A hustler’s spirit was always in hip-hop’s original coke boys Gene “No Malice” and Terrace “Pusha T” Thornton. As teenagers, the pair were vocal about their drug dealing past and dividends. They garnered national buzz from their 2002 kilo anthem “Grindin’” off Lord Willin’, which jumpstarted the Virginia MCs career. The Neptunes-produced track peaked at No. 10 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs, which was a blessing in disguise.
Despite a rocky history with Jive Records, Clipse released two more albums after their debut: 2006′s Hell Hath No Fury and 2009′s Til The Casket Drops. In between album came three volumes of Re-Up Gang’s We Got It For Cheap mixtapes with Philadelphia MCs Sandman and Ab-Liva. However, now it seems the brothers have gone their separate ways.
In 2009, No Malice gave his life to Jesus Christ and decided to switch the style up. Two years later, Pusha was breaking away from Clipse material by releasing solo mixtapes, notably the excellent Fear Of God. This caught the attention of Kanye West, who signed him to G.O.O.D. Music and things haven’t been the same since. Pusha saw major success with My Name Is My Name—which made top five in our 25 Best Albums of 2013—and is reportedly back in the studio cooking up some tracks with The Neptunes.
Whether or not Pusha and No Malice are actually recording a new Clipse album (the latest rumor is Pusha saying “it’s coming”), rap fans continue to speculate what will come. Until that day arrives, we look back at 15 Most Essential Clipse Songs.—Darryl Robertson