For many young music fans who got introduced to hip hop in the 90’s and early 2000’s the lyrics, “Grindin’ you know what I keep in the lining N***** better stay in line when you see a n**** like me shinin’ Grinding!” mixed with the Clipse’s (No Malice ‘f/k/a Malice & Pusha-T) dope dealing stories are a significant part of their urban history. The Pharrell beat was imitated on lunchroom tables across the country for aspiring emcees to spit over and the street anthem inspired a whole culture to get on their grind but in the wrong way.
The Virginia-based emcees and Pharrell-cosigned rhymers went Gold with their Lord Willin album, and their popular single “Grindin” hit the Top 10 for R&B/Hip Hop and Billboard 200 charts. Lord Willin was a huge success when you look at the numbers; it opened #1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop album category. Other noteworthy Clipse involved singles that came out in the early 2000’s were “When The Last Time,” “Ma, I Don’t Love Her,” Justin Timberlake’s “Like I love You” and “What Happened To That Boy” with Birdman, to name a few. The story telling lyricists have a pretty “dope” resume’ that was sparked when “Grindin” hit the airwaves.
Clipse has received a XXL rating (5 stars) for their Hell Hath No Fury record, formed a crew titled Re-Up Gang (Re-Up Records), sold thousands of hundreds of records, and collaborated with the likes of Neptunes, DJ Khalil, Kanye West, and Keri Hilson, among other achievements. Their first taste of mainstream success came in the early 2000’s and the two are still pumping out material. You don’t see many artists last that long.
Fast forward to 2013, No Malice is embraced by the Christian Hip Hop community and Pusha-T is signed to Kanye West’s Good Music imprint. The blood brothers have embarked on solo careers and fans are anticipating the next records they bring to the table. The critically acclaimed duo is legendary and because of that, No Malice has a platform that most Christians who do hip hop will not attain.
While Pusha-T is running with Kanye West, No Malice is running with Lecrae, the Grammy award-winning rapper the mainstream cannot ignore. AllHipHop, one of the most respected mainstream hip hop websites, rates No Malice’s forthcoming Hear Ye Him album a gaudy 9. Hear Ye Him hits stores on August 18 and a lot of you are probably wondering if it lived up to hype of the AllHipHop review. In my opinion, it sure did.
If you enjoy stellar raw uncut hip hop production (Chag Hugo of Neptunes, S1, IllMind, and Profound Sounds), lyrics soaked with technical skill and reality, then Hear Ye Him is definitely a project you need to add to your collection.
Hear Ye Him is authentic hip hop, and fans of the Clipse will not be disappointed with the sound of this excellent project. This record could have shared the title of Propaganda’s latest offering (Excellent).
No Malice’s Christianity is clear on this one. This album glorifies God in a creative way, and it’s exciting to see that people outside of Christian Hip Hop are checking for it. Some Christian listeners might have a problem with the use of certain words in this project (N word in particular), but it will be all good for those who get it. Many of those words are culturally accepted in his circles and don’t mean what critics say they do. This album was made to reach the lost, and I guarantee God will use it to infiltrate the minds of searching souls. Christian Hip Hop fans need to understand everyone has their lane, and not all are called to be John Piper.
No Malice has a solid flow and is lyrically savvy on Hear Ye Him. The way he says things and what he says is just top-notch lyricism. His imagery and the way he is able to relate to his audience is “Unforgettable.” In “No Time,” people will get what he is trying to do and it will be effective. He is aiming to get you to see past the “Illusions” and is wasting “No Time” to do so. Hear Ye Him obviously isn’t perfect (he has room to improve as an overall emcee) but I agree with AllHipHop.
Favorite Track: “Blasphemy” featuring Fam Lay
Favorite Line: “The feds came knocking and turned all my N***** Christians.”
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