The Clipse often describe how their close relationship has pushed them to maintain a healthy sense of competition within their music. In an interview with SHHO, they also explained how working together has allowed them to become a threat to other rappers.

“The fact that we’re family has definitely been beneficial because of all of the forces that we come against,” said the newly christened Malicious. “It’s way more deadly to go up against two brothers. The fact that we’re family has really helped us a lot.”

The siblings have temporarily separated to pursue solo projects—Pusha T signed with Kanye West‘s G.O.O.D. Music and Malicious wrote his first book, Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind, and Naked—but assure that it’s more than just a tight relationship that makes them a powerful pair. They say their respect in the industry stems from humble beginnings in Virginia.

“I think it’s been sort of easy to distinguish us from the rest of the pack, [especially] when you [distinguish between] ‘artist’ and ‘rapper,’” Pusha said. “Just being from Virginia, there’s a whole other laid-back, lax attitude that we have. We didn’t wake up every morning seeing the stars in L.A. and the stars in New York walk up and down the street. This is something that just happened.”

Pusha T is currently working on the sequel to his Fear of God mixtape, which is set to drop in late June, while Malicious is out promoting his book.

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