This article was written roughly 2 months ago. As stated in my last post, I never exactly mustered up the motivation to actually post it but here goes…
This weekend as I was searching through the depths of my attic for a few crates full of my grandfather’s old LP’s, I stumbled upon some old rap CDs and DVDs. After climbing up the fold-down wooden ladder style steps and into the abyss of Christmas decorations and insulation covered walls, I found the 3 boxes I was in search of. After I had my friend assist me in hoisting the records down the 8 foot drop and into my basement, we began looking through them. Reminiscing over the old Gladys Knight and George Clinton records, my eyes came upon a bag sitting on the third box. It was a brown plastic Giant Eagle (if you’re not from Pittsburgh, Google it) bag tied with a knot. Through the plastic I could faintly read the letters “Up in Smoke Tour” and immediately recognized it as my long lost favorite DVD chronicling the infamous 44 show, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem led tour. After seeing this, I immediately tore the bag open in bliss to find my other favorite movie, Friday, starring Ice Cube and Chris Tucker, as well as a plethora of rap CDs I had been searching for for years. (I believe these lost CDs as the doing of my mom years ago when she attempted to prevent my further interest in rap but that’s beside point) Within these CDs, I found 50 Cent’s The Massacre and Get Rich or Die Trying as well as Snoop Dogg’s Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, Laugh Now, Cry Later, Amerikkka’s Most Wanted and The Predator by Ice Cube, Game Theory by the Roots as well as many other compact discs. However, despite these great finds, one stuck out in particular to me. One album I bought but never really gave a chance. One album I listened to maybe once or twice but never really explored. That album is Hell Hath No Fury by Virginia Beach, Virginia duo, Clipse. The CD caught my eye and the next morning before an hour long drive to the South Hills of Pittsburgh with my parents, brother, and cousin, I grabbed my old Walkman and Beats headphones as well as all the CDs and threw in Hell Hath No Fury.
Two days later, after continually bumpin’ the groups sophomore album and critically acclaimed “comeback” of sorts, I decided I should review it. I mean, albums like this one (peaked at #14 on the Billboard 200 in 2006, sold a mere 78,000 its first week) are overlooked on a yearly basis. After numerous delays and disputes with Jive/Artista records, Hell Hath No Fury was released to moderate commercial success but nothing short of rave reviews from critics. It was a coke album in 2006 that more likely than not would have thrived a decade earlier in the middle-late 90s. Despite production on every track solely handled by the Neptunes, the album still lacked mainstream appeal. With all this being said, I figured, “why not give Clipse some well-deserved (and overdue) recognition?” Here is my review for the 2006’s Hell Hath No Fury.
Wu-Tang fans (I am one myself and find it hard to come to this realization), do not overreact at the next sentence. Clipse’s Hell Hath No Fury is comparable and virtually on the same level as Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… From its gritty yet subtle production to its story-telling, movie-like element, Clipse’s second effort lacks but a few things in comparison with Raekwon’s ’95 classic. While the purple tape does combine a few more elements that establish more of a movie like feel (particularly the skits and dialogue), Hell Hath No Fury paints an incredible picture. Ya, sure, it’s another coke album, but like Rae’s it has an incredibly personal feel to it, making it unique and separating it from other coke-themed releases. It details the glitz and glamour of the lifestyle as well as capturing the grittiness and potential dangers of the lifestyle through descriptive verses and catchy hooks. The production in and of itself tells a story of ups and downs, unimaginable wonders and paralyzing fears. Tracks like “Momma I’m So Sorry” and “Dirty Money” manage to convey the hardness and arrogance of a modern day drug kingpin while “Ride Around Shining” and “Nightmares” find a niche subtlety adding undertones of paranoia and insecurity of the future. All in all, Hell Hath No Fury garnered a 3.8 even on my grade point average scale putting it amongst the “undeniable classics”. While I may have thrown it a point lower at 3.7 on the line between “undeniable classics” and “near classic, great album”, ultimately, Hell Hath No Furyis probably the best coke rap album of the last 15 years.