Tuesday, March 18, 2008
By Alvin "aqua" Blanco
Call them the Fantastic Four. Except, their superpowers were not the result of cosmic radiation but a byproduct of a appreciation for the fundamentals of Hip-Hop lyricism; wordplay and delivery. Composed of VA’s Malice and Pusha T of the Clipse and Philly brethren Ab-Liva (formerly of Major Figgas) and Sandman, this fearsome foursome call themselves the Re-Up Gang.
Riding a Pyrex and powder laced pair of critically acclaimed albums (Lord Willin’ (2002), Hell Hath No Fury (2006)) and a rep bolstered by staggeringly potent volumes of their We Got It for Cheap mixtaptes—the latest being Vol 3: The Spirit of Competition—the Re-Up Gang is motivated by a love of creating dope rap music. No pun intended. Now rolling with Columbia Records in 50/50 joint venture for their Re-Up Gang Records, Pusha, Malice, Ab-Liva and Sandman spoke in depth about everything from the beef with that guy from New Orleans to being independently major to their exasperation with former home Jive on down to how they are their own greatest inspiration.
AllHipHop.com: Alright, so Volume 3's been out. How's the feedback been?
Malice: It's real good, it's been a long time coming. A lot of people have been waitin' for Volume 3. A lot of success on Volume 2, Volume 1 also was hot and the feedback we get is everyone saying Volume 3 definitely lived up to, if not exceeded Volume 2, so we're happy with that.
AllHipHop.com: Obviously you were aware of the success of Volume 2, is that part of the reason why it took a little longer to drop Volume 3?
Pusha-T: Yeah, we had all intentions, with all the albums that were dropping, to come out a little earlier because the whole theme and the whole premise behind Volume 3 was “the spirit of competition.” So we was goin' to take all the albums that dropped — Jay, Kanye — everybody who was supposed to drop but didn't drop - take all their beats and black out on them. That was what it was supposed to be, but a lot of albums came out and the beats weren't there. So we were like, “Damn, what are we goin' do?” So then we had to go back to diggin’ in the crates and finding the "Scenario 2000" record and going back to "Rainy Dayz." We were doing this s**t off of inspiration; like the records that inspired us and so on and so forth. Hopefully hoping we were going to get inspiration from the joints that did drop, but didn't.
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Posted by M.A.Mais at 2:05 PM