First came the not-quite news that the Clipse were in the studio with Rick Rubin (he was the one who signed them to Columbia, after all). Now that same Entertainment Weekly reporter, Simon Vozick-Levinson, has managed to actually hear the new Clipse single, which carries the very Kanye title “Kinda Like a Big Deal,” which it probably should, since West features on the record. Vozick-Levinson calls it the group’s “first bona fide party track in years,” which I find somewhat ominous (unless we’re talking about “Trill” here, that is). Taking very seriously his task of bringing news out of the session, Vozik-Levinson gives us this description:
That vibe starts with the beat, a burner courtesy of DJ Khalil that opens with a blazing electric guitar lick before falling into a wicked sampled organ, guitar, and drum groove. Pusha T leads off with some vintage braggadocio: “The third time’s the charm/After two classics, another stripe upon my arm.” Pusha also finds time to crow about “how it feel to blow a hundred thou in a recession/With no second-guessing.” Recession rap this ain’t. Next up is Kanye, who delivers a swaggering verse that will remind listeners of how great he is when he actually raps. If Kanye’s lyrics comparing himself to “the black Marshall, mixed with Jay” are any hint, maybe he’s planning to get back to rapping full-time soon, lord willing. (Trivia note: I’m pretty sure I recognized a couple of Kanye’s punchlines, like the one mentioning “alligator souffle,” from a verse Yeezy spit on an early version of T.I.’s “On Top of the World” that I heard last year.) Pusha’s brother Malice follows with a sick verse of his own. Clever lyrics (of course), a tight beat, and a Kanye cameo: All in all, this single should make for a strong reintroduction for the Clipse.
Another bit of news here: the Neptunes seem to be on board for at least half of the album’s production–good news given that the Clipse-Pharrell connection has been one of rap’s absolute best in the ’00s. The single is due March 9, a day that also happens to be the twelvth anniversary of Biggie’s death.