The first hip-hop group signed to The Neptunes' newly formed Star Trak label in the early 2000s was a Virginia based duo known as The Clipse. The group's first single "Grindin'," impacted young people with its bare-boned but infectious drum beat in the same way that Run-DMC's "Sucker MCs" did almost two decades earlier. MCs Pusha T and Malice, combined with The Neptunes' groundbreaking production, sent a clear message to the rap world - "we are not the same" (as rapped by Malice on his opening verse on "Cot' Dam"). Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo were able to combine their electro-punk production with just the right group to create a street masterpiece. Following in the footsteps of such rap criminologists as Kool G Rap, Nas, Jay-Z and Mobb Deep, the Clipse offer a hustler's viewpoint, with clever, hard-hitting lyrics that are consistent throughout the album.
The album starts off pulling no punches. On the lead-off track, "Intro," you get a very personal testament of crack and the drug game, a recurring motif. Songs like "Virginia" or "I'm Not You" (featuring Jadakiss, Styles P and Roscoe P Coldchain) have lyrics that play as a musical notes alongside The Neptunes' tailored beats. "Young Boy" and "Comedy Central" fit perfectly alongside "When the Last Time" and "Cot Dam" as each song plays its part as chapters to the Lord Wilin' masterpiece. And the stand-out "Gangsta Lean" features a slightly lighter feel paired with Pharrell's trademark falsetto hook. All in all, each song on Lord Willin' - which was certified Gold - is essential to making it the classic that it. Fans can't deny that it sounds as good today as it did when it first hit in 2002.
1B) Young Boy
2B) Grindin' (Main)
3A) Cot Damn feat Ab-Liva & Roscoe
3B) Ma, I Don't Love Her feat Faith Evans
4A) Family Freestyle feat FamLay
4B) When The Last Time
5B) Comedy Central feat Fabulous
6A) Let's Talk About It (Jermaine Dupri feat Clipse)
6B) Gangsta Lean
7A) I'm Not You feat Jadakiss & Styles P of the Low & Roscoe P. Coldchain
7B) Grindin (Remix-Main) feat N.O.R.E., Baby & Lil Wayne