"'Wealth of the wicked is laid up for the righteous.' That quote spoke to the next person getting my Porsche for the remaining 50K left on it."
Even for a rapper, Gene Elliot Thornton, Jr., a/k/a/ Malice, a/k/a one-half of critically acclaimed Virginia rap duo Clipse, has talked about the drug game and all its perks incessantly: money, women, cocaine, intimate knowledge of the metric system. Often credited with fathering the "coke rap" genre, he famously said, "If all I talk about is coke, let that tell you something." But now when he gets up in the morning, the first thing he does is pray. And while the emcee insists his rhymes always showed a balanced view of the drug game, he wants future Clipse material to inspire his listeners to live fuller, more focused lives. His Christian faith, he says, is now riding shotgun. But what spawned such changes?
At the tail end of 2009, Clipse released Till The Casket Drops, the coke rhymes and luxury-brand shout-outs all accounted for. Ending that album, however, was a tune called "Life Change." Malice was obviously going through some things, balancing family-man issues with an entertainer's workload, and watching former manager Anthony Gonzalez get sentenced to 32 years for drug trafficking. With his rhyme partner and younger sibling, Pusha T, tucked safely under Kanye West's G.O.O.D Music wing, Malice subsequently found the time to self-publish an autobiographical account of his experiences, Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind and Naked (Thor10 Publishing), and produce several "video excerpts" from the book to promote it; one shows Malice dealing with his dream cars being repossessed after he'd missed several payments. [NOTE: Malice clarifies that he never missed payments -- his lease was up and he didn't have the credit score to refinance.]
A coke rapper copping to financial problems? This isn't your garden-variety street tale. Here's what Malice had to say about his new platform for expression, his brother venturing off, his complete embrace of Christianity, and his sense of if his cocaine-and-Porsche rap days are indeed over.More »