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Pusha-T Reflects On The Disbanding Of Clipse On Anderson .Paak’s “Brother’s Keeper”

The duo broke up after his brother found religion.

Pusha-T rose to fame as a member of the hip-hop duo Clipse before the two MCs went their separate ways. On Pusha’s guest verse from Anderson .Paak’s new song, “Brother’s Keeper,” the G.O.O.D. Music president expresses his feelings about the group’s breakup after Malice found religion. The Oxnard track is produced by Dem Jointz, Jairus ‘J-Mo’ Mozee and Anderson .Paak himself.

On the second verse, Pusha says that while he’s proud of Malice for becoming a born again Christian, he will continue rapping about coke because it allows him to maintain underground appeal while still making money:

Am I my brother’s keeper, they still asking ‘bout the duo
Applaud his finding salvation
But I’m still rapping 'bout the you know
It’s hard to leave your foundation, this spaceship took me to Pluto
Still an underground king, but the money’s Jason Derulo

As Genius contributor Jordan Bunke points out, the title of the song is a reference to the group’s 2014 CNN interview, in which Malice expresses regret for glamorizing drugs in his music:

In 2016 interview with Billboard, Malice didn’t rule out the possibility of a Clipse reunion, but also admitted that the changed focus of his raps might stand in the way.

“I’ma tell you that I learned to never say never, and I don’t shut the door on anything,” Malice said. “In fact, I would like to see Clipse do it. But I just do things differently. When the people want Clipse, they want Clipse. They want what they know about the Clipse. I’m not trying to tamper with that brand or try to change it into something different.”

Pusha also refers to the split on his “Brother’s Keeper” pre-verse:

My brother just turned down a half a million dollars
For being one half of one of the greatest duos in hip-hop history

Of course, this isn’t the first time Pusha has rapped about the Clipse’s breakup. On his 2011 track, “Blow (Freestyle),” Pusha described how it felt when Malice said he was done with the group and their manager, Anthony Gonzales, was sentenced to 32 years in jail for drug trafficking charges:

Malice found religion, Tony found prison
I’m just tryna find my way out this fucking kitchen

While breaking the lines down in a verified annotation, Pusha said he thought of the rap while reflecting on the changes going on with Malice.

“My brother basically told me he wasn’t doing another Clipse album at the moment,” he remembered. “He was like, ‘No, I’m not doing that. But I have this, and this is what I’m about to do. You can do your solo project, but this is what I’m doing.’ And so those lines, ‘Malice found religion, Tony found prison,’ those are self-explanatory. Two people who I came in the game with both were now on separate paths.”

He also addresses the breakup on his 2013 mixtape track, “Take My Life,” when he raps:

It ain’t enough that I struggle through my career
Less appreciated when I was part of a pair

In a verified annotation, Pusha explained that the label shift from Arista to Jive to Columbia affected Clipse’s relationship not only as a group, but as brothers.

“Not having that team and that understanding around you to go through these different waves and different times and different periods in the music—it just wasn’t a cohesive time for business and friendship and everything,” he explained. “It just wasn’t all in sync like it once started. There was a lack of appreciation I felt and that people never took all of that into consideration when thinking about the Clipse.”

Since the brothers each went solo, Pusha has released three studio albums—My Name Is My Name, King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude, and DAYTONA—while No Malice has delivered 2013’s Hear Ye Him and last year’s Let the Dead Bury the Dead.

Listen to the song above and read all the lyrics to Anderson .Paak’s “Brother’s Keeper” on Genius now.

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