Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pusha T – Fear of God Mixtape (2011) – Review

Pusha T – Fear of God
As one half of hip hop duo Clipse, Pusha T has developed his style of ‘cocaine rap’ with a number of trademarks that let familiar listeners know he is on a track. He exhibits great flow with a knack for fun play on words that make his lyrics enjoyable. Having signed to Kanye West’s label G.O.O.D. Music as a solo artist shortly after collaborating with him on the last Clipse album Til The Casket Drops. He made himself know to a bigger audience with wonderful features on a number of G.O.O.D. Fridays tracks and West’s amazing album My Dark Twisted Fantasy (including a great performance at 2010’s VMAs). Fear of God marks his first solo release, serving as a buildup to his studio album Long Live the Caine (which is rumored to be heavily produced by West, and why not when you are friends/partners with possibly the best working producer right now). The mixtape has seven new songs and six freestyles (my favorite of which is Blow/Funk Flex Freestyle) over existing (but tweaked) tracks. The new songs are all solid and would be album quality (if not better than) for most hip hop albums released so far this year. I Still Wanna with Rick Ross and Liva Don stands out however, both lyrically and quality wise. It is one of the best mainstream hip hop tracks to date in 2011. Pusha T is at the brink of potential enormous fame and wealth being part of West’s inner circle and yet he talks about still having that street instinct in him to make money the way he knows how – selling drugs. While many MCs boost about their street credibility, past and current exploits (real or not), Pusha T’s stories feel more honest – a bit like 2Pac and Biggie rapping about their lives or West’s narratives on heartbreak. There is a truth to his words that the listener can connect with. I also like Pusha T’s embracing of different types of beats (when a lot of mainstream, and even indy hip hop to its own degree, sounds similar). Songs like Touch It and his single off the mixtape My God feature a much more subtle beat allowing his voice and words to dominate and pull in the listener. The mixtape is impressive overall and definitely has me excited and looking forward to Long Live the King. Pusha T has the skills and is ready to be among the best out there right now. 3/5

Editor’s Song Picks:
1)      I Still Wanna – Featuring Rick Ross and Liva Don, produced by Inkredibles
2)      Tough It – Featuring and produced by Kanye West
3)      Alone in Vegas (Outro) – Produced by Nottz

Available for Digital Download

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