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Holy Sh*t, It’s Been 10 Years Since Clipse Dropped “Lord Willin”Posted by Nathan S. on 08/09/12 | Filed under Opinion, Pusha T, Clipse, Malice
While "Hell Hath No Fury" is easily the Clipse's better album, and an outright classic, you really can't understate the impact that "Lord Willin" had. Pharrell had firmly established himself as a hitmaker, and yet here he was doing an entire album with two relatively unknown dudes from Virginia.
To honor the occasion the good folks at Life + Times sat down with Pusha Ton for a look back at the making of "Lord Willin", and they unearthed some gems:
Life+ Times: Let’s start with the intro track—it’s still devastating all of these years later. What was the intent there?
Pusha T: Whatever you hear first sets the tone of the album. It was really about establishing identity, and, like, putting our flag in the ground. We basically wanted people to understand and know where we were coming from—no one had ever seen this side of Virginia before. We knew that this music was a bit newer. Even though we had The Neptunes on our side and they were everything at the time, our criteria for The Clipse was outside of what The Neptunes were doing. Our first record out was “Grindin’.” This was at a time when Pharrell was hot, the Neptunes were hot. He was on every hook from Nelly to Mystikal, everybody. And we have a hook where he’s actually not on it. The intro…it basically set the tone for all of those maneuvers and moves. It was just like, “This is what we are, we’re different. This is the streets, this is Virginia, this is new, this is risk-taking.” Playas, we ain’t the same. You know.
L+T: When you first heard “Grindin’,” did you expect it to be a staple of lunchrooms everywhere?
PT: I didn’t, but it was a record that I knew was gonna be way too innovative. I think it was probably the first time I rewrote a record—and a record that me and my brother honestly rewrote a couple of times—just because it was unorthodox, it was new. We were like, “Wait a minute, where does the beat start? Where’s the verse? Where’s the hook at?” It really threw us for a loop.
The way it was presented to me…I was actually home and Pharrell was in the studio and he called me and he was like, “Listen. Get up here right now. Get up here right now—I’ve got this record and if you’re not up here in 15 minutes I’m just giving it to JAY Z. I am. I’m giving it to him. If you’re not here in 15 minutes…I know you’re home. You’re home. You’re home. Your house is 10 minutes from here. That means you’ve got five minutes to get ready and get over here. If not, I’m giving it to Jay.” I couldn’t really deal with that. And I was there, needless to say, in 13 minutes (laughs).
Pharrell was going to give "Grindin" to Jay? That sounds like a bluff to me, I can't hear Hova over that beat, but who knows how things might have shaken out. In an alternate universe "Gridin" could have been the lead single off "The Blueprint 2". Damn I love thinking about these hypotheticals.
To read the entire interview on Life + Times, click here.
See Also: Because I F**King Want To….Clipse’s “Hell Hath No Fury” (Listen)