. */58. When The Last Time - The other hit off the album I always thought was better than Grindin' by just a little bit. The Neptunes keep this one creative by adding that "tech-scratching" sort of sound to it. ****/59. Ego - Short but sweet. Clipse talks about some stuff in this one. All those rich people are "ego-trippin'" according to them. *****/510. Comedy Central - This beat grows on you. Fabolous provides an ill verse to add to the already killer verses by Pusha T and Malice. ****/511. Let's Talk About It - (Amazon has the track list wrong) Jermaine Dupri isn't too good in my opinion, and this is probably the most uncreative beat on the album, but it still delivers some punch. ***/512. Gangsta Lean - My favorite song on the album, Gangsta Lean has me bangin'. The beat is so loose for just chillin', and Pharell doesn't sound too bad singin' on this cut. ******/513. I'm Not You - A nice track with some good replay value. Clipse gets deep on their views of realness with this one. ****/514. Grindin' (Remix) - Basically just Grindin' with a bunch of other guys. ****/515. Grindin' (Selector Mix) - HILARIOUS! This version of Grindin' features all those foreign rappers in it. *****/5"
Solid debut just short of excellence
sooblime | California | 09/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've never been one of those people who likes to break artists up into the stupid little categories the media places them in - pop-rap, gangsta, hardcore, East coast, whatever. If it's good music, it's good music and it shouldn't matter if the record is selling big-time or not - just because someone blows up doesn't mean that they've necessarily "gone pop" (thanks to Dilated Peoples for that line). I don't think very many people would tell you that 2Pac is a commercial sell-out or any less "real" for all his posthumous success. All that needed to be mentioned because of the (stuff) I'm sure will be said about Clipse because their album was produced by the Neptunes and succeeded in moving some units. None of that matters. What does matter, though, is that this is a solid debut effort from the relative newcomers. Being that it is produced by the Neptunes, the album's best asset is the production value. All the beats are excellent and they cover a lot of ground - from the stripped-down drum-and-claps beat of "Grindin'" to the jazzy, saxophone-laced "Young Boy" (complete with Pharrell Williams hook) to the laid-back synthesized groove of "Virginia", all are winners. The lyrics, on the other hand, aren't so consistently great. Don't get me wrong, they're good enough, as are the flows of the rappers behind them, but they're nothing exceptional. If you're looking for "hard-core", you can't miss here, as nearly every song is a narrative of Malice and Pusha-T's coke-dealing days, and they're convincing enough at laying these stories down for us. Only problem is, it wears a bit thin by the end of the CD, especially when neither rapper really looks deeper than the surface level of their stories. I love a hardcore, drug-dealing song as much as the next gangsta rap fan, but when it's an entire album of it, it needs to have something along the lines of 2Pac's introspection ('I made a G today'/But you made it in a sleazy way/Sellin crack to the kids/'I gotta get paid'/Well hey - that's the way it is") to keep it interesting. That being said, this is still a very good album. For the beats alone, it's worth picking up, but the two fairly good MC's also make it worthwhile. It's just hard for me to hear production value like this and not ponder the "what-if" about how higher-level MC's would sound with this kind of backing. No matter, I'll still bump this one for a long while, and just look elsewhere for the deeper meaning."
BEATS NOT SOLD SEPERATELY
J. Johnson | CT | 09/09/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Neptunes have to be the most forward-minded minds in contemparary R&B/hip hop and after releasing the brillant rock-funk-pop of "In Search Of..." as N*E*R*D so you know that they'd have to deliver a hot album for the first rappers off their new Star Trek imprint, The Clipse. For the most part they do. The Clipse, Pusha T and Malice( brothers Gene and Terrence Thorton) are two 'hustlers' from Virginia with similar flows that rhyme about the ins and outs of the hustling game. Intrestingly, The Clipse were orginally signed with Eletkra and had a single called "The Furneral" which had a very striking video and just an overall different flow. Yet on their new debut, "Lord Willin", Pusha T (formely known as Terrar) and Malice spit over jaunty, edgy Neptunes beats. "Young Boy" has a '70s vibe to it with Pharell shouting "You're Outta Line!" like a soul shouter from the days of The Temptations and Joe Tex. "Virginia", a homage to their homestate has a hot understated beat that's just plain hot. The cocky "Cot Damn" and the clubby "When The Last Time"("Is it my whip appeal or my babyface"--that line is something else) also stand out as does the very R&B "Ma, I Don't Love Her" with Faith Evans. "Gangsta Lean" has a hot beat that slips and slides just right. So it's obvious that the beats are the real stars of the show. It's the ice cream sundae. T and Malice's rhymes are just the cherry on top. Although they do have lyrical shortcomings (not much variety in subjects) they come with some clever puns ("My niece askin' why the rims are bigger than the hoola hoop"). And I can't fail to mention "Grindin", the anthem with the tight Run-DMC-esque raw hand clap beat and the braggadocius rhymes about pushing coke. Intresingly, there's three versions of "Grindin'" to be found on "Lord Willin'". Not only the single version but two remixes. One featuring a unneeded Baby and Lil' Wanye but a tight Norega and another ill-suited reggae mix with Sean Paul and Canada's Kardinal Offishall. Why the label felt the need to contain multiple versions of the hit is anyone's guess but it's not too much of a distraction.Overall "Lord Willin" is a musically tight disc that will turn out a party and play well in your car when you're in a hip hop mood."
musiqstar87 | Huntington WV USA | 12/02/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Clipse, the first group to sign onto the Neptunes Star Trak label, are one of the best acts of the year. Their debut album, "Lord Willin'", has a lot of good and weak points but still comes out as a VERY solid debut. Malice and Pusha T draw you into their raps with off the hook rhymes and the dopest of beats provided by their mentors, the Neptunes. The first single off of the album, "Grindin'", basically tells their whole life story (drug dealing) in front of a grungy and very addictive beat. Most of Clipse's debut set is made up of songs like this. "Comedy Central" (no, it's not funny) which features DJ Clue's new rapper Fabolous, is a great track. Made up of the same formula as "Grindin'", it tells the game of dealin' while keeping it ultra tight with the layed-back beat and Fabolous's slow paced rhymes. "Virgina" is another "Grindin'" look alike, even though it has a more uptempo beat and deals with different subjects other than drug dealing. Basically, the only other "Grindin'" clones are the two remixes of the song itself. The regular remix is great, not only the excellent qualities of the original, but with off the hook rhymes by N.O.R.E and the Big Tymers. The 'Selector' remix is not worth your time. Yes it does have that good beat but the only people rapping are those foreign artists like Sean Paul. A completely different type of rapping is shown on the more uptempo numbers of this album. "Cot Damn" is a great track (that guy that is featured in this CANNOT RAP). With Pharrell belting out those two title words, he sets up the chorus perfect for Pusha and Malice to kill the rest of it. "Ma, I Don't Love Her" is an uptempo pop-like single featuring Bad Boy's queen of R&B, Faith Evans (i have a feeling this will be released). "When The Last Time", the 2nd single released from the album, is a good club and party track, a perfect follow-up to the 1st single. "Ego" is just plain good, the awesome beat followed up by the kick a** rapping totally makes this a track worth listening to. "Let's Talk About It", a previously released single from Jermaine Dupri which features Clipse is the most upbeat single on the album. (NOTE: You can find this song on Jermaine's album "Instructions". You can also find the remix of it on the So So Def album "So So Def: Definition Of A Remix".) The last uptempo number you'll hear is "Gangsta Lean", where Pharrell of the Neptune's literally sings his soul out. This is one of those softer songs as well.But, out of all the good songs on "Lord Willin'", my personal favorite has to be "I'm Not You", which features LOX rappers Jadakiss and Styles P. This is a tale of growing up rough and forfelling your dreams, which in this case is drug dealing for Malice and Pusha T. (That guy that is in this song along with 'Cot Damn', why the heck did they ruin half of this song with him, he CANNOT RAP.) Even though there are so many good songs on "Lord Willin'", i gave it 4 stars because of the constant repeating of the same exact thing on almost every song. The message Clipse is trying to get through is: WE DO NOT LIKE TO RAP, WE LIKE TO SELL DRUGS, SO IF WE HAVE TO RAP, WE ARE GOING TO RAP ABOUT SELLING DRUGS.I say Clipse did an alright job for their debut, let's hope Clipse's 2nd album will hold steady the awesome beats and phat rhymes that made them popular in the first place."
SID | BOSTON | 09/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Maybe The Neptunes-produced debut from Virginia roughnecks (and real-life brothers) Pusha T and Malice is a testament to the production duo's knack for making decent rappers sound good and good rappers sound great. While the Clipse aren't lyrical slouches, their bragfests aren't exactly revolutionary. Still, their solid, swerving cadences sound downright brilliant on the stripped-down stomp of "Grindin'" and the horn-driven "Young Boy." On "When the Last Time," the girl-crazy Pusha T asks himself, "What did it, the whip appeal or my baby face?" It was probably the slamming beats. this Virginia hip-hop duo should have called their debut "E-Clipsed"--because that's certainly what happened after they hooked up with their in-state homies, the Neptunes. Brothers Pusha T and Malice are fine MCs who make some sharp and funny observations about the hard-knock life (although their argument for how rough things are in "VA" isn't exactly a novel one). But make no mistake: it's the behind-the-boards genius of the Neptunes' Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo that makes Lord Willin'--the first release on their new Star Trak imprint--a must-hear.Just when you think the pair's funk has gotten as sparse as possible, they do the minimalistic limbo yet again on "Grindin'"; hardly more than a car door-slamming beat, it still slams like crazy. On the more traditional side, the joyful R&B of "Gangsta Lean" proves equally irresistible, showcasing Williams's Curtis Mayfield-style testifyin' about hot bud in the summertime. No doubt the Clipse could have made a very credible album with someone else, but given this embarrassment of production riches, it's lucky they didn't."