Ah Clipse, two brothers from VA with a pin point focus on the white stuff. I used to doubt Clipse’s powder pushing credentials but love their slick rap stylings (helped, in most part, by The Neptunes budget sounding backing tracks). However, after their manager was arrested, and charged with running a $10 million dollar drug ring, a little more weight was added to their case.
So, this is the much-anticipated Pusha T solo mixtape, released for free on Pusha-T.com. Thirteen tracks, and every one of them coke riddled and self-reflective. Just what I expected, huh?
Well, no actually. I seem to recall Pusha telling us that this was him trying to lose his ‘Coke Rap’ label – something that Clipse have told us for some time that they’re trying to rise above. Opening you first mixtape with an out take from Scarface probably isn’t the best move then. Not to mention, horribly cliché for a mixtape released in 2011. I mean, my god, Geto Boys were doing that almost twenty years ago!
These may sound like negative views, but you forget one thing; I fucking love coke rap. And I fucking love Pusha T. This mixtape just happens to showcase some of the best written lines I’ve heard in a long time, even if some of the production is straight from the “G.O.O.D Music” pop trash bin.
I can’t be bothered with paying homage to forefathers
See the future like the car show floor models
Both feet in the snow so that my core follows
We don't mourn for the dead nigga, we pour bottles
Drown sorrows, ocean blue Murcielagos
See that? Every track oozes attitude. And coke, don’t forget the coke… but mainly attitude. Tight, modern beats, and that all important Clipse organ… Pusha sits up front in every mix, twisting and turning stories of coke and it’s exploits beautifully. Passion in every line, and every verse fully analysed with attention to detail that only Pusha seems to supply today.
This is one of the few mixtapes I’ve heard where every track has brilliant lines. Upon listening, you really et the impression that Pusha really exerted a great amount of effort writing some of these – every line being direct, simple and poignant.
Of the Thirteen tracks only really two of them fall flat – “Raid (Feat. 50 Cent and Pharrell Williams)” and “Blow/Funk Flex Freestyle”. The latter of which is based on a surprisingly excellent freestyle session he did with Kanye West on some radio show I’d never heard of. “Raid” however, has no such excuse… Even then, the biggest problem with “Raid” isn’t even Pusha, who delivers a cocky and fun verse of a lounge styled Pharrell beat. No, the problem is it features 50 Cent. 50 mumbles over an uninspired verse, stealing a little piece of energy from the track with every word he utters.
Rarely have I heard such a poorly delivered verse, especially noticeable since it totally kills the flow of the entire track. But modern rap seems to be all about getting big names to guest on your track, regardless of content quality. Well Pusha can now claim to be on a record with 50, but it really should be appreciated the opposite way – 50 should be bragging about appearing on such a nice production for once.
I’d strongly recommend buying this Mixtape if it were for sale – but the fact that it’s free make it a gift. Download it now, blast it in the car and wait with bated breath for Pusha’s album later this year.