Hell Hath No Fury
The Clipse have accomplished a rare feat in Hip Hop, and not one that concerns sales or awards. The duo from Virginia have everyone clamoring for their sophomore album. Less discriminate fans, like those who are going down with Yung Joc, can't wait to hear about more ways in which Pusha T and Malice moved white. That's no surprise though - it's that even the most elitist backpackers who normally turn their noses up at such redundant subject matter are even fiending for the LP.
How did they accomplish this nearly impossible cross sub-genre appeal? A couple ways; the most obvious being they seem to get the best from fellow VA natives The Neptunes. Pharrell and Chad lace the Clipse with far grittier beats than they regularly supply, all the while keeping their pop touch and signature sound (ie. "Grindin'"). Then there is Pusha T and Malice - two emcees who rarely stop rapping about slanging 'caine, and when they do, it's to talk about guns or girls. Despite covering the most used and abused of subject matters, they manage to keep it fresh and sounding doper than the theme. Largely due to their subtle wit, the duo spit arguably the best coke raps outside of Jay-Z. Their seemingly unintentional charisma is just impossible not to like.
Despite all of this, label issues and a bad relationship with Jive have kept Hell Hath No Fury on the shelves for years now, but fuck all that - here we are, finally. After one listen, all you can really say is, "at least it was worth the wait." The apparent lead single, "Mr. Me Too," was just dirty as hell, only to be outclassed by subsequent leaked tracks "Wamp Wamp" featuring Slim Thug and the stupid banger "Ain't Cha" featuring The Re-Up Gang. Just like they seemed to with their debut, The Neptunes have forgotten yet again that they are supposed to be the pop'est of the hip-hop super producers and have just brought some foul shit for these d-boys yet again.
But compared to the rest of the album, "Wamp Wamp" and "Ain't Cha" are all sunshine and rainbows. More so than their debut, The 'Tunes have gotten experimental and gone a little left field with their beats. Hell Hath No Fury has an early 90's feel with hard, dissonant anti-melodies that won't come close to a club. Shit ain't sweet, and it's beautiful. "Ride Around Shinin'" and "Trill" just beat you down and the not-so-subtly titled "Keys Open Doors" is just straight up gothic. And of course the Thorton brothers are sticking to their game plan and do their fair share of detailing the finer points of the cocaine trade with their superb lyricism. You just can't fuck with songs like "Chinese New Year." Check the change in approach this time around though - they're bringing you the game from all different angles. Just check the differences between "Mama I'm So Sorry," the ridiculous Pharrell-featured "Hello New World" and "Nightmares."
It's hard to complain about the years of waiting for Hell Hath after you've heard the results (and they even left some incredible tracks on the cutting room floor). Just don't expect a nice, happy album that your girl is gonna like. It's raw beats, raw rhymes and even rawer subject matter. More importantly, it is amongst the finest albums that has hit the shelves in 2006. Uggghk.