The Clipse's Shelved Debut Album Drops Over 20 Years Later

By Tony M. Centeno

May 3, 2022

The Clipse
Photo: Getty Images

Pusha T and No Malice may have formally released their major label debut album in 2002, but the Virginia duo had actually recorded their first album together a few years before that. Now, their project has finally surfaced two decades after their first label shelved it.

On Monday, May 2, The Clipse's debut album Exclusive Audio Footage surfaced on all streaming services. The 20-track album, which was entirely produced by The Neptunes, features collaborations from N.O.R.E., Kelis and Kurupt. The project also features "The Funeral," which is the song that apparently led the label to shelve the album and release the duo from their deal.

Exclusive Audio Footage was recorded after The Clipse landed their first record deal with Elektra Records in 1996 thanks to Pharrell Williams. The label dropped the album's lead single "The Funeral," which reportedly didn't do as well as the label wanted it to. Due to the single's inability to succeed, the label chose to halt the release of the album and drop The Clipse from their roster.

Not long after their first deal crumbled, Pharrell decided to sign The Clipse to Artista Records via his Strak Trak Entertainment in 2001. Exclusive Audio Footage reportedly has similar elements that appear in the duo's major label debut Lord Willin' (2002) and their sophomore release Hell Hath No Fury (2006). The Clipse released their final album 'Til The Casket Drops in 2009 via the group's Re-up Records, Star Trak and Columbia Records.

The Clipse have only released a few records together since they dropped their last album. Malice, who later became No Malice following his spiritual journey, recently reunited with his brother Pusha T on records like Nigo's "Punch Bowl" and Push's new song "I Pray For You" off It's Almost Dry.

Listen to Exclusive Audio Footage below.

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