As the 1st December 13, 2002 entry of Triumphs & Tribulations III would tell it, I had quite the entertaining outing with my then-girlfriend the night before. We went to see 8 Mile and Friday After Next at Carmike Summit 16…one of the rare times I’ve seen multiple films in a standard cinema visit on a rare Thursday night off from Domino’s Pizza. We followed that up with a late, late dinner at Al’s before we had a surprisingly competitive best 2-of-3 game of 8-ball at The Break. The highlight of the evening was the mini-concert while sitting in her car. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: Clipse’s Lord Willin’ album.
How I first came across this moment? I first came across the album that Thursday the 12th. Before we walked into the movie theatre, we stopped in at Coconuts to do some perusing of the music selection. I listened to a few snippets of the Clipse’s Lord Willin’ album alongside Lil’ Flip’s Undaground Legend and Tweet’s Southern Hummingbird. I was going to buy all 3 albums but Valorie surprised me by already having the Clipse album ready for checkout. As I learned later, she definitely had what Kerry Washington’s Nikki Tru would describe as “n**** ears”. Anyway, we listened to the entire Clipse album while sitting in her Kia Sephia in the Blount Hall parking lot. Though I was familiar with the “Grindin’” and “When the Last Time” promotional singles, this was my 1st time hearing the album at-large.
What it meant to me then? I loved it from the start. From the funky beat of the “Intro” with the Miami Vice references to the coldness of “Virginia” to thump of “Grindin’” to the Roscoe P. Coldchain flow on “Cot Damn” to the “Fam-Lay Freestyle” to the Fabolous feature on “Comedy Central”, I enjoyed every bit of the album. I loved the genuine street feel of it…from the beats to the storytelling. I actually borrowed it from Valorie for like 3 months and played it heavy on the afternoon ride on I-20/59 into Downtown Birmingham from school. Several of the tracks quickly became very heavily played in my Windows Media Player.
What it means to me now? All of these years later, Lord Willin’ is still a favorite album of mine. In fact, on the HP Pavilion 15 Beats Special Edition laptop I still use for most of my media stuff, the Windows Media Player play count for 8 of the 13 tracks is at least 300. Pretty much the entire album—including the “Grindin’ (Remix)” and “Grindin’ (Selector Remix)” bonus tracks I later downloaded off LimeWire—are part of the Juan Thomas Presents…The Flow Exchange playlist. “Virginia” has long ascended to the top of the heap as my favorite track on the album and is a mainstay in the Juan Thomas Presents…Loose Rap playlist.