Review Summary: I was just assuming you'd keep the coke movin'/But I got one question, fuck y'all been doing?
Before Clipse, or more particularly their Hell Hath No Fury
days, Pharrell Williams, despite his generally increased popularity in comparison to his Neptunes compadre Chad Hugo, couldn’t really be considered a production mastermind on his own. Chad Hugo was a much more musically ambitious partner, involving himself with the wondrous production spacey sounds of Kenna’s debut, and it seemed as if Chad had all the ideas and Pharrell was the monkey partner who got all the credit. However, on Hell Hath No Fury
, Pharrell, although singularly stuck in pop and rap, proves that his ideas are just as working and functioning as his partner and he can stand up to Chad Hugo’s considerable ability. Although the production credited as The Neptunes, Hell Hath No Fury
is entirely Pharrell creation, as soon after around 2005, Chad Hugo had been placing more focus into Kenna, and it only shows more of why Pharrell is a great producer. “Momma I’m So Sorry” mixes the similar punchy drum feeling with an off kilter timing and an accordion, something rare in rap, but used to create a unique, interesting beat for Pusha T and Malice to spit their street knowledge over. Other highlights include the dissonant haunted house organs of “Ride around Shining”, the swirling synthesizer composition of “Hell No World”, and the melancholy ballad “Nightmares” that perfectly shows and closes off the album with a kick.
Clipse themselves are up to the challenging side show of freak beats with snowy metaphors and slang talk that mixes the East Coast and the South in equal proportions for lyrical rap excellence. “We Got It For Cheap (Intro)” particularly pushes this form of lyricism, with flowing occasionally taking on some verbal triplets like that of Big L and at times mean exactly what they’re saying like southern rappers, but some of the best lyrics on the song are metaphoric like most influential east coasters (“Niggaz don't get the picture, it's written in scripture/Even at your mama's she'll tell you that blood's thicker”). Favorite Clipse lines are written on such tracks as “Momma I’m So Sorry” (“With Basic Rhyme Pattern, How The *** You Tryin' To Chatter/Basic Ass Rappers Got 'em Runnin' For Their Life/I Philosophize About Glocks And Keys/Niggas Call Me Young Black Socrates, West-Indies”) and the AB-Liva- featured “Ride Around Shining” (AB-Liva: “Is it the bling, the king, conquistador/That my jeweler made the face blush on the Frank Mueller/The R shape peculiar, it's awesome, layin' over dark skin/Lookin' like arson when I park in the left, it's constant” Pusha T: Dior whore, Christian Lacroix/Keep guns stashed under the floor board/Enough to start world war/Paradise in reaches, home next to beaches/Hair pressed, blowin' in the wind, *** 'bout long as Jesus/I still leave speech for Gospel, so match this”, it seems that Clipse have put their most in to their sophomore effort.
Like any album though, Hell Hath No Fury
has filler, and that seems to get in the way of how successful it is, but its only a small part of the record that doesn’t really affect the record as much as most filler. “Dirty Money” is good, the guitar line certainly works, and Clipse certainly raps well, but the topic of the ladies just sounds like they’d much rather rap about Coke, though the Cinderella metaphor almost saves it. “Trilla” and “Ain’t Cha” are legitimately worse than the rest of the album though, with “Trilla” taking more of a syrupy Southern influence, almost in a parodying way, while “Ain’t Cha” contains the most annoying hook of all time, and Clipse’s Re-Up Gang weed carriers sound immature compared to how they would sound on the future mixtapes. Even with filler pieces, Hell Hath No Fury
is a clever, pop-cultured rap record that sounds both menacing and intellectual, and does it without sacrificing “street cred” or sonic pleasantness.