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

“The Funeral” (1999)

Album: Exclusive Audio Footage

The old adage goes, “the streets will leave you dead or in jail." “The Funeral” from Clipse's unreleased Exclusive Audio Footage is a powerful and deep tale about death. No Malice painted a vivid picture of family and friends at his funeral. Pusha T’s did the same as he spits, “My mother cries, because she knew that I was only true to sin.” The duo seems fearless even when rapping about their own death.

“Young Boy” featuring Pharrell (2002)

Album: Lord Willin'

Over Pharrell’s bass and snares, Clipse gave accounts of accidentally seeing cocaine in their home as children and being told it was AJak. Also, the V.A. hustlers showcased their knack for vivid storytelling.

“Cot Damn” featuring Ab-Liva & Rosco P. Goldchain (2002)

Album: Lord Willin'

This was a track with the Re-Up Gang. Over The Neptunes radio-friendly sound, Re-Up Gang’s gritty street lyrics were captivating. But, it was Goldchain’s unorthodox flow that stole the scene with his straight to the point lyrics like, “What’s the best way to get money? / Pull your gun….watch the situation be corrected.” Wrapping it all together was Pharrell's catchy hook that kept “Cot Damn” stuck  in your head.

"Ma, I Don’t Love Her” featuring Faith Evans (2002)

Album: Lord Willin'

Clipse stepped out of their comfort zone on the Faith Evans-assisted track. No Malice and Pusha convinced forlorn women to stay with them after they’ve been caught cheating. With a memorable hook and lines like “who spend like I spend? / Then act like it then,” and “could it be my whip appeal or my babyface?...” Clipse found another spot on radio stations in 2002.

“When The Last Time” (2002)

Album: Lord Willin'

Again, Clipse showed their versatility by giving accounts of what goes on in the club. Straight fire.

“Gangsta Lean” (2002)

Album: Lord Willin'

Hip-hop can make some rappers seem like they don’t have feelings, unless they’re pouring out liquor for fallen comrades. But, “Gangsta Lean” finds Pusha T and No Malice admitting that their girls kept their “head in the cloud,” proving that dope boys do fall in love with something other than money.

"Grindin’” (2002)

Album: Lord Willin'

This was the first single from their debut Lord Willin’. On The Neptunes-produced track, No Malice and Pusha T introduced to the world the V.A.’s trap.

“Mr. Me Too” featuring Pharrell (2006)

Album: Hell Hath No Fury

This was another banger, where Clipse exploited their cocaine sales while addressing people who examines the lifestyle of others.

"Wamp Wamp (What It Do)" featuring Slim Thug (2006)

Album: Hell Hath No Fury

Over Pharrell’s drums and an assist from Houston MC Slim Thug, The Clipse flexed their drug muscle for another heavy hitter.

‘We Got It For Cheap” (2006)

Album: Hell Hath No Fury

On the intro to 2006's Hell Hath No Fury, No Malice spazzed out and set the tone with “The wool’s removed and now I see / My leg was pulled / The jokes on me.” Later he added, “To my little brother Terrance / Who I love dearly / If I ever had millions never would you push blow.” Once again, the pair proved they can go below the surface and thought-provoke.

"Pop Champagne" featuring Ab-Liva (2008)

Album: Road To Till The Casket Drops

Clipse and Philadelphia’s Ab-Liva had ballers buying out the club with this one. Also, “Pop Champagne” was the reason strippers left their jobs with a trash bag full of dollars bills. It was that ratchet.

“20K Money Making Brothers on the Corner” (2008)

Album: We Got It For Cheap Vol.3

Over knocks and bass drums, Re–Up Gang briefly explained why they talk about the cocaine sales. While Pusha T did his thing with some strong cocaine metaphors, No Malice spits memorable lines like: “Chain on my neck like I’m straight from Amistad.” This gave further proof that they have the ability to run laps around everyone in the game.

“Popular Demand (Popeyes)" featuring Cam’ron (2009)

Album: Til the Casket Drops

Harlem meets V.A. Over Pharrell’s piano riffs, three of the most lyrical MCs competed for best cocaine mover. No Malice spits, “I stepping on blow / doing the toe tap…” And, Pusha’s ridiculously nice lines like, “Hollow tip dum dums eat flesh like Piranha, though.” Although Cam is among the best, he outshined the Thornton brothers here.

“Footsteps” (2009)

Album: Til the Casket Drops

Over production by DJ Khalil, Pusha T further proved his hunger by rapping, “Through flows give you Mein Kampf.” But, big brother No Malice set the example by encouraging and exposing his self-regret as he raps, “It’s not for you to do what I do / Rather do what I say / These footsteps could lead you astray.” Again, these lyrics showed Clipse's intelligence and longevity as MCs.

“Kinda Like A Big Deal” featuring Kanye West (2009)

Album: Til the Casket Drops

Pusha moved lyrical limits. “The flow running on B.I.G.’s heels / My life after death / B.I.G. ain’t get to see how this feel…” Clipse and Kanye tried to out do one another by trading metaphors and bravado, which is ear candy to hip-hop listeners.