The Passion of the Weiss

Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick. But most of the time, I don't rhyme.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Why Mobb Deep's Hell on Earth Is Twice as Hot as the Other Hell


Sorry. But I had to add one more thing. Especially after this and this. Granted, those scores are no surprise. Anyone with a pulse and an Internet connection could've predicted that Pitchfork and Stylus would annoint Clipse's Hell Hath No Fury, the Top Rap Album of 2006. Better than Ghostface's Fishscale. Better than Lupe Fiasco's Food and Liquor, The Game's Doctor's Advocate Murs' Murray's Revenge and The Roots' Game Theory. Making Hell Hath No Fury the most overrated hip-hop album ever released (though Late Registration and The Love Below/Speakerboxx certainly give it a run for its money). Does anyone honestly believe that it's better than We Got it 4 Cheap Vol. 2? And if so, why? (Hint: Ian "Sexy Results" Cohen quite brilliantly provides the answer in this post).

People seem to have either forgotten what rap sounded like in 1994-1997 (makes sense since many rap fans are stoners) or they started liking rap with the Black Star album. Fair enough. But to paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen, I've seen classic albums, and Hell Hath No Fury is no classic album.
Wherefore Art Thou Loud Records? Wherefore art Thou?


Indeed Hell Hath No Fury is merely the 4th best rap album with the word "Hell" in the title, following Raising Hell, Cage's Hell's Winter, and the best of the bunch, Mobb Deep's Hell on Earth. Hauntingly bleak and brilliant in its simplicity. Hell on Earth might not match the dystopian perfection of its predecessor, The Infamous, but remains one of the finest hip-hop albums ever made.

Havoc, the architect of Mobb Deep's sound might've been able to give Rza and Premier some competition for the title of the best producer of the mid-90s NYC scene. With sonics full of hypnotic and ominous piano loops, gritty crackling drums and eerie synths, Havoc's beats seem grimy and raw, beautifully matching Prodigy's haunting and vivid tales of Queensbridge. Unlike the Internet's favorite flavor of the month rappers, Hell on Earth is full of great cinematic storytelling, something the Clipse seem incapable of, wasting verses on non-stop bragging and boasting, opting to insert tired cliches and spending their entire album trying to think of different ways to make "key/ki" drug jokes.

Granted, it's easy to poke fun at Mobb Deep in the year 2006, especifally after the abortion that was Blood Money and all inevitable suckitude (because it's new word Tuesday) that accompanies 50 Cent where ever he goes. But approximately a decade ago, before the Summerjam fiasco, there were few more fierce sounding individuals on wax. It's certainly not a coincidence that the group's music hyped Eminem's 8 Mile character before going on-stage. Even after having long since sold out, Prodigy and Havoc still seem more menacing than the Clipse, who have repeatedly proclaimed themselves B.F.F. (Pusha T-'s words...I think) with the Neptunes and Justin Timberlake. Yup, that Timberlake/Clipse collabo "Like I Love You" was nothing if not rough, rugged and raw. Almost as good as "Shook Ones Pt. II."
The Only Rule at G-Unit Records: You Must Pose Shirtless on Every Album Cover. Or Else.

When push comes to shove, classic rap albums are merely the sum of classic songs, an area where Hell on Earth shines in contrast. Hell Hath No Fury can't match the murderous and savage "God Pt. III." It doesn't have the Tupac-smashing "Drop a Gem on Em. It has guest appearances from Slim Thug and Pharrell. In contast, Hell on Earth gets a scorching Method Man guest verse on "The Extortion," a slick Cuban Linx-era Raekwon on "Nighttime Vultures," and 16 bars of classic Nas on "Give It Up Fast."

If you haven't heard vintage Mobb Deep and you love Hell Hath No Fury than you're in for a treat. You can buy Hell on Earth here. And if you have heard it before and still are blown away by the genius of Hell Hath No Fury, than please send me whatever it is that you're smoking. I imagine you must have the hook-up and obviously got it 4 cheap.

Download:
Mobb Deep: "Nighttime Vultures" from Hell on Earth (right-click, save as)

Mobb Deep: "God (Pt. III)" from Hell on Earth (right-click, save as)

Bonus:
Mobb Deep: "Shook Ones Pt. 2" from The Infamous (right-click, save as)

The Round-Up
Pete Wentz: The Voice of a Degeneration
Jay-Z is doing a guest appearance on the Fall Out Boy CD. The best part about the article is that it reveals that when Jay-Z phone-calls the band he introduces himself, "This is Hov." To which Pete Wentz immediately begins crying and asking for girl (or boy) advice.

I know this is old, but I had to mention that Kanye West is now sponsoring race cars. The only condition is that if the drivers lose the race, they have to throw a temper tantrum and scream about how unfair everything was.

Skeet on Mischa's Top 10 Songs of the Year

Dallas Penn:"Clipse is the number one rap group for guys who moved into urban areas from the midwest, who wear extra schmedium t-shirts and skateboard to Starbucks. They also have high powered internets connections and slick looking iMacs at their office desks. These clowns can recite every single Clipse verse evar made, even the the ones from the hidden track on the ‘We Tongue Kiss Chad Hugo For Cheap’ mixtape."

Buried in the P-Fork interview with Stones Throw chief Peanut Butter Wolf is the revelation that the Madvillain album is close to being completed and will likely come out next year. Another reason why 2007 might be the best year of music in a long long time, other than new albums from Spoon, Wilco, Arcade Fire, Shins, et. al,

Vast Aire of Cannibal Ox's Myspace page is streaming relatively new and very very good songs. Definitely worth checking out.

I have no idea where Aquarium Drunkard gets his bootlegs but they're incredible. Check out these Pink Floyd tracks from the Zabriskie Point Sessions.

10 Comments:

At 3:30 AM, Blogger Douglas Reinhardt said...

Yeah, that Pitchfork Clipse review makes me wonder if the staff at Pitchfork has a small piece of the Clipse's publishing? It's about as bad as British Rock critics and the Artic Monkeys/ whatever the new it band is that half hour.

 
At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are just right about Hell On Earth. Just right... this album had a real grimey cocaine cool aura

 
At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Rap Jack Bauer said...

Weiss:

Thank you for acknowledging the brilliance of "Hell on Earth." What I like most about it is that it's probably the best produced hip hop album comprised mainly of 2 bar sample loops ("G.O.D. III" being the exception). Listening to the production of Havoc in '96 reminds me of a time when producers weren't concerned with out-stunnin' the MC's and building names for themselves--they just made some dope, head nod shit and let capable MC's make the tracks into classics. DJ Premier still uses this formula to this day.

Plus, I remember really thinking in high school that Prodigy and crew would really stick me up and then kill me while drinkin' Henny and smokin' dro if I dared set foot in QB (listen to this skit before "G.O.D." when they're in the spot watching "Twilight Zone" ready to kill that cat on the basketball court--eerie and disturbing).

While everyone else around them were screaming and ranting about thug life, they calmly broke down the science of f*cking people up with no excitement or remorse. The Clipse try this laid back approach but aren't nearly as convincing--after all, they live in a world of BAPE, Ice Creams, BBE and Plastic Man sunglasses.

 
At 11:01 AM, Anonymous floodwatch said...

YES. Hell on Earth scared the shit out of me when it was first released and makes Hell Hath No Fury sound child's play like in comparison. Just the snares on that album give me chills.

Very on-point.

 
At 3:19 PM, Blogger eric said...

man, you're really catching feelings over this clipse cd... hell on earth and hell hath no fury seem to have two very different aims. comparing the two simply because of their similar titles would be like comparing the X-Files to the X-men animated series. sure, they were both on Fox, but it'd be silly to lambaste david duchovny for not being able to shoot optic blasts out of his eyes. regardless, mob deep stay losing.

 
At 5:51 PM, Anonymous fresh said...

No love for Its Dark and Hell is Hot?

 
At 6:00 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

touche...forgot about that one...okay Hell Hath No Fury is the 5th best rap album with hell in the title.

 
At 12:14 AM, Blogger LDR said...

Man, I really can't wait for 2007.2006 is really weak compared to next year's slate. Besides everything you mentioned Ryan Adams fans will have another orgasmic year. The word is he's dropping another trifecta a la 2005.

I can't wait for the new Wilco, should be amazing.

 
At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Your Mom. said...

Hell's Winter? Are you fucking serious?

UUUUGH.

There is no way that is better than Clipse. Sorry. Eat some dicks or something.

 
At 10:45 AM, Blogger Etalon said...

Download Mobb Deep - Hell on Earth from THIS site! FREE

 

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