Almost a year ago, word leaked that Pusha-T was signing with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music. What would this mean for your favorite trap rapper? Would he start wearing blouses and crooning in auto-tune? Would he flood the streets with coke raps, leaving his brother to his religious shit?
I guess we still don’t know if Pusha-T will start rocking bedazzled skinny jeans like his boss—he did rock a pink suit at the VMAs—but it appears that we will get at least one more Clipse album out of him. At some point. When they get another record deal. A lot of questions remain. Like, can Pusha best Willie the Kid’s The Fly 2 as the strongest mixtape offering so far this year?,
We’re finally getting one answer with Pusha-T’s first solo push. Fear of God was released last week, to much hype. People were waiting at their favorite rap blog for a download link. Did Pusha-T make the best mixtape of the year? No, he didn’t. And it sucks, because he could have. Easily.
The problem with Fear of God is that it comes off as more of a preview to an upcoming solo LP (coming later this year), and less like a mixtape that could pass as an album—like the best mixtapes. Simply put, the songs over original production, like “My God”, “I Still Wanna Rock”, “Raid” and “Alone In Vegas” are incredible. The winning formula is present here: Push provides lavish, cocaine kingpin tales that make you want to quit your job, and go sell kilos to school children forever. Or at least until you can cop a Benz and a yacht. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of these actually made the cut for his upcoming album, Long Live the King, because they sound like album cuts. The only drawback to Fear of God is that the industry beats that were chosen seem to be uninspired and predictable. Don’t get me wrong. The “Can iI Live” freestyle is crystallized crack rocks, but i find myself skipping most of the ‘freestyles’ on the tape.
Fear of God’s one standout track, “Alone In Vegas,” is probably the song of the year so far. Push is on his introspective shit, most of his crew is gone or moved on, and he’s left to live the high life on his own. This raw tale is set to a spare, sinister soundscape provided by Nottz. Fear of God is a really, really good mixtape. It’s just not a great one. The highs are really fucking high, but that makes the lower that much lower. A year or two from now, most people will probably reflect on this as a classic tape, but it’s really not. There are just too many ‘eh…’ moments that you’ll end up skipping.
That being said, all of the tracks with original production have constant replay status. (I swear I’ve played “Alone In Vegas” 200 times already.) If the cream of Fear Of God is any indicator of what we can expect from Pusha’s album, it’s very likely that his solo debut could be a serious problem. Move Long Live The King near the top of the list of highly anticipated releases of 2011, and while you’re doing so, keep blasting Fear of God.Share