Update: Fixed the link for the "Flashing Lights (Remix)." If you haven't downloaded it yet, I highly recommend adding it to your music library. I also added a longer version with Kanye on it (even though I prefer the shorter version).
I've been a huge fan of the Virginia Beach duo, the Clipse, since first hearing their monumental sophomore album, Hell Hath No Fury back in '06. I consider HHNF and Til the Casket Drops to be near classic status, but I typically find that one has to be in a particular mood to listen to brothers Malice and Pusha T. While the crisp Neptunes production marks nearly every Clipse song, most tracks prove too slow to play while working out or at a party. Conversely, Malice and Pusha T often deliver hard-hitting, wordplay that makes them difficult to listen to while relaxing. This seemingly converse energy works well when paired with other Clipse songs, but also makes them difficult to place into a flowing playlist. For me, I'll typically find myself listening to them when I need a quick Clipse-fix or among fellow fans.
This dynamic sound hasn't stopped the group from achieving commercial or critical success. All of three of their major releases have sold well and songs like, "Mr. Me Too," and "Popular Demand," and "Kinda Like a Big Deal," number among the genre's best. The Pharell-assisted "Mr. Me Too," which I featured on my fifth and favorite tape, remains Pusha and Malice's best collaboration and is perhaps best indicative of their style. The Pharell beat and hook is undeniable and while none of the emcees have particularly complex rhyme schemes, their knowledge of where precisely to place the emphasis in each bar completely transforms the track.
"We Got It For Cheap" is similar in style and delivery and is one of the best intro-tracks I've laid my ears on (which is why you can expect to hear it on the forthcoming tape). The track, and the group as a whole, is simply the essence of cool.
On a side note, CU students may notice their institution featured prominently in the above photo (courtesy of Wes Verhoeve) as the group played during NSOP '07. Why do we no longer strive to bring good hip hop acts to campus? Ghostface was a welcome reprieve last spring, but Mickey Avalon? Seriously? I'd like to be the first to suggest getting artists like J. Cole, Wale, Lupe, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the Clipse, or Big Boi for future Bacchanal concerts. Enjoy.
"Flashing Lights Remix""Flashing Lights Remix" (w/Kanye West)