The Clipse, "Til the Casket Drops" (Columbia)
The rap duo that brought you the 2002 trunk-thump anthem "Grindin'" has been doing a bit of that themselves since then, toiling in record label delays until finally getting around to their third album "Til the Casket Drops."
So is The Clipse back in full swing? Yes, and no.
There are a couple of radio-ready songs here worth putting on repeat. "I'm Good," the first official single off the album, is smooth around the edges with the help of Pharrell. It's breezier than most fare from The Clipse, and has a memorable hook that will keep the request lines buzzing into the new year.
And "Popular Demand (Popeyes)" has a great beat, over which the brotherly duo of Malice and Pusha rap about the comeback they feel is overdue.
But there's a lot of filler here as well. "All Eyes On Me" is a dance track with a Miami club feel. But the melody fights with the beat for attention, and the results sound like something that needed more mixing, or perhaps less noise.
There's an unpolished feel to "Til the Casket Drops." The talent is there, but it misses the mark and does little to cement The Clipse's comeback as anything more than one last chance.
CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: "There Was A Murder" is a good song about a neighborhood staying quiet about a murder when police come knocking. "Mum's the word, that's hustler's ettiquette/ You'd rather hang yourself than turn state's evidence" The Clipse raps. It comes off as an honest, way-of-life portrayal rather than an endorsement of making snitches pay for their loose lips.