Saturday, January 10, 2009

Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury

I've heard this album a couple times, although I haven't gotten around to writing about it until now. Clipse's strong suit would definitely have to be their inventive lyrics, although the beats aren't bad either. Obviously I'm no expert on rap, but I have a pretty good time listening to this and I trust those more informed who speak for its quality. There's a similar theme running through a lot of the songs, as the two members talk about their apparent past dealing drugs on the streets and how now they're big rappers making money. The latter isn't a terribly original topic, but the honesty of the former is pretty interesting. The two guys sound similar but are distinguishable, and they rhyme about everything from Scarface to Sesame Street. I get that pop culture references are nothing new to hip-hop, but Clipse makes them pretty natural and well-integrated without getting off topic. There are a few guests on various tracks, some doing some singing in the chorus and others doing their own verses, like one track featuring the whole crew of the Re-Up Gang which Clipse is part of (I'd like to thank The Wire for improving my street vocabulary so dramatically).

The album seems to get stronger as it goes on, at least musically. "Hello New World", "Keys Open Doors", and "Trill" seem to have the strongest beats backing them, at least to my ears that like original, bass-heavy sounds and odd vocal samples. And the closing song, "Nightmares", is easily the most distinct on the album, with an old R&B feel and nice groove. There's quality throughout the album though, starting with "We Got It for Cheap" as it introduces exactly what to expect and ends with a famous sound clip from Pulp Fiction. I've vaguely wanted to listen to a bit more rap than I have traditionally for some time now, because at least it's more interesting than some other popular genres, and Clipse seems like it was a good place to start.

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