Monday, January 19, 2009

More from the hometown heroes.........

Jan 19 2009 7:52 AM EST

The Clipse Hint At Kanye West Collabo: Mixtape Monday

By Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Rahman Dukes

Artists: The Clipse

Representing: The Re-Up Gang

Mixtape: Play Cloths Presents: Road to Till the Casket Drops

411: The Clipse came back with a lyrical snow flurry recently on the mixtape Play Cloths Presents: Road to Till the Casket Drops. The brothers actually killed two birds with one stone, promoting their new clothing line (the Obama inauguration tees are dope) as well as pumping out energy in anticipation of their third LP, Till the Casket Drops.

"We're all consumed with the album," Pusha T told us via cell from Canada late last week. "It's very close to being done. We're just trying to piece these little pieces together. It's the last 20 percent. I'm loving it. I'm feeling this is the make-or-break album for the Clipse. This is the album that's gonna define us as far as showing we can stretch in both worlds as far as the underground and as far as the mainstream."

Two Sony Music executives who were instrumental in bringing the duo's Re-Up Gang imprint over to the record company — Al Branch and Kyambo "Hip Hop" Joshua — were recently let go. Pusha said the label's reshuffling shouldn't hurt their project.

"It's not gonna affect us. We're too far done with the album," Push explained. "The thing about us, it was never lack of music. Our problems have been an executing and marketing issue. I think we got a pretty good stronghold on it. I heard about the Hip Hop and Al Branch situation. I'm sure all of that is going to work itself out in our favor."

The remaining production on Till the Casket Drops is being kept under wraps, but the bulk of the album is pretty evenly distributed thus far.

"I got a few from the Neptunes. I think the Neptunes have maybe four, three, somewhere in there. I got a few from [DJ] Khalil," Push revealed. "Got a couple from Sean C. and LV. One from Swizz Beatz. Nottz! I got one from Nottz. The next few I don't really wanna say, but I got a few more people committed to lacing this tail end of it."

We'll hear the first single around February 1. "We have the record. It's getting mixed," Pusha said. "It's already ready. That cake is baked. It's called 'Kinda Like a Big Deal.' It's about being kinda like a big deal. The collabo on there, the record in general, it's kinda like a big deal."

When asked if the collaboration in question is with Kanye West, Pusha got tight-lipped: "Hey, man, it's just one of them joints."

Joints To Check For

» "The Intro." "We got this beat from Fabolous' album from a song called 'Gangsta,' " Pusha described. "It was produced by Reefa. Soon as I heard it, I knew I had to jack it."

» "Big Dreams." "One of my favorite tracks is 'Big Dreams,' " Malice said. "It's off the Game's album [L.A.X.]. We thought it was hot. The reason why it's one of my favorites, I think Pusha totally killed it. We were trying to wrap up the mixtape, and on deadline, I heard this and did not know what to do with myself. I was in a total frenzy. There's a lot of issues on that song I felt needed to be addressed."

» "Addicted." "The difference between this mixtape and the other ones we did, we rapped over some R&B joints that are hot in the club right now," Pusha added. "The Ryan Leslie song is definitely one of them joints, and we killed it. It's a wide array of things on there. The mixtape was inspired by the whole Play Cloths clothing line. Pure fun, just fly street sh--. The sh-- that sparks the nostalgia of what you wanna hear when you puttin' on that 'fit and what you want to hear when you hit the streets and dropping your top. That's the sh-- you do. The mixtape was something of everything, night life, women — everything festive

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