Artist: ClipseTitle: Hell Hath No FuryRating: 4 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Martin A. Berrios
The dope dealer persona has always had its place in Hip-Hop. UGK coined the phrase “Riding Dirty,” Jay painted Technicolor style pictures of the ups and down of the game, and B.I.G. broke down the ten rules of success. Since their 2002 “debut”, Lord Willin’, the Clipse have stayed true to their own brand of cocaine rap. Their blaring smash “Grindin'” had the streets shaking and made way for another synonym for the hand to hand trade to be added to the official slang dictionary. Praised by critics and block huggers alike, Lord Willin’ made it clear that Virginia wasnt only for lovers. After four years, a couple of classic mixtapes and plenty of label contractual drama; the brothers Thornton’s re-up Hell Hath No Fury (Re-Up/Star Trak/Jive) is finally bagged up and ready for the streets. Entirely produced by The Neptunes, the wait is well worth it as Malice and Pusha deliver that uncut audio dope.
Clipse wastes no time getting right into their infamous pyrex paragraphs on the aptly titled opener “We Got It For Cheap.” Both siblings stress that their skills with the scales and microphones are equally as precise as they flow effortlessly over hard-hitting production with ad libs from Spanish Lee. Malice and Pusha further establish their white powder brought us everything demeanor with “Momma I’m Sorry.” The Neptunes lay some discordant accordion notes over speedy high hats as the duo’s unapologetic swagger is topped off with slick lines like these from Pusha: “Sorry heavenly father/Once again I hate to bother/It’s P the evil creeper/Send some to the grim reaper/Meanwhile me and my misses like Solomon and Sheba.”
In regards to versatility, their coke campaign is put to the side for a couple of tracks, making the album a lot more balanced than its predecessor. Accordingly, the discs stand out joint is the stick up kid inspired “Chinese New Year.” Malicious and P reconnect with long lost Star Trak cohort Roscoe P. Coldchain and detail their shakedown tactics with clever wordplay (“Cooperate, escape is useless/Trust me I’m your friend, I will walk you through this”). Additionally “Nightmares” displays deeper sides of each brother as both analyze the self-inflected paranoia of getting run up on that comes along with the hustler territory. Bilal’s eerie vocals add to the already dark track while the boys replay the haunting scenarios.
With Chad and Pharrell manning the boards for the entire project their signature keyboard synthesized sound is still in effect but applied in a more meticulous manner. Sonically Fury keeps an aggressive tone throughout with the old school arrangement of “Trill” and drum change ups on the sweeping “Ride Around Shining.”
Point blank, Clipse did the dam thing on this album. Pusha and Malice lyrically keep fire burning on every joint. Diehard fans looking for the Re-Up gang won’t be disappointed either with strong cameos from Sandman (“Cannoooons!”) and Ab-Liva on the frenzied “Ain’t Cha.” Minus the lukewarm “Dirty Money,” Hell Hath No Fury is the outline that hustler MC’s will study. Mr. Me Too’s need not apply.