The Clipse
Road to Till the Casket Drops

The Clipse have lots to celebrate. Not only have they found a new recording home, at Columbia, which will drop their third album later this year, but Pusha T and Malice recently launched their very own clothing line, Play Cloths. To commemorate the occasion, the Virginia duo return to their mixtape roots with Road to Till the Casket Drops.

The Clipse’s renewed hunger is evident from the start, as they ride some of last year’s hottest backdrops. Pusha builds upon his super-MC status, weaving through the ethereal organs and reggae wails of Fabolous’s “Gangsta Don’t Play” instrumental on the opening track, rhyming, “It ain’t hard to tell we can’t all be Nas… But I’ll be goddamned if I settled for Pras.” Ever the cocaine connoisseur, Neighborhood P continues to paint street dreams on “Feds Taking Pictures,” with lyrical strokes like, “Blow lines the walls of the trunks and the fenders/School of hard knocks, my IQ is Mensa.” While his brother seems to revel in drug-lord prestige, on “The Haters Wish,” Malice instead explores the duality in his underworld dealings (“I give to the hood, I pose for the children/Even though I got ties to the rock like a pilgrim”), before giving in to his own indulgences on the lavish-life ode “Pop Champagne” (“The wheels cost a fortune like the game show/Yellow diamonds leave them bitches Jane Doe”).

Aside from the bland, misogynistic “So Fly (Now We’ve Had Her)” and the played-out beat jack of T.I. and Jay-Z’s “Swagga Like Us,” on “S.L.U.,” Pusha and Malice once again up the ante on the lyric-driven brand of street-hop. With another potent product from the Clipse in the stash, it seems that all of their grindin’ will actually pay off before the casket drops. —M.U.