Hell Hath No Fury

Clipse's second album Hell Hath No Fury is receiving the kind of universal critical acclaim reserved for sacred cows like Wilco and Bob Dylan. Its supporters thrill at the Neptunes' slick, primal beats and Clipse brothers Pusha T and Malice's fluorescently hollow raps. Indeed, Hell Hath No Fury works best as a neon "crack rap" fantasy of the drug trade. "Ride Around Shining" bears a ghostly 808 kick drum worthy of the late hip-hop producer Scott La Rock, while "Nightmares" hovers in the air a doped-up blues. At one point, Pusha T references Geto Boys' "Mind Playing Tricks on Me": "I make big money, drive big cars/Everybody know me/It's like I'm a movie star/Virginia nights/Selling hard white/To selling out shows/Every gangsta love my flow," raps Pusha T. But Hell Hath for Fury has none of that classic lament's dirt and grime. There's no acknowledgement of the drug busts, incarcerations and senseless murders that follow a criminal's wake, just the violent and seamy celebration of conquest. It's admirably hallucinatory, and as beautifully and stylishly unreal as Superfly. As Pharrell Williams chimes, "Mommy I'm so sorry/I'm so obnoxious/I don't fear Tubbs and Crockett." 4 stars.