Thursday, August 16, 2012

Clipse Collapse?

The ticket and the promise.
The road has never been smooth for the brothers Thornton, otherwise known as Pusha T and No Malice (formerly just plain Malice), who make up Clipse, one of the most spectacular duos in 21st Century hip hop. Since they formed the group in 1997, Clipse has been associated with five major labels, including a desultory stint at Jive, which saw their second official album's release delayed by two or three years. Fortunately, they kept working, issuing a series of mix tapes including We Got It For Cheap, Vol. 2, which can hold its own with the best hip hop albums of the century. Their last album, the somewhat patchy Til The Casket Drops, came out three years ago.

Since then, they have been busy working on their own, with Pusha reaching an even bigger audience as one of Kanye West's closest G.O.O.D. Music associates, and No Malice publishing a memoir called Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind & Naked. So when an email from Songkick dropped in my inbox announcing a Clipse concert at the Highline Ballroom on August 15th commemorating the 10th anniversary of Lord Willin' - one of the greatest rap albums ever - to say I was excited would be a gross understatement. Considering the way the world of hip hop is so future-fixated, the very idea of the show was radical, which only fueled my fire.

I will not lie. As I repeatedly hit refresh on the Ticketweb site, waiting for tickets to become available, I pictured myself in a packed theater with the Neptunes game-changing beats blasting, my hands in the air, shouting along with the sharp, nasty rhymes. When I finally had the e-ticket in my hands, I projected myself so thoroughly into this reality that it was almost as if the concert had already taken place. If you're a fan of anything, I think you know what I mean.

The bad news.
But it was not to be: last week I got an email from Ticketweb saying the concert had been cancelled. The way the whole thing went down, I wonder if it was ever real to begin with. Pusha T, who is very active on Social Media, has never mentioned the show, or it's cancellation, and the Facebook page for Clipse hasn't been updated by them since 2011(!). Strange to say the least and soon to become just another twist or turn in the Clipse story.

In the meantime, I'll just have to put my top down, set my chrome spinning, and pay my own personal tribute to the glorious artistic achievement that is Lord Willin'.

Fortunately, Pusha T is coming on strong on the new G.O.O.D. Music releases, No Malice hasn't lost a step and a new Clipse album has been promised for 2013.

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