No Malice

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No Malice
Clipse3.jpg
No Malice (left) performing with his brother and Clipse cohort Pusha T, in February 2007
Background information
Birth name Gene Elliott Thornton, Jr.
Also known as Malice, Malicious
Born (1972-08-18) August 18, 1972 (age 44)[1]
The Bronx, New York City, New York, United States
Origin Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States
Genres Hip hop
Occupation(s) Rapper
Years active 1992–present
Labels Arista, Reinvision, Re-Up
Associated acts Clipse, Re-Up Gang

Gene Elliott Thornton Jr. (born August 18, 1972), better known by his stage name No Malice (formerly known as Malicious and Malice), is an American hip hop recording artist from Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is perhaps best known for being one half of East Coast hip hop duo Clipse, alongside his brother and fellow American hip hop artist Terrence "Pusha T" Thornton. No Malice released his solo debut album Hear Ye Him, on August 18, 2013.

Life and career[edit]

1972–2009: Early life and Clipse[edit]

No Malice was born Gene Elliott Thornton, Jr., on August 18, 1972, in The Bronx borough of New York City. He and his family later moved down south to Virginia Beach.[2] He and his brother, Pusha T, formed the rap group Clipse in 1992, and later were introduced to fellow Virginian Pharrell Williams, one half of the high-profile production team The Neptunes.[2] Impressed with their lyrical talents, Williams formed a working relationship with the duo.[2] He eventually helped them secure a recording contract with Elektra Records, in 1997.[2] Under Elektra, and with The Neptunes handling its production, Clipse recorded their debut album Exclusive Audio Footage. The group's debut single "The Funeral", helped to generate fan interest in the album, but failed to make a significant commercial impact.[2] With "The Funeral" deemed a failure, Exclusive Audio Footage itself was shelved indefinitely. Clipse were subsequently released from their recording contract shortly thereafter.[3][4]

In early 2001, Williams signed the duo to Arista Records, through his recently established Star Trak Entertainment imprint.[2] Clipse released their commercial debut Lord Willin', on August 20, 2002.[2] The album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-hop Album chart and No. 4 on the Billboard 200, fueled by the strength of the lead singles "Grindin'" and "When the Last Time", which peaked at No. 30 and No. 19 respectively, on the Billboard Hot 100.[2] The album's third single "Ma, I Don't Love Her" (featuring Faith Evans), was a modest hit, reaching No. 86 on the Hot 100.[2] On October 1, 2002—only a month after its release—Lord Willin' was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[5]

In late 2003, Clipse began recording material for its second album, Hell Hath No Fury.[2] However, further work on the album ground to a halt in 2004, when Arista Records's urban artists were absorbed into its sister label Jive Records as part of a larger merger between Sony Music Entertainment and BMG.[2] Due to contractual requirements, Clipse was forced to stay on Jive, while Star Trak and the rest of its roster moved to a new home at Interscope Records.[2] While Clipse resumed work on the album, and eventually finished its recording, the duo became increasingly frustrated with Jive, as the label overlooked it in favor of the more pop-oriented acts on its roster, which caused numerous delays in the release of Hell Hath No Fury.[2] As delays continued, the group asked for a formal release from its contract. When Jive refused to grant this request, the duo sued the label.[2]

On May 9, 2006, Clipse finally reached an agreement with Jive Records to release the album through its own label, Re-Up Records, along with Jive.[6] Hell Hath No Fury was finally released on November 28, 2006.[2] It spawned two singles: "Mr. Me Too" with Pharrell Williams and "Wamp Wamp (What It Do)" with Slim Thug.[2] While the album received a great deal of critical acclaim, its sales were modest, at 78,000 in the first week.[2] The hip hop magazine XXL gave the album a "XXL" rating, marking it as a five-star album. At the time only five albums had previously received that honor.[2] In a May 19, 2007 interview with Eye Weekly, Clipse revealed that the group had been officially released from its recording contract with Jive.[7] After this, the duo began discussions with several record labels, eventually signing with Columbia Records on October 26, 2007.[8] The follow-up to Hell Hath No Fury, titled Til the Casket Drops, was released on December 8, 2009 via Columbia Records.[9] In a departure from the group's previous works, which only featured production from the Neptunes, the album features production from Sean "Diddy" Combs' production team The Hitmen, and DJ Khalil among others. The album did not fare as well commercially as the group's first two albums, peaking at No. 41 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.[2]

2010–present: Solo career and Hear Ye Him[edit]

In April 2010 Malice announced that he and Pusha T would release solo albums later in the year,[10] and that they were no longer signed to Columbia Records.[11] In 2011 Malice published his book Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind & Naked,[12] a memoir about his life, including fearing contracting AIDS, as well as his conversion to Christianity.[13][14] On March 6, 2012, he announced that he changed his name from Malice to No Malice.[15] In 2012, No Malice collaborated with Lecrae on his mixtape Church Clothes, on the song "Darkest Hour".[16] On June 19, 2012, No Malice released the first single from Hear Ye Him titled "June" featuring Eric David.[17] On July 24, 2012, the second single from Hear Ye Him titled "Unforgettable" was released.[18] On January 15, 2013, the third single from Hear Ye Him titled "Smoke & Mirrors" featuring Ab-Liva was released.[19] On May 21, 2013, it was announced that his debut album Hear Ye Him would be released on July 2, 2013, but the album was later pushed back.[20] On June 4, 2013, the fourth single from Hear Ye Him titled "Bury That" was released.[21]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
US US R&B US
Rap
Hear Ye Him
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Am I High?" 2001 N.E.R.D In Search Of...
"Daddy" Kelis Wanderland
"Do What You Do" (Remix) 2007 Drake Comeback Season
"Darkest Hour" 2012 Lecrae Church Clothes
"Soldier" 2013 Bizzle The Good Fight

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Malice Of The Clipse Has Been MARRIED For 20 YEARS?! And He's Got Some Relationship Advice | The Young, Black, and Fabulous". Theybf.com. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Maher, Dave (February 26, 2007). "Interviews: Clipse". Pitchfork.com. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  3. ^ Brackett, Nathan. "New Faces: The Clipse". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 31, 2008. 
  4. ^ Reid, Shaheem. "The Clipse Emerge". MTV. Retrieved July 31, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Clipse Strike Gold, Neptunes Want To Go Country". AllHipHop.com. Archived from the original (Online news article) on May 6, 2006. Retrieved June 11, 2006. 
  6. ^ "Clipse Tour With Ice Cube; Album Release Date Set". AllHipHop.com. Archived from the original (Online news article) on May 21, 2006. Retrieved June 11, 2006. 
  7. ^ "Keys Open Doors" (Print interview). Eye Weekly. Retrieved May 22, 2007. 
  8. ^ "The Clipse Signs With Columbia" (Online news article). Billboard.com. Retrieved October 26, 2007. 
  9. ^ "CLIPSE to drop casket in October". xxlmag.com. Retrieved July 24, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Clipse Announce Solo Albums". Rap Radar. May 5, 2010. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Pusha T Reveals New Clipse Album Title". Rap Radar. February 7, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  12. ^ Vasquez, Andres. "The Clipse's Malice Readies Book "Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind & Naked" For Valentine's Day Release". Blog Article. XXL. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  13. ^ Serrano, Hannah (March 23, 2011). "Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind, and Naked: The Story of Hip-Hop Artist Malice, of The Clipse". ALT Daily. Retrieved June 11, 2012. 
  14. ^ Andrews, Ashley. "Gene Elliot Thornton, Jr (a.k.a. Malice)". The 700 Club. Retrieved June 11, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Clipse's Malice Changes Name To 'No Malice'". Billboard. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  16. ^ Diep, Eric. "Lecrae f/ No Malice "Darkest Hour"". Complex Music. Retrieved June 11, 2012. 
  17. ^ "New Music: No Malice x Eric David "June"". Rap Radar. June 19, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  18. ^ "New Music: No Malice "Unforgettable"". Rap Radar. July 24, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  19. ^ "New Music: No Malice x Ab-Liva "Smoke & Mirrors"". Rap Radar. January 15, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  20. ^ "No Malice Hear Ye Him Release Date". Rap Radar. May 21, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  21. ^ "New Music: No Malice x Jon Bibbs "Bury That"". Rap Radar. June 4, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2013.