As far as Clipse is concerned, rap is not a young man’s game; instead, it’s all about the pen. Last month, after a 20-year hiatus, André 3000 dropped his first album since Outkast’s record-breaking Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.
The revered trendsetter stunned many when he revealed that his new album, New Blue Sun, was a collection of minimalist digital and wind instruments without the lyricism that fans have longed for. He explained his artistic endeavor as a representation of his current state and that, despite his desires to deliver a hip hop album, he has questioned if he has aged out of having content that his loyal following considers relatable.
That way of thinking does not resonate with Pusha T or No Malice. “I think it’s kind of… stifling to the genre to even think like that. Like, man, as long as you’re living, you know, rap and [you’re] living hip hop in all capacities, and as long as [you’re] still sharp with that pen, like, you got something to say. I mean, we want to hear it,” said the It’s Almost Dry hitmaker during a newly published “Idea Generation” interview.
Like Three Stacks, the Virginia Beach brothers departed their 20s well over a decade ago. “If you have something to offer, if you have something to say, you know, just information and you’re still creative, you know, you can go on,” said No Malice. He further explained, “I can even appreciate someone who says it ain’t for them and they don’t want to do it, and that’s where, you know, they are with their life. But as far as, you know, who you are and what you have to offer, that should never stop.”
Elsewhere in the discussion, Pusha addressed a recent debate regarding rappers being expected to elevate their music as they mature instead of leaning into the trends of younger artists. Drake was recently made a target of this type of criticism when Joe Budden suggested that his album For All The Dogs was not rap for adults. The Toronto native faced more backlash when a music journalist said she was once a huge fan but felt she had since out-matured his sonic offerings.
“Whatever it is that I do, I try to make it so that I can compete [and] make something so great that it competes with everything without compromising who I am,” said Pusha as he explained that his content and lyricism would not be swayed by the times.
“The fundamentals of hip hop, for me, aren’t changing… That’s what it’s going to be. So you know, I have to do it so great that it does compete with, you know, the younger generation and whatever [is] popular and whatever [is] going on. And I feel like that’s the task, but if you gonna be in it, that should be the task. You gotta keep being great. When you gotta stop being great, then you gotta get out,” he added.
Check out the full interview below.