The alternate route hasn’t been any easier. Like the dope game, the music industry pays them and vexes them as well. The careful optimism of September 1 is long gone. “We have full creative control,” Pusha said back then, sprawled out on a couch in that penthouse conference room. “We never had A&R.” Malice had more confidence, too. “They value our decisions,” he said, sitting across from his brother. “Creatively, it’s always been a Clipse thing.”
But this is a business, and as of September 27, it seems pretty clear that the union between Gene and Terrence Thornton and Jive Records will not end well. The Clipse are contractually obligated for three more albums, and that’s not counting the still unreleased Hell Hath No Fury, which received a classic XXL rating in this magazine’s November issue. The situation looks bleak, but it could be worse. Black-Ass Robin left the Bridle Creek developments, but not everyone escapes.
“We’re fucking survivors, man,” says Malice, his anger slowly giving way to acceptance. It’s now a couple minutes before 10 a.m. “When the rap shit goes bad, life don’t stop for us. Life is about living and making the best out of it. As long as I got my health, it doesn’t get too much better for me.”
“As for December 12, I truly believe it will be the release date. We’re about to snap the fuck off. I couldn’t see them reneging on December 12. As fucked up as it has been thus far, I can’t see it, man. I can’t see it.”