The first hip-hop group signed to The Neptunes' newly formed Star Trak label in the early 2000s was a Virginia based duo known as Clipse. The group’s first single “Grindin’,” impacted young people with its bare-boned but infectious drum beat in the same way that Run-DMC’s “Sucker MCs” did almost two decades earlier. MCs Pusha T and Malice, combined with The Neptunes’ groundbreaking production, sent a clear message to the rap world – “we are not the same” (as rapped by Malice on his opening verse on “Cot’ Dam”).
Clipse brings an authentic Virginia sound into the game and created a movement, with not only their darkly layered raps but The Neptunes as well. Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo were able to combine their cyberpunk production with just the right group to create a street masterpiece. Following in the footsteps of such rap criminologists as Kool G Rap, Nas, Jay-Z, and Mobb Deep, Clipse offer the Virginia hustler's viewpoint with clever, hard-hitting lyrics that is sprinkled throughout the entire album.
With so many standout tracks on Lord Willin’ the album starts pulling no punches. On Track 1 simply titled “Intro” you get a very personal and deep testament of crack and the drug game, a theme that is throughout this album...heavy. Songs like “Virginia” or “I’m Not You” (featuring Jadakiss, Styles P and Roscoe P Coldchain), have lyrics that play as a musical notes alongside The Neptunes tailored beats. “Young Boy,” “Comedy Central”...all fit perfectly alongside “When the Last Time” and “Cot Dam” as each song plays its part as chapters to the Lord Wilin’ masterpiece.
“Gangsta Lean” (another one of the albums standout tracks) features a slightly lighter feel while paired with Pharrell's trademark falsetto hook. The truth of it is, it’s hard to just pick one track, or point out which is the album's star. Each song on Lord Willin’ is essential to making it the classic that it is. The Neptunes (who were busy turning out every other pop hit on the radio) crafted an album that was deemed an instant classic, and cemented Clipse as rap’s newest superstars.
This limited edition issue of Lord Willin’ features seven “big hole” 7”s on white vinyl covering all 13 tracks in the original album sequence, plus a bonus remix of “Grindin‘”. The vinyl is housed in a plastic case featuring the original album art and each 7” is housed in a mini Star Trak die-cut jacket – replicas of the label’s original 12” sleeves.
1B. Young Boy
3A. Cot Damn (feat. Ab-Liva & Roscoe P. Coldchain)
3B. Ma, I Don’t Love Her (feat. Faith Evans)
4A. Famlay Freestyle (feat. Famlay)
4B. When The Last Time
5B. Comedy Central (feat. Fabolous)
6A. Let’s Talk About IT (feat. Jermaine Dupri)
6B. Gangsta Lean
7A. I’m Not You
7B. Grindin’ (Remix feat. N.O.R.E, Baby, & Lil Wayne)