As one half of Clipse, Norfolk, Virginia native Malice (Gene Thornton) made a career out of painting street dreams in HD. Between the albums Lord Willin, Hell Hath No Fury and Till The Casket Drops, he and his brother Pusha T (Terrence Thornton) lyrically flooded the industry with more raw white girl than Hugh Heffner.
But with a life of music, mayhem and indictments catching his conscience, No Malice had a change of heart that would make Game blush. When his friend and former manager Anthony Gonzalez receive a 32 year sentence for drug trafficking, he realized that reality wasn’t just checking him, it was throwing brass-knuckle covered haymakers.
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With his book Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind & Naked on shelves, a new solo album Hear Ye Him on the way and a fresh name change still sinking in, No Malice emerged and sat with TheUrbanDaily to discuss beef, his brother and Jesus.
TheUrbanDaily: Lets start by talking about this revelation…
No Malice: What I want to say about my transformation… it’s in the public eye. You’ve seen this happen. I’m standing outside of myself witnessing it just as well as the rest of the world. What you see is genuine, it’s not a gimmick. People want to know what’s going on with me; do I do Christian rap or am I doing gospel music, and to that I would probably say no. But I make it very clear that I love Jesus Christ.
Ok, on that, we’ve heard it creep into your lyrics over time, almost to the point where you probably didn’t have to make an announcement on your faith. But what made you go public?
There were a few factors. When I saw my manager, entourage, friends, get indicted and go to jail for a long period of time. And when I look at the families that were destroyed behind it as we celebrated things that were unsavory. And sometimes when it’s not in your face, you don’t have to think about it. So by the time it came back and bit us… I could only imagine the hundreds of thousands of other people who were affected from the celebratory music that we were putting out. Now don’t get me wrong, our music is a very genuine [but] I think it’s very possible that we made it look too good.
You and your brother have always been pretty close. Your outlook on life has taken a dramatic turn while seemingly, his hasn’t. How are Clipse going to musically co-exist?
Well, we have no choice but to co exist because that is my mama’s son. That is my brother that I love very much and we definitely support each other. I don’t expect anyone to arrive at the same conclusion at the same time. Where he is at, we both were in that place so I see it and I understand it. My eyes have been opened, I have eyes that see and ears that hear now, I have children as well and I have a wife. So if anyone can pull off the dichotomy of The Clipse it would be us two. We don’t have to see things exactly alike for us to love and support each other. So my thing is I’m trying to set an example period. And hopefully I can influence people to try and better themselves as I am trying to better myself as well.
Do you think your spiritual move puts a bit of pressure on him to see the light as well?
The truth tends to put pressure on anybody. The truth put pressure on me, and that’s what we are witnessing. And when I look at the children of my cohorts and I see that their father isn’t around anymore and the struggles that the mother is going through and things of that nature, this aint no joke. It’s not no joke to me.
Half of the fans will say is ‘Why doesn’t Pusha get right like No Malice did?’ While the other half will say, ‘We want Malice to come back and give us that Clipse crack!’ How do you guys deal with that?
We’re just moving forward. Pusha is doing his thing and he’s everywhere making big moves so it’s really nothing to deal with. Life is life and we have to live it. When I see my brother we don’t talk about anything music. When we speak it’s ‘You talk to dad? You talk to ma?’ we talk life but little gossip that you hear in the industry? We talk none of that.
Ok, with that said, do you have any thoughts on the back and forth Pusha’s been doing with Young Money?
When I hear records, I don’t know who’s being addressed. I’m so out of the loop it’s ridiculous. So I’ll hear a record and people will say; “this was directed at so-and-so” and vice-versa” or this, that and the third.” Pusha and I definitely don’t sit and gig over stuff like that, I would never know. I just want all the brothers to do what they do and I want everyone to be blessed and to prosper. Me personally I don’t engage in none of that.
Ok, does that mean you’re above, pardon my French, “getting in some body’s ass” on the mic now? Are you past that? How does that work? Do people not have to fear No Malice?
I don’t care to be feared; I hope to be respected at all times. And I never go looking for trouble…
But that was yall back in the day as well…
I think people pretty much know to leave No Malice alone… I think. I mean I hope they do. But I don’t care to engage. I don’t care to have a problem with anyone. I’m really not looking for that.
We’re not asking about what you’re looking for…
(No Malice laughs)
We got you on that! What I’m saying is right now, there are a couple of people who are trying your brother. Now your lanes may have changed but you’re still Clipse. What I want to know is, what happens when it comes to you? Somebody can this interview and thinks; ‘Oh he’s easy now. I can get at him and he’s not looking for no problems. I can score easy points.’
Well… whenever we would go out on the road or out of town, whenever we’re touring together or whatever business we may have… my mother always says “Take care of your brother.” And that’s exactly what I’m gon’ do.
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