No Malice: “Redefining Greatness with No Malice” (Full Blast Magazine)
BY DEV GILLESPIE
When you’re talking about great hip hop music and great artists, IF you know what you’re talking about, Clipse will be mentioned some time in that conversation! After two brothers from Virginia formed the rap duo Clipse and gave us three memorable albums, Malice and Pusha T have both created longevity in the game, however Malice has reached for a higher greatness and is now changing the game as No Malice. Completely changing his lifestyle, No Malice is using his talent and blessings to bring awareness to our community, our hip hop community, that seems to be more unaware than ever. Instead of having you Grindin in the streets, No Malice is striving to have our generation Grindin for greatness!
Publishing his eye opening book in early 2011 titled, “Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind, and Naked”, you can figure out from the title that No Malice has been doing some serious soul searching and finding. In the book No Malice talks about the need for a firm foundation and faith within the music industry and stressing the fact that spiritual wealth is needed to evolve as opposed to material wealth. With his eyes now being open to what is needed to make progress, No Malice is making progressive music and leaving behind things of no substance. Expecting to release his solo music project Hear Ye’ Him sometime this summer, No Malice has already given us a taste of what to expect. His current single “Smoke & Mirrors” featuring Ab-Liva is nothing less than a wake up call. A lyrically challenging and creative wake up call. The track brings to the fore front the fact that we, hip hop, is pushing ignorance, drugs, and disfunction on our people and glorifying it. Artist are setting up smoke and mirrors for our generation and creating an illusion that trifling living is acceptable, but No Malice is clearing the smoke and breaking those trick mirrors!
We got the chance to sit down and talk with No Malice about his evolving journey in music as well as what he thinks of possible new Clipse music now that he’s taking a different route in life. Having published another book, “Chalk Outlines of Snow Angels”, starting up his company REinvision Films, and working on perfecting his next music project, Hear Ye’ Him, No Malice is truly using his blessings to bless others. Although No Malice is conscious of the way he lives and speaks, he does not and will not look down on anyone who has not realized their full potential yet, but instead shares his story and what he knows to be true to enlighten others. Already starting a legacy in music by being one half of Clipse, No Malice shares with us how he is living up to being great within his self.
No Malice: That’s basically the concept of my whole album. I’ve been called to give them music that’s not really being heard. A perspective that is not really properly being discussed in my opinion. It’s a lot of blasphemy going. It’s definitely a lot of blasphemy going on and I really don’t even know how it got to that. As far as music goes, that use to be a white people thing. We never really stood for that, but now it’s like some how it has become cool and acceptable and I ain’t riding with that.
FBM: A lot of the imagery in the visual for “Smoke & Mirrors” was very powerful. The smashing of the watermelon for example. Explain the visuals and what you wanted to convey from the video.
No Malice: When I came up with the smashing of the watermelon it was just basically smashing all stereotypes other people put on us, some of which we put on ourselves. I just wanted to make a different image, a positive image. Like I said, something that’s not being portrayed in music and I just don’t believe that you just have to sell your soul, your guts, and whore yourself for your music to still be good.
FBM: With all the rappers pushing drugs, and just a dysfunctional way of living onto our youth and the youth is definitely picking up on it, do you think the artist are actually conscious of what they are doing? Or do you think it’s more to do with what’s “in” right now?
No Malice: I believe that as an artist, and even myself at one time, our main concern was to sell records. It really wasn’t for the benefit of the community. It was basically, “I want you to buy my record”. Like I said, that was my mentality and a lot of times when that money is coming in and it’s coming in so good you don’t see past that. It’s really a selfish attitude and I repeat, it’s one of which that I’ve been guilty of. With what these guys are doing now I don’t condemn them because I too was lost at one time. My message is not to be conveyed as “I’m right, you’re wrong”, rather it’s “We have all been wrong, but we can all be right”.
FBM: You started your company REinvision Films. How is that going and how did you get this company started?
No Malice: Well, REinvision is basically about artist that are like minded and want to put out music that is for the bettering of the community. It’s not just music. We shoot videos, we get interviews, of anybody that’s doing anything to you know..just something positive! I think when we talk about doing positive it’s kind of synonymous with corny.(Laughs) But it don’t have to be that way. Over at REinvision Films we get artist doing interviews and see if they want to say anything to help out this generation and the younger generation as far as anything insightful and anything that can help inspire and help to motivate.
FBM: You’ve changed the things you rap about and your whole lifestyle. Your brother has stayed with his image and is doing well with his music also. If there was to be another Clipse album, do you think Pusha T and yourself could make a break through and actually get hip hop to start smartening up about it’s decisions? Since you’re already on that level and Push has his listeners that’s on the same thing he is, do you think the two of you coming together could made a difference?
No Malice: I believe that God is using everybody to get his message across. We’re just vessels. Clipse always gave you that two sided coin dynamic. Pusha was always pretty much what you know him for and I like to think that I gave you a more conscious flow, something to think about. I think that’s what people really appreciated about Clipse. We didn’t leave you with an empty feeling. You could be styling on them and at the same time get some food for thought. Right now I’ve just been a follower of Jesus. His word is very sincere to me. I think I’m just going deeper with the things I use to say, but hopefully now without being contradictory or hypocritically.
FBM: The last time we spoke you were wrapping up your book release and heading into your second book, ” 32″, about your former manager who is doing a bid now. How is that coming along?
No Malice: It’s coming along good. I just talked to him not too long ago. That’s definitely still in the works. There are a few hindrances with him being locked up, but that is something that is definitely happening and in the process. I have published another book that’s titled, “Chalk Outlines of Snow Angels”. It’s featuring internet sensation Jasmine Man. She was voted Glamour Magazine’s Top 10 Black Women of Influence in college. She’s really dope, dope poet. She’s mostly know for her poem “The Miseducation of a Barbie”. I think people should check for her. She has a lot of positive things to say.
FBM: A lot of people say hip hop does not get the proper recognition at the Grammys . Do you think it’s because of the actually content of our music and the things that these artist are doing?
No Malice: (Sigh) Hip Hop is the only culture, rap music, is the only genre that eats it’s babies. That’s all I gotta say about that.