meta-scriptBlackbear Talks New EP ‘Misery Lake,’ Dream Collab With BTS, Making Music For His Mental Health & Fatherhood | GRAMMY.com
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Blackbear Talks New EP ‘Misery Lake,’ Dream Collab With BTS, Making Music For His Mental Health & Fatherhood

The Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter blackbear caught up with GRAMMY.com ahead of his new six-song project, 'misery lake'

GRAMMYs/Aug 12, 2021 - 11:47 pm

Like many of us, blackbear spent the seamless string of early pandemic-filled months holed up indoors, battling the feelings of isolation and anxiety brought on COVID-19. Unlike many of his fans, though, the Los Angeles-based artist, singer and hit songwriter emerged from last year's quarantine period with two new projects: his fifth studio album everything means nothing and new EP misery lake, which he's releasing tomorrow, August 13.

"It's about isolation–it's basically about quarantine and how you can feel loopy and you can feel happy and you can feel horrible all at the same time," he told GRAMMY.com over the phone.

blackbear spent the weeks leading up to the August release of everything means nothing surfing through Los Angeles Airbnbs, where he wrote and recorded what would turn out to be his two latest projects. Creating music at those rental homes became the mental health escape he needed from the pandemic, he explained.

"We recorded the whole everything means nothing album at probably three different [Airbnb] houses and then, for my mental health, I was like I need to just keep getting houses and keep recording," he said. "So I was like, let's do another project; what could it hurt?"

The result was misery lake–a six-song EP that encapsulates the feelings of loneliness and longing of 2020 in the melancholy-drenched yet undeniably catchy way that only blackbear's music can.

Now, arriving in a post-quarantine world, the EP translates into heartbroken bangers with edgy-pop production that fans will soon be screaming back to blackbear as he tours the U.S. this fall. The 33-stop trek with Maroon 5, which kicked off in Washington earlier this week, is just one of the positive things 2021 has brought the 30-year-old. Earlier this year, blackbear became engaged to his girlfriend Michele Maturo and in January, the couple celebrated their son Midnight's first birthday. The tot's voice can be heard on the outro of misery Lake's "bad day."

"It wakes me up in the morning," blackbear said of being a first-time dad. "It's a reason to keep going and to keep showing up for myself and to be a good example for my son."

Speaking with GRAMMY.com a week before releasing misery lake, blackbear opened up about writing and recording music to protect his mental health, how fatherhood inspires him, his love for BTS, recent cross-genre collaborations and more. After linking back up with his Mansionz collaborator Mike Posner for their single "Jealousy" earlier this year, blackbear also offers fans an update on what's next for the duo. Read his full interview below.

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misery lake is your first project since last year's everything means nothing and it's your first EP since 2017's Salt. Did you set out to make an EP or did it start with "u love u" with Tate McRae and kind of build from there?

 After everything means nothing, I kept wanting to get these writing houses. We kept recording in Airbnbs in L.A. County because my studio is under construction right now, so we were getting Airbnbs and just setting up speakers and microphones in there. [They were] pretty nice places, too. We recorded the whole everything means nothing album at probably three different houses and then, for my mental health, I was like I need to just keep getting houses and keep recording. So I was like, let's do another project; what could it hurt?

Was writing and recording music a good mental health release for you during the weirdness of quarantine?

For sure. The whole underlying theme of the EP is isolation and just feeling so alone. The first track is called "alone in a room full of people" to give you an idea, and it's just kind of a lonely EP, but it actually makes me feel good, too, at the same time.

What was that experience like, recording music in these different houses? I know a lot of artists usually like recording at home or in their studio where they feel most comfortable. Was it different being in these new places?

Yeah, at every house, we just had to kind of feel it out. You can't really tell from the pictures–every house looks nice on Airbnb.com. And then when you get there, you find a good couple houses and you stick to those. We had like two houses that we really liked, where we made everything means nothing in and all of misery lake in.

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Where did the title misery lake come from?

It's about isolation–it's basically about quarantine and how you can feel loopy and you can feel happy and you can feel horrible all at the same time. I really felt like I was in this imaginary place and I started tagging [the location of] my photos on Instagram as "Misery Island," "Misery Lake" and stuff like that, and I was like, you know what? I love that for a title. Maybe my next EP will be called Sorrow Forest.

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"@ my worst" has to be my favorite song on the project. What was the story behind that track?

It was one of our writing trip days and I think we were writing for other artists; I don't think we were writing for blackbear at the time. It just came out, and it was the first time I sat with [the song's co-producer] Andrew [Goldstein] and just really let it all come out. I was feeling a lot at that time. A lot of mental health [stuff] going on, a lot of anxiety.

It came out in a really beautiful way. Like you said, the EP is a lot of isolation and heartbreak, but you've been celebrating lots of good things this year. Your son turned 1 and you recently became engaged. How does your family and being a dad impact your music?

It wakes me up in the morning. It's a reason to keep going and to keep showing up for myself and to be a good example for my son. I just want to be the kind of dad that shows him how to be a man and how to take care of business and really just trust in yourself and trust in the process. I wanna set a good example, and I think that's what it's done for me.

You can hear your son cry at the end of "bad day," which is really cute. What made you want to add that to the track?

We heard him downstairs and he was crying in-key. I was like, "He's going to be a singer." I went down there with my phone and recorded an audio note and that ended up making it onto the song. We didn't autotune it at all. He sang a perfect A major.

That's so cute! Is he already dancing or responding to music?

When we get in the car all he says is, "Dada. Dada. Dada." And he'll cry until Dada's music comes on. He doesn't wanna hear any other artist, it's insane. He's my biggest fan.

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misery lake has that classic blackbear sound, but you've been having a lot of success lately crossing into other genres. For example, what was it like working with Kane Brown on "Memory"?

It was so fundamental for me to work with Kane Brown. I just wanted so badly to work with him. He's my favorite country artist out – besides Sam Hunt. I really like Sam Hunt as well. But Kane Brown especially because he's so versatile, and I love the direction he's moving in with his music. He's open to pop records and he's very open to experiment. He doesn't mind being the different one in the crowd and I love that.

Jungkook from BTS also recently covered your song "smile again" and I saw you gave him a shoutout for the cover on Twitter. Would you be open to collaborating with him or BTS?

I keep sending songs for BTS to cut. That's all I want! All I want is for them to take one of my songs, but I guess I just haven't written the right one yet. I'm just gonna keep trying, 'cause I've already sent them like three songs. I'm really trying really hard. Besides Ariana Grande, BTS is the other artist that I really wanna write for.

Read: Annika Wells On Writing For BTS, Her Advice For Singer/Songwriters & The Secret Value Of Making People Mad

Earlier this year you and Mike Posner reunited to drop "Jealousy." Have you guys been working on anything else lately? Maybe a Mansionz Part II?

We have been working on Mansionz music but not Mansionz Part II officially yet. We've been sending ideas back and forth and when the time's right, when I'm off tour and he's done climbing whatever mountain he's on now. He already summited Mt. Everest; I think he's on another mountain now. He was also talking about going to space. So, as soon as he's done with those endeavors, we'll probably find some time. Both of our schedules have to pan out and we both have big dreams – they're very different dreams, but they're big dreams.

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Like you said, you're getting ready to head out on tour for what will be your first string of shows since before the pandemic. Are you excited to get back out there?

I'm so worried that I'm not in shape enough, but yes. I've been running three miles a day and singing my set and just trying to prepare. Getting IV drips at the house with all the vitamins and everything, just trying not to get sick. My son has the stomach flu, so you know. I've just been in total preparation-mode, like really eating right and drinking my protein shakes. I'm just trying to be prepared for this tour because it's gonna be a big stage and it's gonna knock the wind out of me.

Have you been prepping with Maroon 5 at all? What's that like to get ready to go on tour with them?

I've been prepping over text with Adam Levine. He's been sending me his outfits back and forth so we can coordinate to not dress too similar. And we're making sure that we don't have the same color hair on tour–that's a big thing. [Laughs.] I think he has green hair right now, so I'm not gonna go green. I told him I might want to do pink and he was like, "I want pink." So, I'm just gonna stay blonde.

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You collaborated with Maroon 5 on their album JORDI too, so there's got to be a good chemistry there already.

Yeah, JORDI was such a great album. There's no skips for me.

Earlier this summer you also partnered with the CBD beverage company VYBES to release your own drink that you've said helped you cope with symptoms from your chronic pancreatitis. How have you been doing health-wise?

I get flare-ups a couple times a week and I get an attack probably once a month, but I've been managing it to the best of my ability. I've had to cancel a couple [recording] sessions, but everybody's been really cool. Benny Blanco understood. He was really nice and he rescheduled [our session] about a month later and we made an amazing song together. It's just about managing it and managing my stress because stress is a really big trigger for pancreatitis. So, I've just been trying to keep my stress down and live a stress-free life.

Has it been challenging preparing for a physically-demanding tour?

For sure, there's been a lot of days where I couldn't get out of bed to go work out. So, it's been challenging for sure. But hopefully I can inspire somebody else with chronic illness.

Your fans will definitely appreciate finally getting to see you perform again, too!

That's the first thing I'm gonna say on stage, "I'm back fu**ing outside!"

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Blxst press photo
Blxst

Photo: Amy Lee

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5 Rising L.A. Rappers To Know: Jayson Cash, 310babii & More

From San Diego to the Bay Area, Seattle and beyond, the West Coast bursts with talent. Los Angeles is at the heart of this expanse, and these five rappers are just a few who are showcasing the vibrant sounds of West Coast hip-hop.

GRAMMYs/Jul 15, 2024 - 01:36 pm

GRAMMY winners Kendrick Lamar and Mustard have long repped their California roots. Earlier this summer, their powerhouse anthem "Not Like Us"  brought West Coast rap back to its roots and shone a global spotlight on the scene. 

Lamar and Mustard are at the forefront of a renaissance in West Coast rap. Their shared roots in Southern California cities — Mustard from Los Angeles and Kendrick from Compton — adds authenticity and resonance to their partnership. Their undeniable chemistry was on display in the video for "Not Like Us," which received a million views less than an hour after its release.

Mustard's signature beats and Lamar's profound lyricism has resurfaced the sound and culture that makes West Coast rap so unique and paved the way for a new generation of artists. All signs suggest that another impactful collaboration may appear on Mustard's upcoming album, Faith of A Mustard Seed.

Learn more: A Guide To Southern California Hip-Hop: Definitive Releases, Artists & Subgenres From L.A. & Beyond

Kendrick Lamar headlined the electrifying Pop Out concert on Juneteenth, which also featured sets from Mustard and DJ Hed. The event saw a handful of L.A. rappers, opening for Lamar in a showcase of  the vibrant talent that defines the region's rap scene.

The West Coast is a vast reservoir of talent, stretching from the Bay Area to Seattle. At the heart of this creative expanse is Los Angeles, which brings fresh perspectives, innovative styles, and renewed energy to hip-hop, ensuring the genre thrives. With the stage set for these newcomers to shine, it's the perfect time to take a closer look at some of the rising talents poised to impact the rap scene. While this list only scratches the surface, it offers a glimpse into the diverse and exciting talent from SoCal, the epicenter of the West.

Blxst

Arising from Los Angeles, Blxst initially played the background as a producer but soon demonstrated his ability to excel across all facets of music creation. Blxst's breakout moment came with his platinum-certified single "Chosen," which solidified his place in the music industry. His collaboration on Kendrick Lamar's "Die Hard" from Mr. Morale And The Big Steppers further showcased his skill for crafting hooks that elevate tracks, resulting in two GRAMMY nominations.

As he prepares to release his debut album, I'll Always Come Find You on July 19, Blxst stands at a pivotal point in his career. With a great resume already to his name, his forthcoming album promises to showcase his undeniable talent and leave a lasting impact on the West Coast music scene.

Bino Rideaux

Bino Rideaux is a South Central native and frequent collaborator with the GRAMMY-winning rapper Nipsey Hussle. He is the only artist to have a joint project with Hussle, No Pressure, released before the prolific rapper's untimely death. Rideaux has hinted at having a treasure of unreleased music with Hussle, saved for the perfect moment and album.

Rideaux  is known for creating tracks that get the city outside and dancing. He has made three beloved projects with Blxst, titled Sixtape, Sixtape 2, and Sixtape 3 resulting in sold-out shows and a special place in West Coast Rap fans' hearts. Endorsed by industry heavyweights like Young Thug, Rideaux continues to carve his path at his own pace. His journey is nothing short of a marathon, echoing the enduring legacy of his mentor.

Read more: Nipsey Hussle's Entrepreneurial Legacy: How The Rapper Supported His Community & Inspired Rap's Next Generation

Kalan.FrFr

Kalan.FrFr, whose name stands for "For Real For Real," is an artist whose music is as genuine as his name suggests. Growing up in Compton and Carson, Kalan.FrFr has always stayed true to his roots, and exudes the unyielding confidence essential to making it in the City of Angels.

His breakthrough mixtape, TwoFr, showcased his ability to shine without major features, delivering verses with catchy hooks and melodic rap. He's shown he's not confined to one sound, delivering vulnerable tracks like "Going Through Things'' and "Never Lose You." His EP Make the West Great Again, Kalan.FrFr both proves his loyalty to his origins and highlights his versatility. Kalan.FrFr's signature punch-in, no-writing-lyrics-down style keeps his fans on their toes, ensuring that whatever comes next is unpredictable but authentic.

Jayson Cash

Jayson Cash, a rapper hailing from Carson — the same city as TDE artist Ab-Soul — stays true to West Coast rap, from his lyrics to his beat selection. Listening to Jayson Cash's music is like diving into a vivid life narrative. His prowess as a lyricist and storyteller shines through in every verse. He gives his fans an insight into his journey, making it a relatable music experience.

Cash made waves with his debut mixtape, Read The Room, and scored a Mustard beat on the song "Top Down." Two years later, their collaboration continues, with Cash writing on Mustard's upcoming album. Though often seen as an underdog, Cash is not to be underestimated, earning cosigns from West Coast legends like Suga Free and Snoop Dogg. His latest project, Alright Bet, includes a notable feature from Dom Kennedy.

310babii

310babii has achieved platinum-selling status at just 18 years old, while successfully graduating high school.  Yet 310babii's career began in seventh grade, when he recording songs on his phone showing early signs of motivation and creativity. His 2023 breakout hit "Soak City (Do It)" quickly gained traction on TikTok — and caught the ears of Travis Scott and NFL player CJ Stroud.

As the song grew in popularity, it led to a remix produced by Mustard, who invited the Inglewood native to join him onstage during his set at The Pop Out. 310babii's innovative spirit shines through in his distinctive visuals, exemplified by the captivating video for his song "Back It Up." His recent debut album, Nights and Weekends, released in February, underscores his evolving talent and promise within the music industry.

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GRAMMY Museum Partners With HYBE For K-Pop Exhibit graphic featuring artist names and exhibit opening date

Graphic courtesy of the GRAMMY Museum

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GRAMMY Museum Partners With HYBE For New K-Pop Exhibit 'HYBE: We Believe In Music' Opening Aug. 2

Running Aug. 2 through Sept. 15, the GRAMMY Museum exhibit showcases artifacts from superstar HYBE artists, including BTS, SEVENTEEN, TOMORROW X TOGETHER, ENHYPEN, LE SSERAFIM, and many more.

GRAMMYs/Jul 9, 2024 - 01:09 pm

The GRAMMY Museum joins forces with HYBE to present its newest exhibit, HYBE: We Believe In Music, A GRAMMY Museum Exhibit. This interactive exhibit chronicles the history and impact of HYBE, and showcases its legacy of unparalleled innovation and creativity as a trend-setting global entertainment brand.

The exhibit opens on Aug. 2 in downtown Los Angeles and features spotlight moments with K-pop stars BTS, SEVENTEEN, TOMORROW X TOGETHER, ENHYPEN, LE SSERAFIM, and many more. "HYBE: We Believe In Music" runs through Sept.15. The exhibit will kick off on Aug. 1 with "Global Spin Live: TWS," a program featuring a moderated conversation with K-pop group TWS, followed by a performance.

The exhibit traces HYBE's evolution and influence by showcasing instantly recognizable artifacts from its roster of artists, creators, and fans. The displays notably feature original outfits worn in iconic music videos such as "Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment)" by BTS, "MAESTRO" by SEVENTEEN, "Sugar Rush Ride" by TOMORROW X TOGETHER, "Sweet Venom" by ENHYPEN, and "EASY" by LE SSERAFIM. HYBE: We Believe In Music also boasts accessories and performance gear donned by ZICO, fromis_9, BOYNEXTDOOR, TWS, &TEAM, and ILLIT. The exhibit marks the first time these artifacts will be on display together in one location.

Other highlights include interactive sing-along and dance rooms, a dedicated Fan Section celebrating the endless support between HYBE artists and their fandoms, a Mono to Immersive room featuring BTS's 2022 GRAMMYs performance of "Butter," and a Photoism Booth that allows visitors to pose alongside their favorite K-pop artists.  The GRAMMY Museum exhibit will also feature exclusive video content with producers, artists, music videos, and more.

"HYBE and their artists represent the present and future of the global music landscape, and our goal with this exhibit is to deepen the appreciation and respect for its creators and performers," says Michael Sticka, President/CEO of the GRAMMY Museum. "HYBE has contributed to creating a playground of innovation that inspires fandoms that transcend age, gender, geography and beyond. The GRAMMY Museum is thrilled to provide a space where fans can express their love for K-pop and feel closer to their favorite idols."

Read more: 11 Rookie K-Pop Acts To Know In 2024: NCT Wish, RIIZE, Kiss Of Life & More

HYBE Chief Operating Officer Taeho Kim added, "Putting out an exhibition that captures HYBE's journey is a new experience for us. We're very excited about this partnership with GRAMMY Museum, and we look forward to welcoming music fans who visit the museum to enjoy and connect with our historical pieces."

The exhibit highlights the roots of HYBE's meteoric rise. In 2005, South Korean producer, composer, and songwriter Bang Si-Hyuk, known as "hitman" Bang, changed the trajectory of Korean pop music by launching the record label Big Hit Entertainment. He soon signed a talented 16-year-old rapper named RM, which became the first step in creating the label's groundbreaking boy band — BTS. With the group's global success, "hitman" Bang and Big Hit Entertainment became known as musical trailblazers and record industry innovators. Big Hit Entertainment has now evolved into HYBE, which only continues to break boundaries in music and beyond.

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Megan Thee Stallion performs during 2024 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival on June 16, 2024 in Manchester, Tennessee
Megan Thee Stallion performs at 2024 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival

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6 Takeaways From Megan Thee Stallion's 'Megan': Snakes, Shots & Self-Assurance

From the serpentine theme to Japanese rhyme schemes, Megan Thee Stallion's third album snatches back her own narrative and isn't afraid to take a bite.

GRAMMYs/Jun 28, 2024 - 06:07 pm

Beware of venom: Megan Thee Stallion is not biting her tongue on her new album, simply titled Megan.

The GRAMMY winner's first full-length release in two years is also the first to drop under her own control. Fans have been ready for this release even before the first single, "Cobra," came out in November. The second single, "Hiss," followed in January and brought the star her first No. 1 hit on the Billboard’s Hot 100 and Global 200 charts. These songs, as well as the third single, "BOA," foreshadowed a certain slithery theme that helped shape the album.

Megan was released on June 28 and features guest stars such as GloRilla, Victoria Monét, Big K.R.I.T. and Kyle Richh as well as her longtime ace producers like Juicy J (who made "Hot Girl Summer" among other calling cards) and LilJuMadeDaBeat, who produced Stallion anthems like "Big Ole Freak," "Body" and "Thot S—."

Here’s what we learned from listening and vibing to the latest work by three-time GRAMMY winner Megan Thee Stallion.

A Theme Snakes Through Megan

As could have easily been predicted from the first three singles "Cobra," "Hiss" and "BOA," and now the album track "Rattle," there is a hint of a snake theme that wends its way through the album from beginning ("Hiss") to end ("Cobra").

In several songs, she denounces all the snake behavior that she has encountered from former lovers, friends, and haters who support those who have caused actual harm to her. In the music video for "Cobra," Megan literally sheds her old skin to reveal a shining new layer.

Megan Is Calling The Shots This Time 

"I feel like Biggie, 'Who Shot Ya?’/But everybody know who shot me, bitch/ So now, let’s stop speaking on the topic," she rapped in "Who Me (feat. Pooh Shiesty)" off her 2022 album Traumazine. MTS was referencing the July 2020 incident in which rapper Tory Lanez shot her in the foot, and was subsequently charged with assault with a semiautomatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle. 

Turns out, she wasn’t done referencing the topic. Now, she’s one taking the shots. MTS takes aim at less-talented women rappers on "Figueroa" (named for a Los Angeles street known for prostitution), and at Lanez on "Rattle," when she suggests that his male supporters should schedule a conjugal visit with him in prison. (Lanez is currently serving a 10-year sentence while simultaneously going through a divorce with wife Raina Chassagne.)

More Megan Thee Stallion News & Videos

Inspiration Comes From Everywhere

The star and her collaborators incorporate unexpected musical influences on Megan via creative sampling. Megan Thee Stallion speeds up and flips Teena Marie's 1984 ballad "Out on a Limb" for "B.A.S." a song she co-produced with her longtime ally LilJuMadeDaBeat. "BOA" is cleverly crafted from sounds in the first solo hit by Gwen Stefani, 2004’s "What You Waiting For?" 

UGK are reunited from across the heavenly divide on the Juicy J-produced "Paper Together," with Bun B contributing new work and the late Pimp C joining in lyrical spirit. This is especially significant when considering that Juicy J produced "Intl’ Players Anthem (I Choose You)," UGK’s 2007 hit with Outkast. Juicy J also made the beats for Megan’s famous song "Hot Girl Summer." 

That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to samples waiting to be discovered on Megan. There are many more riffs and other musical notions that the sample bank in our brains have yet to detect.

Self-Love Is Queen 

Whether she’s affirming, "I’m worthy, not worthless" on "Worthy," or literally touching herself in the auto-erotic "Down Stairs DJ" (which joins masturbation masterpieces like Divinyls’ "I Touch Myself" and Tweet’s "Oops"), Megan is grounded in songs that promote self-love as the best kind of love. 

She does admit that this is sometimes a challenge to embody, as when she talks about lingering depression on "Moody Girl." But the album generally moves towards the light.

She Loves Japan 

One of the big surprises on Megan is that she raps in two languages. She rhymes beautifully in Japanese on "Mamushi" with Yuki Chiba, a seasoned rapper from Japan who is influenced by the Southern swag. (Just take a look at the Memphis moves and Houston rhyme schemes of his viral song "Team Tomodachi."

On "Otaku Hot Girl," she raps about the manga series "Naruto" and drops other anime references to show her love of Japanese pop culture. 

Learn more: 10 Neo J-Pop Artists Breaking The Mold In 2024: Fujii Kaze, Kenshi Yonezu & Others 

Megan's Game Is Tight 

Megan is the first album to be released on Megan Thee Stallion’s own label. It follows her split from 1501 Certified Entertainment, a record label with which she was engaged in a protracted and ugly legal battle for earnings. 

She now has the muscle of the major label Warner Brothers as a partner for her independent venture, Hot Girl Productions. She also recorded an Amazon Original song called "It’s Prime Day" for a commercial, as well as an exclusive Amazon edition of Megan

It’s safe to say that this album represents a new level of business freedom and acumen for Megan Thee Stallion.

PRIDE & Black Music Month: Celebrating LGBTQIA+ & Black Voices

Clipse perform onstage during the BET Hip Hop Awards 2022 at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on September 30, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia
Clipse perform in 2022

Photo: Terence Rushin/Getty Images

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Everything We Know About Clipse's First Album In 15 Years: Pusha T And Malice Rise Again

While there's no title or release date for the new Clipse album, brothers Pusha T and Malice have teased the essence of the project, including a preview of their first new song, "Birds Don’t Sing," since 2009.

GRAMMYs/Jun 21, 2024 - 06:02 pm

Legendary Virginia Beach rap duo Clipse have mostly been on ice since 2009's Til the Casket Drops — and that decade and a half off ends now.

The duo, composed of brothers and rap phenoms Pusha T and Malice, is back with a new, John-Legend-featuring song, "Birds Don't Sing," from a reunion project whose title has yet to be disclosed. Listen to a preview of the new song, their first new track as the Clipse since 2009, below.

It's bracing to hear purveyors of witty, sneakily profound coke raps get real about the deaths of their parents: "Lost in emotion, mama's youngest / Tryna navigate life without my compass," King Push raps at the outset. "Some experience death and feel numbness / But not me, I felt it all and couldn't function.”

It only gets realer from there: "You told me that you loved me, it was all in your tone / 'I love my two sons' was the code to your phone," Malice raps in his verse. If "Birds Don't Sing" is any indication, Clipse's first album in forever will be illuminating indeed.

We don't know much about the "Grindin'" hitmakers' reunion album, other than what Pusha T and Malice revealed in a wide-ranging Vulture interview. But for hip-hop fans, the breadcrumbs they dropped are enticing indeed.

It Will Reflect The Clipse's Maturation

Pusha T is vocal about hating the Pharrell-produced Til The Casket Drops, which has always left their story hanging. They seem to be all in on this LP — one that's designed on their own terms.

"I think the album shows the supreme maturation of a rap duo," said Push. "I think this is where you get the difference between taste and filler. This music is curated. This is a high taste-level piece of work.

"You can only have that level of taste when you have the fundamentals down to a science," he continued. "I think it's been definitely missing. Then there's the competitive aspect." Added Malice: "This is smart basketball. It's fundamentals."

Read more: For The Record: How Clipse's Lord Willin' Established Virginia's Foothold In Rap

Pharrell Williams Produced The Entire Album

Despite Pusha T's reservations about Til The Casket Drops, Pharrell Williams has been an integral part of the Clipse's operation since the beginning — and he returns to produce the new project.

"Pharrell producing everything is also an ode to the type of music and the type of albums we want to make," he added. "We still want to make full bodies of work. These are movies, man. These aren't just songs. This isn't just a collection of joints we went in and banged out."

Maturation Doesn't Mean Abandoning Coke Raps

As Pusha T points out in the interview — yes, they rap about selling coke, but to reduce it to that is to miss the point entirely.

"There's no way that you can listen to that level of storytelling and experience and just walk away just saying 'That's coke rap.'" Malice says. "If you just want to say that it's just crack rap, then you can't even assess what's really being said or what's going on."

Indeed, what the Clipse staked their claim on isn't off the table. In fact, it's lined up and ready. 

Get Ready For A Bona Fide Clipse Era

As Pusha T stresses, this Clipse revisitation will come from multiple directions: "Appearances, touring, and a rap album of the year" are coming down the pike.

As more information about the forthcoming Clipse album flows in, keep GRAMMY.com bookmarked so you know the details — as these fraternal MCs join forces once more.

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