Lord Willin’

The state of Virginia has been blowing up, as far as hip-hop talent is concerned, with the likes of Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Teddy Riley, D’Angelo and others making it big. Street-savvy hip-hop duo Clipse (brothers Malice and Pusha T) are the latest VA sensation, with their old-school-meets-new-school single “Grindin'” (think Kool G Rap meets Rakim) getting heavy airplay on BET, MTV and radio, and the pair are making full use of the hometown connection on their new album.

It’s a hard-hitting (more East Coast than dirty South) raw-beat-filled affair with odes to life in Virginia Beach, where, for self-professed former coke dealers like these two, there “ain’t shit to do but cook, pack it up, sell it triple twice, fuck the books.”

Previously known for the music to fellow Virginian Allen Iverson’s Reebok shoe commercial, Clipse can be expected to make some money in the coming years, as is their said intent—"20 million sounds about right,” they said in an interview. “You get $2 million a year in interest. That’ll do.”

The thing that makes this album more listenable than your average thug-life rap is the VA regional slang and the Neptunes’ production (like the exotic pops on "Grindin'"), which is more geared to the dance floor. Guest appearances from Jadakiss, Faith Evans, Dupri and Roscoe P. Coldchain.