The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday January 20th

Music review: Til the Casket Drops

Dive gives 4 of 5 stars
Buy Photos Dive gives 4 of 5 stars

Til The Casket Drops

Only Pyrex pairs better with cocaine than Clipse.

The Virginia duo doesn’t stray far from its synthed-up, drug-referencing formula on Til the Casket Drops, except to welcome in a few new producers onto the tracklist.

DJ Khalil supplies three tracks to Sean C & LV’s two and the Neptunes’ eight. The  invasive drum and guitar arrangements by Khalil on “Kinda Like a Big Deal” only instigate the already volatile nature of the Thornton brothers’ delivery and his “There Was a Murder” borrows from Jamaican dancehalls to create another cynical street tale worthy of a Clipse label.

Intro “Freedom,” a Sean C & LV joint, is also an archetypal ominous Clipse cut that reaches an acme around intermittent snares and strings until the pressing verses and beat drop out and cue the album’s standout, “Popular Demand (Popeyes)” featuring equally streetwise emcee Cam’ron.

Production-wise, the Neptunes still own Clipse. Hearing Cam exchange bars of braggadocio with Clipse atop a staccato piano and whiny trumpet instrumental is like hearing “Grindin’” for the first time. Your iTunes will have 50 plays on it before any other has 10.

And while the Neptunes might go overboard on manufacturing singles, hearing Clipse alter their flows to appease “All Eyes on Me” and “Counseling” remind us that they can do more than bark witty adlibs from street corners.

The duo is stuck between newer collaborators bringing them back to where they started, and old cronies trying to move them away from it, leaving Clipse in a somewhat uncomfortable middle ground. But like the Predator, the duo has the talent to adapt to its surroundings, salvaging any otherwise questionable track.



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The Daily Tar Heel for December 1, 2021

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