He may never win the Thug of the Year award, but his new friends the Patty Cake Man and the Pusha Man have vouched that Justin Timberlake knows the streets.
"Working with Justin was crazy," Malice, the older half of the Clipse affirmed last week in New York, the day before MTV's 2002 Video Music Awards. The Patty Cake Man (a.k.a. Malice) and his brother Pusha T took to the stage at Radio City Music Hall as special guests for J.T.'s solo set of "Like I Love You."
"Justin recognized us," Malice continued about working on the track. "He does the pop thing but he has his ear to the street. He was feeling the Clipse. We laid our verses down. It was like a perfect marriage. The pop world meets the streets is what we're giving you right now."
The siblings with the searing lyrics say that they didn't feel any pressure to switch up their sewer-entrenched style when teaming up with America's musical sweetheart.
"Never," Pusha insisted. "When Justin came to [Virginia], when we met him, he was expressing how he loved 'Grindin'.' He loved the visual, he loved the video. It made me feel comfortable doing whatever I wanted to do to the track."
The studio wasn't the only place they hit with J.T. on his trek to Virginia Beach.
"We went out to the club and wilded out," Malice added. "We had a great time. Justin is a party animal."
No doubt while jaunting to the hot spots with Timberlake, they heard their hit "Grindin' " either being pumped out of somebody's car or being spun by a club DJ. The song has been everywhere the last few months (see "Lord Willin', The Clipse's Time Has Come").
"It was a beautiful thing, especially knowing this all came from 'Grindin' and knowing that the streets spoke," Pusha said about the group's Lord Willin' debuting at #4 on the SoundScan albums chart last week. "We made that song strictly for the streets and it turned into a phenomenon."
"We didn't know 'Grindin' was gonna be as big as it was," Malice added. "We just put it out and the streets have spoken. Now I'm trying to make some money."
The Malicious one is alluding to he and his brother's second single, "When Was the Last Time."
"It's about the club, the whole club scene," Pusha explained. "When we were doing the track, we were trying to take it back to when records came in with impact. Like "J. Beez Comin' Through" by the Jungle Brothers. We tried to give it that feel. Run to the floor. Those types of records."
The brothers have been running with their boys N.E.R.D. on a select few dates on the Sprite Liquid Mix Tour (see "Jay-Z Intros Blueprint 2; Hoobastank, N.E.R.D. Challenge Security At Tour Launch"). They ran into a tiny roadblock a few weeks ago while headlined their own "Grindin' " tour along with some of Arista's other new rap acts. Malice was arrested for trespassing at a Tampa, Florida mall while trying to bond with fans.
"The fans didn't mob me, actually," Malice said. "We was in Tampa. All our people were out there. The fans were orderly, very orderly. Who wasn't orderly were the police. We were just signing autographs and I guess we weren't moving fast enough for the police. A little girl asked me for my autograph and I'm just glad somebody wants [an autograph from] my black ass. We not going to get into police bashing, we do need the police, but they locked me up overnight. I missed the show. Pusha T held it down, my DJ was the Malicious for the night and held it down."