Album Review: Clipse – Til The Casket Drops

8 12 2009

In 2002, the Clipse released their breakout hit “Grindin'” instantly gaining everyone’s attention as the duo ripped the Neptunes classic instrumental. Following up their debut hit, they released the club anthem “When’s the Last Time” showing their persistence with singles. Their Neptune-produced album Lord Willin’ featured both tracks, and many more bangers about lying females, their differences from other rappers, and more raps about crack than all of Jeezy’s albums combined. Their following album Hell Hath No Fury was fully produced by the Neptunes as well, but didn’t have the mainstream success as their debut, yet and still was well received by critics. Three years later, they strike back with their current album Til The Casket Drops, slightly switching up their subject matter and swapping out a couple of Neptunes beats with Sean C. & LV, and upcoming producer DJ Khalil. Will the Clipse’s changes to their content and production affect their reliable strategy, or will Til The Casket Drops prove their consistency?

4/5 – Deadly

The album begins with their triumphant opener “Freedom”, being the first song to appear on a Clipse album featuring a vocal sample and production outside of the Neptunes. “Freedom” proves the Clipse can hold their own on production outside their realm and still stick to their tradtional semi-grimey sound. Succeeding “Freedom” is the street banger “Popular Demand” featuring Cam’Ron and Pharrell declaring the duo is back on their plateau. The piano production and lyrics make the song superb, but it suffers from a uninspired, lethargic appearance from Killa Cam. A more notable appearance on the album is Kanye’s verse on “Kinda Like a Big Deal” as he drops his usual witty punchlines with bars like:

Spittin fire on the PJ in my PJ’s
Fire Marshall said I took it to the Max like TJ
Yea people I said Marshalls we play
I guess I’m like the Black Marshall meets Jay

Since day one the Clipse have had a rep for making street themed music, and of course they resume that with their latest project. There’s the reggae-influenced chorus on “There’s Been a Murder”, and the standout track “Doorman”. Pusha comes through with one of the most catchy, yet simple rap hooks screaming “HEY DOORMAAAAAAN”. While the street track work in The Clipse favor as usual, there are a couple of commercial attempts that aren’t terrible, but they sound forced. On “Counseling”, the group talks about their multiple women and not being able to choose one. Then there’s the Keri Hilson assisted “All Eyes On Me” which is obviously going to be a single in the future. The sped-up Neptunes track has “club” written all over it, and is decent overall, but lacks the energy of “When’s the Last Time”.
Til the Casket Drops shows a different side of the Clipse. Their first two projects branded them as two drug kingpin’s from out of VA who will never lose their street edge, but this album shows a lighter side the duo. Throughout the album there’s tracks that have a more feel-good vibe like the albums lead single “I’m Good”. Even down to the albums closer “Life Change”, as they go in on life changing events in a positive manner. Though they’ve toned down the d-boy content and had more commercial cuts on this album, it is easily still appreciative by Clipse fans and Hip Hop fans in general.



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