Clipse
Lord Willin'


3.5
great

Review

by Iluvatar EMERITUS
December 29th, 2006 | 45 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Lord Willin'" is a strong debut by two talented rappers who don't reach their full potential, but are saved by the fact its one of the most interesting and well produced albums of the past 5 years.

The Neptunes are an oddity. It’s not like they produce that much good material; sure, their have been a few big singles they’ve made that were more than flash and fluff, but their reputation is seemingly largely undeserved. Then you remember arguably one of the most memorable hip hop beats of all time; “Grindin’.” Even though it may have been the most overplayed song of 2002, its hard to deny how infectious the beat is. Sure, the rappers that Pharrell threw in with the beat weren’t that great, how could you deny the song as soon as the song breaks down during the bridge"

The Clipse are essentially a collaboration between rapper brothers Malice and Pusha T and the Neptunes. The first release on The Neptunes label, Lord Willin’ carried quite a few high expectations with it, and it was half fulfilled. Released during the a huge period of popularity for hip hop, it could have very well been the savior of popular modern hip hop; an intelligent gangsta rap album with incredibly original and experimental beats. Upon first listen, it becomes apparent how close Lord Willin’ comes to reaching this goal.

Pusha T and Malice are incredibly similar rappers. Similar in nearly every aspect (sound, delivery, songwriting; they’re pretty much identical in everyway except hairstyle), they don’t ever really create an emcee interplay in the vein of one of their most obvious influences, the Wu Tang Clan. They’re both strong rappers, having a cold and harsh delivery that suit’s the material quite well. Pusha T does seem to have a better ear for catchy rhymes; his verse in “Ma, I Don’t Love Her” is one of the few times on the album where either of the duo seem to be writing specifically to hook the listener in.

They still never really ever show any flair on the mic, though. For all the machismo, they lack the charisma to really get you into what they’re saying. Generally un-emotional, it often seems as though they’re just imparting a story they heard second hand on you. It doesn’t help that nearly all of the guest rappers and singers are some of the most honest rappers/singers in the business; Ab-Liva is one of the most underrated cats in the game, and he completely shows up the brothers on “Cot Damn.” Faith Evans on the previously mentioned “Ma I Don’t Love Her” does similarly, causing an originally dead song to have life again. While their may be an excessive amount of guests, it ultimately helps save the album from the monotony of Malice and Pusha T’s rapping.

Lyrically, the duo are above average. Their main weakness is they trap themselves in their own image; most of the album focuses on the same subject material of running drugs, the gangsta lifestyle, and how they cap bitches on a regular basis. They do keep it interesting; taking a storyteller stance on most of it may effect some of the impact, but makes it a fresh change from the general gangsta subject matter in rap. However, when they deviate from that and turn to even more cliché subject matter (bitches and cash), it gets even worse. There’s really no way to save a song that talks about how kickass their lives are…unless you supply a beat as sick as the beat to “Grindin’” is.

The albums saving grace is the incredible production of the Neptunes. Half of their reputation as innovative producers has to be attributed to this album; a good mix of synth’s and samples and the occasional live drum beat thrown in, nearly every song on here is memorable. While the drum claps on “Grindin’” may be the most easily recognizable aspect of the album, its hard to deny the scratching on “When the Last Time” isn’t supremely catchy, or the string samples on “Gangsta Lean.” Half of the songs on the album would otherwise be forgettable if not for the great beats and hooks supplied by Pharrell and the Neptunes. While the emcee duo try to stay far away from hooks, Pharrell regular contributes a strong one to the songs. “Young Boy” is probably where this is most apparent, when Pharrell says “Motherfucker/Nigga I don’t mind” over horns and a great bassline, its hard to deny how strange and plainly awesome the Neptunes are on this album.

Overall, the album is great. The duo are strong, if uninspired, rappers and show plenty of potential for improvement in the future. The guest spots do generally improve the album, while the production is as experimental as a mainstream hip hop album is going to get. While they would vastly improve on nearly every aspect on Hell Hath No Fury, Clipse provide a strong debut on Lord Willin’ that, while not the genre re-defining it could have been, is incredibly enjoyable and memorable.

Standout Tracks
“Young Boy”
“Grindin’”
“Cot Damn”
“When the Last Time”



Recent reviews by this author
Say Anything HebrewsWashboard Leo Thomas Louisiana Bluegrass
Crusades Perhaps You Deliver This Judgement...Against Me! Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Los Campesinos! No BluesArcade Fire Reflektor
user ratings (164)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Oddsen
December 29th 2006


1127 Comments


Good review. From what I've heard of these guys hasn't impressed me very much.

Neoteric
December 29th 2006


3243 Comments


Kewl stuffz right here.

The Jungler
December 29th 2006


4826 Comments


Very nice review and stuff.
Everyones raving about the new CD, but the singles off it aren't all that great (Except Mr. Me Too, that song's pretty tight). I might check out some stuff, but not tonight.

Intransit
December 29th 2006


2797 Comments


Poseur. I started the chain of 3 hip hop reviews. Good review, but I'm not big on Clipse tbqh.

metallicaman8
December 29th 2006


4677 Comments


Shitty review.

Pos'd

Intransit
December 30th 2006


2797 Comments


bitch yous a trick

Apocalyptic Raids
March 18th 2007


810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

great album, but Hell Hath No Fury is a huge step up for them.



Still, there are some fantastic tracks here.

Apocalyptic Raids
October 22nd 2007


810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

grindin is so fucking good

bigfave
November 26th 2007


32 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Replace "Young Boy" with "Comedy Central" in the standout tracks.

random
June 2nd 2011


2724 Comments


OK, who did the beat to Grindin' on school desks or tables when it first came out?

Digging: Bright Eyes - Letting Off the Happiness

Inveigh
August 17th 2011


26527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like this basically as much as Hell Hath No Fury, maybe even more

gabethepiratesquid
December 13th 2011


4522 Comments


This is very close to a 4 for me. But I'm surprised you didn't quote or refer to Malice's lyrics in I'm Not You, when he struggles with the guilt of pushing weight and ruining lives, but he knows that if he doesn't, someone else will.

jefflebowski
December 13th 2011


8573 Comments


Hell Hath No Fury slays this apart from Grindin'

gabethepiratesquid
December 13th 2011


4522 Comments


For me it's Hell Hath no Fury = (or barely beats) We Got it 4 Cheap Vol. 2 > Lord Willin' >>> nobody should really care about anything else.

and it's kind of cool that even though these guys obviously weren't Scarfaces or Virginia kingpins, they actually moved yayo and they're not trying to play like they are like uh...Rick Ross.

jefflebowski
December 13th 2011


8573 Comments


haha, rick ross.

I'd agree with the ranking, though I think the rapping is best on We Got It 4 Cheap, i generally prefer Hell Hath because of the awesome music

Inveigh
June 30th 2012


26527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ugh this is so good

gabethepiratesquid
June 30th 2012


4522 Comments


that last verse in I'm Not You >>

DotEight
December 17th 2012


5704 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love this album.

DotEight
January 24th 2013


5704 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Comedy Central is that jam.

oltnabrick
May 27th 2013


36500 Comments


My Momma always told me don't take no shit

Digging: Marianne Faithfull - Broken English



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy