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Hell Hath No Fury
The album rides down the fine line that separates the superficial and the conscious, ignorance and awareness—and it leans both ways.
“This aint Pac inspired, it’s crack pot inspired…”
Backed by flawless and innovative production, Virginia Beach duo Clipse took concept rap to another level four years ago. With Til The Casket Drops in the not so distant past—‘Popular Demand’ was an immediate head-bopper—and Pusha T invading the airwaves recently thanks to his recent signing with G.O.O.D Music, it’s time to revisit one a slightly overlooked; Hell Hath No Fury.
When the album was recorded between 2003 and 2006, the duo found themselves in the midst of label politics—just as they had prior to the non-release of their first album Exclusive Audio footage, which was indefinitely shelved. At the time of the recording, or at least when they got their hands on the production, they were on Pharell Williams‘ Star Trak imprint (being his protégés from VA, he also produced their first two singles on Lord Willin, “Grindin’ and ‘Cot Damn’). As if by miracle, they managed to get their hungry hands on some of the best and darkest Neptunes beats ever, ones that accommodates their easy-going wordplay to perfection. Coke rap has never sounded so smooth.
Hell Hath No Fury is an album you’ll start at the beginning and never even feel the slightest urge to skip a track. As the opener, ‘We Got It for Cheap‘ sets the tone, with Pusha and Malice exchanging vicious, descriptive cocaine rap references with ease (“I’m more in touch with the keys, move over Alicia!”). The two singles, ‘Mr. Me Too’ and ‘Wamp Wamp (What It Do?),’ assisted by Pharell and Slim Thug respectively, do their job as such.
For me, the real standout tracks are ‘Keys Open Doors’ (you figure that one out), ‘Mama I’m So Sorry’ (“Heavenly Father once again I hate to bother, it’s P the evil creeper send some to the grim reaper”) with its ominous accordion loop, and the menacing ‘Chinese New Year’s’. Content-based rap often works, but on this 2006 release, the Thorntons take timing, storytelling and delivery to another dimension and serve them disrespectfully, with plenty of cojones.
This isn’t frivolous subject matter; the album rides a unicycle expertly down the fine line that separates the superficial and the conscious, ignorance and awareness—and it leans both ways. Never has peddling grey and beige dust seemed so appealing to an upper middle class white male. In the words of your Neighbourhood Pusha, “YUCCCCK!”
Words Hadrien ‘H-Man’ TurnerClipse feat. Pharrell Williams: Mr. Me Too