Ok I will keep this post short and sweet. Today marks the 15th Anniversary of The Clipse debut album Lord Willin’. Being from North Carolina and The South, it was cool to see an act from our neighboring State of Virginia release such an impressive project. Virginia has a rich history of Music but not from the perspective of hardcore Hip Hop. There is a variety of great Musicians/Artist such as Patsy Cline, Ella Fitzgerald, Dave Matthews Band, Devante Swing, Timberland, Missy Elliot, Chris Brown, Pharrell Williams, D’Angelo, and Ruth Brown that represent Virginia. In the late 90’s the Hip Hop scene started to pick up more from a mainstream perspective with Timberland and Missy Elliot. A few years later the Rap Game changed when a song called “Grindin" hit mixtapes and the radio. The beat was absolutely infectious and the 2 MC’s had voice, style, delivery and of course, lyrics. Virginia’s rap scene and hip hop would never be the same.
I remember hearing “Grindin” during the early summer of 2002. The album wasn’t released until the Fall but the song was everywhere. If you were in the club scene, you couldn’t escape this track if you wanted to. The video was also a fan favorite. Only a few months later the Clipse released their 2nd Single “When Was The Last Time”, once again to great reviews that dominated radio, mixtapes and clubs. The video was very popular on BET and on the internet. The Neptune’s were already a “go to” production team but working with The Clipse surpassed their previous success and efforts with NORE, Jay-Z, Mystikal, MA$E and other artist. The Neptunes and The Clipse were a perfect combination. The album would also see two more singles “Ma, I Don’t Love Her” featuring Faith Evans, and “Cotdamn” but it was the track “Virginia” that did it for more. The track “Virginia” was dope but also necessary. It was time for this region to be fully represented by name the same way Nas recorded “New York State Of Mind” or Outkast recording “The Players Ball.” Hip Hop deserves to know where you're from and it’s mandatory that you present your neighborhood, sound and bring us to your world.
Lord Willin’ was solid from start to finish with dope beats, rhymes and guest appearances. You can even hear The Clipse going back and forth on a track with Jadakiss, Styles P and Roscoe P. Coldtrain on the street classic “I’m Not You.” The Clipse became certified rap starts after Grindin’ was released but after Lord Willin’ fans knew Pusha T and Malice were for real. This morning I listened to the album and the music still sounds fresh. Make no mistake about it; Lord Willin’ is not a conscious rap album. The theme throughout revolve around street tales, the drug game and a little fun with females. This is not A Tribe Called Quest of The South or anything like that. The Clipse are more like The L.O.X. or Mobb Deep to a degree. They provide vivid street tales for those willing to take a ride with them.
*If I was rating this Album I would give it 4.25/5…
What are your thoughts on this album and The Clipse as a group?