In March, Malice announced that he was changing his name to No Malice. It was another step in the transformation that the Clipse member had been going through. As his brother and groupmate Pusha T built a solo career following the duo’s last project, late 2009′s Till The Casket Drops, No Malice has experienced a religious awakening, released a book, Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind and Naked, and taken a bit of a step back from music. In early May, though, Lecrae dropped his Church Clothes mixtape, which included the track “Darkest Hour” featuring No Malice. XXLMag.com caught up with the Virginia native to talk about the verse (included below). —Adam Fleischer (@AdamXXL)
“Lord have mercy and pity on your son/From what I once was, to what I have become/Forgive me for my past and the noses left numb/As I’m led down this path to the beat of a different drum/Fee-fi-fo-fum I’m conquering my giants/And all by my lonesome I’m conquering Goliath/I cut it on the buyers, now I trade in the triple beams/I’m Tebow to the game and I done traded teams/The slate is clean and ever since I’ve been delivered/My flow got em guessing like rock, paper, scissors/Before the feds came we were already prisoners/32 years made us all reconsider/The holy ghost in us, so whoever got a gripe/Prove the devil’s alive and well, Tyler got it right/How long can you live with your hands up in the white?/Jesus or the Judge? They both offer you life”
XXLMag.com: Did you custom fit this verse for what Lecrae was doing, or is it more indicative of the space you’re in right now?
No Malice: I didn’t actually custom fit that rhyme for Lecrae. It’s basically the space that I’m at—what I’m doing these days. I can pretty much find my way around any topic, but ’Crae was just like, “Do your thing,” and he didn’t give me any guidelines.
You talk about conquering your giants. What are those giants?
When I said in that verse, “Conquering my giants,” what I meant by that is it’s a lot of, I guess, stigmas or things that you may have been accustomed to that, as far as I’m concerned—[I’m] just doing things a lot differently and contrary to what my fans have known me for, or contrary to what my fans have seen me do and the things I represent. To have the change of heart that I have, and to have to go back and redo it, and do it publicly, and do it in such a way that, for the most part, is not popular, and is definitely going against what I guess the norm would be. But I feel so strongly about it—I’m so convicted by my beliefs and my thoughts—to come back into this arena and share my thoughts now is just something I gotta do. No matter who may not like it or who may not understand.
Has there been much push back from fans or other people?
I really haven’t. It says a lot for going with your heart, being true to yourself. You might have thought initially, before I had made this change, that everybody would come against you. But it really hasn’t been that way. I’m happy with my new movement. My fans definitely got my back. I even got more fans, and I get a lot of support.
Later, you say “32 years made us all reconsider.” What is that in reference to?
When I say, “32 years made us all reconsider,” that is my manager, Anthony Gonzales, he got sentenced to 32 years. All of our friends that were down with us from the very beginning [did, too]. I’m talking about people that we consider family. They are family—Christmases, Thanksgivings, birthdays, kids’ birthdays, picnics, families together. That’s what we did. Traveled overseas together. They been with us through this whole journey with our rap careers. To see them all get indicted, and to see them all go to jail to the tune of 32 years—we had a lot of fun, but we didn’t do anything that warranted 32 years. Or, we didn’t do anything that was that much fun that warranted 32 years. It took ten years for everything that we celebrated to come back and bite us. I can only imagine the amount of people that it affected other than ourselves. From the first time our album dropped [to] ten year [later in] 2009, and we’re getting affected, it’s got to be tons of other people that were affected. So when the judge slams that gavel and says 32 years, it definitely made us rethink things.
To read the rest of the interview click here: http://www.xxlmag.com/features/2012/05/train-of-thought-no-malice-breaks-down-darkest-hour-his-first-verse-since-changing-his-name/