Hell Hath No Fury
Record company nonsense delayed Hell Hath No Fury, the crack-rap duo’s second CD, for eons, but it was worth the wait. Pusha T and Malice’s drug-trade narratives are taut, grim, and gruff, emphasizing the psychic cost of criminal life. (”Through despair I traipse…/Hustling them Es and that C and that H,” raps Pusha T.) Bleak stuff, but it’s leavened by the rappers’ knack for uproarious punchlines, and by the festive synthesizer squelches and dance beats supplied by the Neptunes. Pound for pound — or, in Clipse terms, kilo for kilo — the best hip-hop album of 2006.