Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
Books
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
NAJP Blog
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Clipse

  • Lord Willin' [Star Trak, 2002] Choice Cuts
  • Hell Hath No Fury [Zomba/Star Trak/Re-Up Gang, 2006] A
  • Re-Up Gang Records Present: Re-Up Gang: The Saga Continues [BCD, 2008] A-
  • Clipse Presents: Re-Up Gang [Koch, 2008] **
  • Til the Casket Drops [Columbia, 2009] **

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Lord Willin' [Star Trak, 2002]
"Young Boy" Choice Cuts

Hell Hath No Fury [Zomba/Star Trak/Re-Up Gang, 2006]
The rapping is crystalline, gritty--that is, hard two ways. The only reason "Momma, I'm so sorry, I'm so obnoxious" isn't the theme is that they're not sorry. Playing hit rappers forced by evil bizzers to return to a life of crime, so that music is just pocket money for them, they're unflinchingly unsensationalistic. But it's the beats that turn this into noir worthy of Jim Thompson, far from the stolen fun of the We Got It for Cheap mixtapes. Anyone who associates the Neptunes with suave keyboard hooks won't believe they're behind all this spare alienation. So what if "Mr. Me Too" contains a portion of the composition "Burrup," written by Cegricia Hamilton and Gary Henderson? Meaning that buzzing dub thing? Or is it ringing? OK, vibrating. Et cetera. A

Re-Up Gang Records Present: Re-Up Gang: The Saga Continues [BCD, 2008]
The cover copy goes on, too. Not just "Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics," as in "tickle us pink like white girl's clitoris," but "The Official Mixtape--Remixed & Remastered." That's to let alert consumers infer that it repackages 13 tracks from the first two We Got It 4 Cheap mixtapes, the second of which is longer and on balance better if you can find it. But broad-voiced Re-Up sidekicks and all, this one stands as a chilling introduction to Clipse's nasty little coke-centric world. Even the jacked beats share the Neptunes' efficiency-expert approach to two self-invented moguls Pharrell must sometimes regret he helped off the corner. From the two rappers' clipped flow--Malice killingly precise, Pusha aiming at the same target--to their analytic rhymes, these are two of the least likable guys in hip-hop. I mean, at least Plies is some kind of goon and Fat Joe some kind of glutton. But Clipse's smarts and purity are seductive in the manner of a Jim Thompson novel, even a John Donne meditation: "I'm a warrior, poet laureate, May 13th-born Taurean, cocaine courier/So ahead of my time/Like Back to the Future but minus the DeLorean." A-

Clipse Presents: Re-Up Gang [Koch, 2008]
Liva and Sandman carry more weight than they can eat ("Million Dollar Corner," "Emotionless"). **

Til the Casket Drops [Columbia, 2009]
In the crack game, maybe "if the good die young then the great go to jail" (and maybe not); in the rap game, these two have done neither ("Freedom," "Counseling"). **

See Also