Pusha-T of the Clipse — and, as he’s better known recently, of Kanye West’s inner circle — released Fear of God, his first solo mixtape, last night. It’s a prelude to his official debut, which supposedly will be fully produced by Kanye; as such, it’s perfect. With more hard-boiled, overly enunciated drug talk, Pusha is definitely preaching to the choir. But he’s never sounded quite so epic while doing his very-specific thing. Maybe it’s that he gets to go in over Reasonable Doubt beats and leftover Kanye productions; maybe it’s that he gets to realistically ad-lib stuff like “Coming live and direct from Abu Dhabi, recorded in the Emirates Palace, I bring to you the Fear Of God.” Or maybe heading out without Malice, his brother and Clipse partner, has forced him to sound twice as commanding as he usually does. There are also much-appreciated stray bits of vulnerability sneaked in (another effect of hanging with ‘Ye?), most notably on “Alone in Vegas.” (“Feels like I’m doomed to dealing with women who / relationships with their fathers won’t allow us to bloom.”) Our favorite track so far, though, is the kind of thing you could have expected out of Pusha at any given point of his career: the massive, Rick Ross–featuring “I Still Wanna” — as in, “I still wanna sell kilos.” What’s the radio edit on that one?
Download Fear of God at Grooveshark