May 17, 2007

Clipse - Lord Willin' (August 20, 2002)


As promised, here is the winner of my first Reader Request poll, which only, like, five people participated in. Whatever, it doesn't fucking matter, since this provides me the freedom to write about whatever the fuck I want anyway. (Look out for reviews of Slayer and fucking Dokken, coming soon!) But as I am a man of my word, I present to you the Clipse's Lord Willin'.

This actually serves as the first release from the Virginia duo (a point they feel the need to reiterate several million times throughout the album. We get it, you're from Virginia!), but is actually their second album. Their first, Exclusive Audio Footage, was shelved by their record label, since nobody paid them any mind when their first single "The Funeral" came out. (Which is too bad, since the song is actually decent.) Both Exclusive and Lord Willin' are brought to us by the letter C and entirely produced by those Neptunes wizards (the actual duo, not just Pharrell and his talking unicorn), and serves as a primer into the evolution of the blingy Neptunes sound. This being a hip hop blog, I'd be amiss if I didn't mention that Exclusive is readily available online. (As such, I have it somewhere, and I may review it someday, if I can get over the ridiculousness of reviewing an album that shouldn't exist.)

Lord Willin' was released to critical acclaim and commercial success, which was weird at the time, since all the Clipse rap about is selling coke. The difference between them and, say, Young Jeezy, or maybe Brian Austin Green, is that the Clipse (brothers Pusha T and Malice) actually sound good. They're laugh-out-loud hilarious at times. And for my money, they sound the best over a Neptunes instrumental. This album went gold in the United States, no small feat, although they did have to cross-over to the mainstream to hit those numbers (Justin Timberlake's "Like I Love You", anyone?)

Haven't done the track-by-track in a while, so I may be rusty, but here goes.

1. INTRO
Well, at least the "Intro" starts with rhymes, instead of Pusha T getting his Scarface on.

2. YOUNG BOY
You wanna know something that was played out twelve years ago? Pharrell singing on the hook of your song with his annoying-ass falsetto. I realize that this sounds like I hate Pharrell with a passion (at least my review of his solo album does, anyway), and I really don't, but dude, shut the fuck up and make better beats!

3. VIRGINIA
Not horrible, but Pharrell gets really annoying on this. But whoever Shampoo is, we miss them, too.
4. GRINDIN'
This song was considered revolutionary at the time, since Pharrell basically burped into the microphone and made a hot beat. It still sounds pretty good today though, I won't lie.

5. COT DAMN (FEAT AB-LIVA AND ROSCO P. COLDCHAIN)
I can't be the only guy who thinks that Rosco's awkward talk-rapping sounds super-annoying. When you rhyme over a track, you should at least try to ride the beat. Otherwise, you sound like a spoken word poet, and they're all annoying and pretentious (kind of like me!).

6. MA, I DON'T LOVE HER (FEAT FAITH EVANS)
What the fuck? This radio-friendly pap sounds like radio-friendly pap. That is to say, boring.

7. FAM-LAY FREESTYLE (FEAT FAM-LAY)
Sneaky way to introduce someone else from the Star Trak record label. It kinda works. But why the hell was Fam-Lay in that Def Jam: Fight For NY game on the PS2? How did he pull that shit off?

8. WHEN THE LAST TIME (FEAT PHARRELL AND KELIS)
I actually love this track. Best song on here, bar none. And Pharrell doesn't try to sing, he just pretends to rap. Good times!

9. EGO
Meh.

10. COMEDY CENTRAL (FEAT FABOLOUS)
This is the best I've ever heard F-A-B-O, but to be fair, I've only paid attention to two of his songs, "Young'n" (Neptunes production) and the newer "Make Me Better", the Timbo-produced track that rips off Raekwon's "Rainy Dayz". (Off topic, I know, but I have to say, it seems that nobody on sites like Boxden, or or any of the other hip hop blogs, has ever fucking heard Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, on which "Rainy Dayz" is the fucking crown jewel! These fucking fools anger me, these so-called hip hop "heads" that praise the track and Timbo's use of the sample, since, um, Rza used the same sample twelve fucking years ago on a better song! But, I digress.)

11. LET'S TALK ABOUT IT (FEAT JERMAINE DUPRI)
Looks like a odd paring, until you realize that this song was actually on Jermaine Dupri's album first. It's not horrible. Getting more of that Kris Kross money must motivate JD to sound halfway decent on his songs.

12. GANGSTA LEAN
I'm sorry, this song is just plain bad.

13. I'M NOT YOU (FEAT JADAKISS, STYLES P, & ROSCO P. COLDCHAIN)
Conversely, this is the best song on here that wasn't released as a single. I've always had a soft spot for The Lox, though, even when they were getting fucked for their publishing by Sean Combs.

14. GRINDIN' (REMIX) (FEAT N.O.R.E., BABY, & LIL' WAYNE)
I guess "Grindin'" was so popular that the label decided to remix the fucker twice. This version features good appearances by the Clipse, but Noreaga (why did he change his name to N.O.R.E. again?) sounds meh, Baby sucks as always, and Lil' Wayne comes with that stupid-retarded (not in a good way) flow that appeals to hip hop bloggers who secretly hate hip hop and eagerly await its demise.

15. GRINDIN' (SELECTOR REMIX) (FEAT SEAN PAUL, BLESS, & KARDINALL OFFISHALL)
Unnecessary remix #2.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
Lord Willin' is, for the most part, weak. Surprising, I know, since so many bloggers and critics praise this shit as the second coming. Pusha T and Malice are very talented, and they do sound the best over any given Neptunes beat, but their official debut was too little, too late, as it doesn't leave much of an impression. The good songs, though, are enjoyable, and serve as a fair appetizer to their oft-delayed follow up Hell Hath No Fury (which I'll review eventually; I have other deadlines to meet, and I'm Neptune-d out right now.)

BUY OR BURN? Burn it. You should listen to the whole album once (those VA boys deserve at least that much), but then you should keep the good shit and delete the rest.

BEST TRACKS: "When The Last Time"; "I'm Not You"; "Comedy Central"

-Max

(Don't agree with the review? Post a comment of your own! Don't be shy!)

RELATED POSTS:
Pharrell - In My Mind

3 comments:

  1. Big Up from musicselections.

    Keep on ur good work. Peace!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Max, You're the funniest blogger/reviewer on the interweb! I may not always agree with Your opinions but I'm always entertained. Keep it up, Dude.

    ReplyDelete
  3. AnonymousMay 16, 2014

    thumbs down to you, sir

    ReplyDelete