Fear of God

As one half of the Clipse, Pusha-T helped raise crack rap to new artistic heights, mainly through a kind of mono-mania: Every rhyme offered a kitchen-counter vision of the drug trade. This solo mixtape debut offers little evidence that Pusha — now signed to Kanye West's GOOD Music label — has changed his worldview. "Searching for the fish scale like I'm tryna find Nemo/I still wanna sell kilos," he crows. He pours freestyles over tracks made famous by Lil Wayne and Bun B; originals include the Kanye collabo "Touch It," which jettisons drug talk for sex talk. Overall, it's what we've come to expect: tight rhymes delivered in an insistent rasp, and an amazing facility for making new punch lines out of old metaphors.

Listen to Pusha-T feat. Kanye West's "Touch It":

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From The Archives Issue 1129: April 28, 2011