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No Malice: Clipse Reunion Is In 'Beginning Stages'
The rapper's solo debut, "Hear Ye Him," is tentatively set for a summer release.
Since Clipse went on hiatus following 2009's "Til the Casket Drops," the brothers behind some of last decade's most critically acclaimed rap releases took time to reinvent themselves. As a member of Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music, Pusha T caught more of the mainstream spotlight, but older brother No Malice (previously known as Malice) became a new man in his own right.
In a recent interview with Billboard, No Malice discussed his upcoming solo debut, as well as the prospects of a long-awaited Clipse reunion.
"It's definitely [in] beginning stages, but Pusha and I have some serious things that we’re talking about and coming to agreement on," said No Malice of a potential fourth Clipse album, which Pusha has hinted would be titled "As God As My Witness." "It’s a fitting title because pretty much everything that seems to be coming out has a religious theme... What I want the people to know is that, for me, this is not 'cool' -- this is not a trend. This is the working power of Jesus in my life."
Since Clipse's unreleased 2000 debut "Exclusive Audio Footage," religious themes and Biblical references have been present in the duo's rhymes, especially those of the elder Thornton brother. In his reinvention as No Malice, these topics come into much sharper focus.
Tentatively set for a June release via Re-Up Gang Records, No Malice's solo debut, "Hear Ye Him," will be rap fans' closest look at the Virginia-born rapper's post-Clipse self. He's already shared a video for confirmed track "Smoke and Mirrors" and recently completed a song with Pusha T called "Shame the Devil," which he calls "incredible." Appearances from Bun B and Ab-Liva, and production from the Neptunes' Chad Hugo, Illmind, and Symbolic One (S1) have also been announced.
The solo debut's subject matter will reflect the issues No Malice explored on his soul-searching 2011 book, "Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind, and Naked." "'Here Ye Him' is basically my take, my new direction," says No Malice. "A lot of people wonder if it was going to be gospel or Christian rap. I don’t really know what you would call this, but if you think anything’s soft about it, you’re going to have to wake up because I really believe there’s nothing touching this. It’s very real. "