Clipse Drop Their Second Album Lord Willin’ – Today in Hip-Hop
XXL celebrates 50 years of hip-hop with this moment:
Aug. 20, 2002: In 1999, Pusha-T and Malice a.k.a. Clipse were primed to release their debut album, Exclusive Audio Footage, on Elektra Records. Their debut single, "The Funeral," featured production by the red-hot production team, the Neptunes, and the group seemed like one of rap's can't-miss prospects. Unfortunately, the single flopped commercially and their album was shelved indefinitely. Subsequently, Pusha and Malice were released from their contract shortly after.
A few years later, the Neptunes had opened up their new imprint, Star Trak Entertainment, with Arista Records and one of their first signings was Clipse, the rap duo they had worked with a few years prior on their debut. After returning to the studio, the result was Lord Willin', a coke rap classic, which was released on this day in 2002.
Lord Willin' was a minimalist, space-aged classic of the burgeoning coke rap genre–a genre dedicated to the lives of the gritty and sometimes glamorized lives of drug dealers. Powered by the Neptunes' icy production and Clipse's tales of modern street noir, Lord Willin’ would become their first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart. A mature but often ruthless collection, the rap tandem dealt with the themes of guilt, generational dysfunction and the over-glamorization of drug dealing along with bringing an album filled with songs for both the clubs and the streets.
Clipse would achieved commercial success with Lord Willin'. The LP produced classic tracks such as "Virginia," "When the Last Time," "Cot Damn" and the instantly iconic song "Grindin.'" Shockingly, the project has only reached gold status, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
After dropping two more critically-acclaimed albums, the group disbanded. Pusha T went on to pursue a solo career and dubbed himself "Cocaine's Dr. Seuss," while Malice reinvented himself as No Malice and began promoting a non-secular agenda in hip-hop.