XXcLusive Video: Clipse Break Down Neptunes Beat Selection Process
The Clipse are known for their extensive catalogue with The Neptunes. Til the Casket Drops—the Virginia duo’s latest album—arguably contains some of their best work with the production team to date. XXLMag.com recently caught up with Malice and Pusha T to speak on their beat selection process.
As far as Pusha is concerned, collaborating with Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams can be a long, difficult undertaking. “There’s nothing that’s gonna come from them [The Neptunes} that’s gonna be wack,” he told XXL. “But we just make the criteria and standards so much harder. A lot of times it’s a real, real tug-of-war.” [Watch below]
In fact, as the younger Thornton brother describes it, both teams thrive off of each other’s creative input. “[Pharrell will] love something and I’ll be like, ‘Yo, who is that moving,’ and it’ll be good, but…like, ‘That ain’t disrupting radio,’” Pusha explained. “And then we’ll get into, ‘Yo, it ain’t this record’ or ‘It ain’t that record.’ Then an argument ensues and he’ll tell everybody to get out the studio…and he’ll come back 40 minutes later with something, like ‘If you don’t take this I’m calling Hov, right now, I’ma call him. And he gonna take this, it’s gonna be the biggest record ever... I’m calling Puff.’ He’ll name any name that he just knows will get under my skin when I hear that they got something good that we should have.”
While Pharrell might threaten to send out tracks to his long list of clientele, Clipse also get to reap the benefits of said relationships. “There was a few files that we go through,” Pusha said of raiding The Neptunes’ material set aside for other acts. “Every time we get together, he might play some stuff and if it’s not sitting well or whatever we’ll be like, ‘Go to the Jay-Z file. Go to Ludacris’ file. Go to Busta file’ and I always go, ‘Did you make something for Foxy?’ And we go to those files and we might rip from there, because something about those people and him is good too.”
Despite the superproducers celebrated accomplishments with other acts, Pusha belives the Clipse’s bond with The Neptunes is one of a kind. “I don’t think they’ll ever be a dynamic by any other artist like with Pharrell and Chad that there’s gonna be with us,” he stated. “People will get mesmerized with them. [But] we can’t do that. We started like that.”
Til the Casket Drops is currently in stores. —Elan Mancini with reporting by Combat Jack, camera work by Fritz Celestin