10 Years After a Classic, No Malice Loves & Distances Himself From Clipse’s Music (Video)
Come November, an album which helped to define the sound of a generation will be turning 10 years old. In 2006, Clipse released their second album, Hell Hath No Fury, home to singles “Mr. Me Too” and “Wamp Wamp (What It Do).” However, as time would tell, its true strength lay with deeper cuts like “Keys Open Doors” and “Ride Around Shining,” which helped it attain a somewhat cult-like following, especially when compared to the more commercially successful 2002 debut Lord Willin’. Whether Hell‘s reception suffered at all from the four-year gap between releases or a behind-the-scenes tumult involving the duo’s frustration with their label Jive does not matter much, as far as the LP’s legacy goes. The group would release one more album before going separate ways, but breakup extended only to Clipse as its original version and does not necessarily speak to anything the future may hold.
In a deep conversation with HipHopDX which conjures up some powerful observations about his personal, spiritual, and professional lives, No Malice discusses his upcoming documentary film The End of Malice. Debuting March 27 on RevoltTV, the film traces his journey and features contributions from his brother Pusha T and longtime friend and collaborator Pharrell Williams. For Heads and longtime Clipse fans, his responses to questions about the duo’s dissolution, his brother, and the retrospection about Hell Hath No Fury are enlightening. The conversation is introduced within the context of previous statements No Malice has made about his reluctance to perform certain songs or to make another Clipse album, hesitancies which are based on his profound faith in God and the tenets of Christianity. However, as he divulges, when he thinks back on the album, he does continue to feel a deep sense of pride. “Sometimes…when I listen to some of those verses, they hit me every time,” and he says the LP’s content “could take out anything” that’s currently popular in Rap music thanks to there being such clear elements of Clipse influence in much of today’s music.
Shortly thereafter, he gets to the subject of his reluctance about performing the record. “I’m very proud of the catalog…it’s just that, as far as performing the old songs or working on a Clipse album, I got a job to do. My purpose has been directed, so I know what it is that I have to do,” he says. “Not only that…the fans that want Clipse or wanna see the Clipse back together or see a Clipse album, I know what they’re looking for…and it would be such a disservice to try to give them something, you know, different. I can’t talk about coke no more…I just can’t hold up that banner like I used to.” But, as interviewer Justin Hunte posits, many of No Malice’s lyrics on the album deal with issues completely unrelated to “selling blow,” and he personally feels there is some dissonance in the MC’s feelings about not returning to Clipse’s music because, in many ways, No Malice was already spitting about spiritually resonant topics. To that effect, No Malice says to him “you have a sophistication and maturity in your listening… there are a lot of my younger brothers and sisters who are not even close to that yet. I got a responsibility and a duty toward them.”
In a separate video interview, No Malice discusses his upcoming film and also provides a play-by-play of the moment in time when his decision to leave Clipse crystallized.