Til The Casket Drops was a departure from the duo of Malice & Pusha Ts previous works in that it was their first LP not completely produced by The Neptunes. However, the celebrated team who brought us Grinding & Mr. Me Too still helmed 8 of the albums 13 tracks, thus dominating the soundscapes and aesthetic of the album anyway. With the remaining beats handled by Hitmen Sean C & LV (Jay-Z, Big Pun, Ghostface) and Aftermaths DJ Khalil (Kendrick Lamar, Aloe Blacc, Eminem) clearly Clipse stock hadnt lowered in the game. While boasting notable vocal features from Kanye West, Pharrell, Camron, Keri Hilson, Yo Gotti & their Re-Up Gang affiliate Ab-Liva, Casket Drops leaves ample space for the core emcee duo of Pusha & Malice to shine in the spotlight, with verses revolving around each other succinctly in-synch and bonded by an exceptional creative rhythm only biological brothers could share.
Clipse have always delighted in dualities, juxtapositions and contradictions, unabashedly celebrating the capitalistic lifestyle and the grind as the kings of coke-rap, while taking hard looks at societys mores and those of their own individual journeys. We hear Malices eventual transition to No Malice taking form on this album as he found religion, warning others who might follow in his path on Footsteps: dont let my wrongs give you the right of way/ to emulate my past escaping the laws grasp while refusing to be pinned down in one lane: it weights on my conscience and I hate conscious rap. Meanwhile Pusha T continues his lyrical ascent into the King Push persona with bars like pompous motherfucker, look what them jewels made me/ Im only finding comfort in knowing you cant replace me/ What a thing to say, but what am I to do/ Im role-playing a conscious nigga and true is true/ Cocaine aside, all of the bloggers behooved/ My critics finally have a verse of mine to jerk off to decisively on album opener Freedom.
Since it dropped, the Clipse have stated that Casket… is their final album together while subsequently alluding to the possibility of an eventual reunion. Only time will tell, but until then its time to re-celebrate one of hip hops most dynamic duos by hearing Til The Casket Drops in a whole new light with its long-overdue, first time on vinyl pressing via Get On Down featuring all 13 original tracks on wax and cover art by the legendary KAWS! Its kinda like a big deal…