Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hippity Hop

I don't believe I've tried to tackle any hip-hop albums yet, but this is a great place to start after a little hiatus. Reviewing a hip-hop album is totally different from anything in the Rock genre. There are variables that are unique; production (beats), lyrics, "flow," style, delivery, content of those lyrics, how they resonate, etc. I'll admit that I don't know everything there is to know about the above things that make up great hip-hop, but I can pick out a great sample or a creative line filled with double meanings. These are the things that impress me with great hip-hop songs or albums. Creativity. Not fitting into the Top 40, hear-it-in-a-club-till-it-sucks mold. Make me think. Listen closely, over and over. I'll admit that sometimes the other crap is catchy upon a few listens, but it's supposed to be. It's radio-ready to be eaten up by teenagers and make parents feel less threatened by using dumb metaphors that seem tame upon first listen. Clipse probably won't get played on the radio, but this album has been buzzing around for quite some time, and was highly anticipated after their debut and mixtape that included the first track off this album "We Got It For Cheap."

Hell Hath No Fury begins with the song that basically put Clipse on the map, the aforementioned "We Got It For Cheap." It's a catchy song that reminds the listener what they've been missing for the past four years as Clipse and the world waited for Sony-BMG to sort everything out and distribute this album. These brothers (Malice and Pusha T) from Virginia Beach, VA sound the same but have distinct styles to their flows. They were brought up thanks to a very early association with the Neptunes. This album is totally full of their beats, each of which are unique and like nothing you've heard before. The beats aren't complex, and for the most part play with rhythm and time that make them sound off-kilter. They bump, thump, hiss, crack, and jab. All of these qualities are perfect backdrops for the hard-hitting lyrical styles of Malice and Pusha T's rhymes.

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