The Quotable Reviews: Hell Hath No Fury

"Through despair I traipse, bakin' pies, makin' cake. Hustlin' them Es and that C and H."
"Ain't Cha" - Clipse: Hell Hath No Fury

In the Summer of 2002, The Clipse emerged on the Hip Hop scene with its critically acclaimed commercial debut, Lord Willin'. Now I don't know if it was the LP's seemingly singular cocaine focused content or the duo's (brothers Malice and Pusha T) monotonous (and indistinguishable) delivery, but Lord Willin' was a straight Jewish holiday (pass-over). It didn't grab The Company Man. I guess I couldn't relate.

After a vicious label dispute (Arista Records was dissolved into sister label Jive Records, as part of the Sony Music / BMG merger in 2004, leaving the group in album release limbo), The Clipse returns with its highly anticipated sophomore set, Hell Hath No Fury. Over the past 4-years they've had the internet goin' nuts....Was the buzz worth the wait? Lets take a listen...


"I listen to the beat and the rhyme is wrote. /
See I was 16, eyes full of hope. /
Baggin' up grams at the Hyatt. Though, /
The news called it Crack. I called it Diet Coke."
"Hello New World" - The Clipse: Hell Hath No Fury

On Hell Hath No Fury, The Clipse once again choose to focus largely on their life pushin' that "pure white." The album intro, "We Got It For Cheap," showcases the duo's nearly identical delivery using coke lines to opine on their recent label struggle. "No serum can cure / all the pain I've endured / from crack to rap to back to sellin' in pure," raps Malice (or possibly Pusha T....I can't tell these dudes apart) over The Neptunes hallow drums and synthesized piano keys.

The theme continues on "Momma I'm So Sorry" but this time adding deeper Content to the content.

"But its a bigger picture, holms. Trust, I done seen it... /
I'm no longer local, my thoughts are global. /
Thats why I seem distant. Son, expand you're vision."
"Hello New World" - The Clipse: Hell Hath No Fury

In fact Hell Hath No Fury is at its best when The Clipse's cocain laced raps delve deeper into the psychology behind their hustlin. I mean, its one thing to merely put a bunch of fly words and phrases together over a tight beat and tell a bunch of drug tales (the recent influx of mediocre rappers braggin' about their blow pushin' lifestyles is a testament to that (example no. 1: Rick Ross). But that played out subject matter becomes relevant when an MC makes you relate to the "struggle" without ever experiencing it (a facet that I missed - or they missed - on their previous album, Lord Willin'). The Clipse largely accomplish this feat on Hell Hath No Fury, but never more so than on "Hello New World" and "Nightmares" - the albums 2 most potent cuts (pun intended).

Where "Momma I'm So Sorry" adds Content to the content, "Hello New World" adds the Consequence. The track's infectious hook and The Neptunes oddly choppy, yet fluid production (I'd provide a better description, but my vocabulary isn't that good....yet) has been stuck on the dome all week! Pusha T (or maybe Malice...still indistinguishable) reaches out to his "A-Alikes...who rock Air Nikes, livin' a hustler's way of life," to remind them that its not all good in the drug game.

"I ain't comin' at your 'quote-unquote' favorite rapper /
Who turned positive; try to tell you how to live. /
But this information I must pass to the homies. /
If hustlin' is a must, be Sosa (Sammy) not Tony (Mantana). /
We can all shine, I want your wrist lit like mine.../
Anything that keep mamma from cryin. Visitin /
you behind that glass while you await sentencin.' /
Cause the judge is sayin' life like it ain't someone's Life."
"Hello New World" - The Clipse: Hell Hath No Fury

Furthermore, (taking a nod from the Geto Boys 1991 classic single, "Mind Playing Tricks On Me") on "Nightares" The Clipse expound on the paranoia that comes along with 'pushin it.' Pharrell croons lovely "When I go outside I feel somethin behind me. / I'm lookin back but nothins' around me. / Whats goin on? / What Am I trippin on?" over sultry production from The Neptunes (those dudes are so versatile! Seriously, who else can produce tracks for Jay-Z to Brittney Spears to The Clipse and never sound redundant? Its a beautiful thing. How many years away are they from a lifetime achievement award? Another tangent...), the only beat of its kind on the album.

Unfortunately the album stumbles with the duo's decision to spit braggin' raps for a third of the album. On "Wamp Wamp," (the second single) and "Trill," the group does little more than boast about what they sell, what they wear, and "what it do."

"Dirty Money" highlights the Clipse's willingness to blow "pockets full of stinkies" (drug money) on the ladies....filling the obligatory "chick-track" void (which has to be tough on an album largely about cocaine sales).

The gun shots ring in on "Chinese New Year." Zero originality. Zero replay value.

But even though the content shows little variety on the tracks above, the songs themselves sound great (excluding Chinese New Year) so the albums overall feel doesn't suffer. You can still let it ride without hitting 'Skip.'


"The Realest shit I ever wrote. /
Not 'Pac inspired. Its crack-pot inspired."
"Keys Open Doors" - The Clipse: Hell Hath No Fury

Hell Hath No Fury is a lyrically consistent, sonically exceptional (produced entirely by The Neptunes) cruise through the mind and life of coke dealin siblings. These boys look alike, (probably) walk alike, and (judging by the fact that I can barely tell the two apart) certainly talk alike. Its like they're the rappin' Patty Dukes of Hip Hop...except they're not twins (Malice was born in 1973; Pusha T was born in 1977)...and they talk about drugs...a lot. And the fact that they focus largely on cocaine isn't egregious because they can actually rhyme! This album is closer to (emphasis on closer to) Raekwon's (and Ghostface's) Only Built For Cuban Links and Scarface's The Fix in that manner than (swagger heavy, lyrically deficient) Rick Ross's Port of Miami or Young Jeezy's Lets Get It: Thug Motivation 101.

I can't verify whether or not they're being true to themselves or the lives they've (possibly not) lived, but Hell Hath No Fury is intricate and entertaining nonetheless. They could've scored additional points with The Company Man by including the lyrics in the cd booklet (choosing instead to showcase a bunch of pictures of them draped in BAPE and rockin suits while ice grillin the camera), but thats chump change. Whats most important is that Malice and Pusha T have crafted one of the years best LPs. Clipse fans should rejoice. The wait was well worth it.

Rating: QQQQ
  • Best Tracks:
  • Hello New World
  • Aint' Cha
  • Nightmares

Carry on...

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