Clipse isn’t ‘shy’ about forceful hip-hop


“Hell Hath No Fury”

3.5 out of 5 stars

The brothers Malice and Pusha T from Virginia, otherwise known as Clipse, have certainly benefited from their association with the Neptunes over the years.

After all, their friendship with Pharrell Williams was one of the big reasons that they got a record deal in the first place. In addition to that, this album was produced by the Neptunes (though seemingly without Chad Hugo).

The production will probably be the first thing hip-hop fans are drawn to since the beats on this album are some of the most minimal and quirky work that the Neptunes have churned out. Quite frankly though, I’m more interested in the lyrical ability of the brother MCs.

Those of you who are not familiar with their work might be offset a bit by their somewhat twisted rhymes and the surprising force at which they are delivered. But herein lies the beauty of the hip-hop they create: it defies a lot of logical convention.

You don’t need a lot of overly flashy production nor a gangbanger lyrical mentality to create quality hip-hop. With American rap music at its most stagnant and closed-minded state, Clipse kicks in the door with a cold-blooded collection of slightly left-of-center East Coast rap that feels like a breath of fresh air.

Key Tracks: “Ride Around Shining,” “Hello New World,” “Wamp Wamp (What It Do)”

The Shys


3.5 out of 5 stars

Do you remember the year 2001? That was the year that was supposed to save rock music forever as the debut LPs from “the big two,” the Hives and the Strokes, were released.

Well, the Shys certainly seem to remember that year since they’re doing a pretty fair job of copying the buzz off those two bands. Originally called the Gun Shys, the band had to change their name due to legal problems since there was already another artist recording under the moniker “Gun Shy.”

Led by singer-guitarist Kyle Krone, the band crafts a sound that is like an updated version of ’60s British Invasion-style garage rock and ’70s-style punk. In other words, think The Kinks meet The Clash meet Jet.

Sure, it may not be the most original sounding band to ever rise out of Southern California, but its music suggests that, unlike others, the members have spent just about as much time studying music as they have playing music.

If more bands did that, we’d all probably be better off in the long run. In five words, not a bad album indeed.

Key Tracks: “Call in the Cavalry,” “Having it Large,” “Two Cent Facts”