In the Spring of 2010 G.O.O.D Music had the world
wide web buzzing. Word on the curb was Kanye had signed Pusha T to his infamous label. Rumors were put to rest when it was announced that “G.O.O.D Music Day” would take place on September 14, 2010. This date would mark the release of Kanye’s 5th full length album, Big Sean’s debut release and last but not least, Pusha T’s first solo effort in mixtape form, Fear of God.
Needless to say these plans fell through. With the climate of today’s industry, a lot of your favorite rappers are having a hard time keeping promises on release dates. No biggie, right? We still got an amazing album from Kanye around Thanksgiving and
Big Sean released his first single then there is Fear of God.
We all know about the lyrical prowess Pusha displayed on previous projects. No matter if it was with Justin Timberlake, Faith Evans, Birdman, Clipse or the RE-UP Gang, one thing was for certain… Pusha T was gonna stand out. There was no surprise, Pusha had everybody anticipating the release of his mixtape. His features on G.O.O.D Friday leaks like “So Appalled” were just teases. Not to mention his appearance stage-side with Kanye West a year after the Taylor Swift incident. You would think Kanye would want the stage to himself, right?
With so much of Pusha T popping up here and there in 2010 we had to be thinking “What can we expect in 2011?” Then and then came “My God.” The track was so impressive it sent us over the top. In the middle of one quarter we were ready to give Pusha T 2011. “My God” was followed by “Cook It Down” and then it’s visual and then the mixtape.
I was very anxious to hear the tape, especially after the two “singles.” I had very high hope. How could he disappoint us, right? I mean after all this project IS a year in the making, right? Right? In previous years highly anticipated mixtapes that actually lived up to their hype have never been debated. Think about it. You can probably count on one hand the amount of people that weren’t impressed with “Kush and Orange Juice” (2010), “So Far Gone” (2009), “Mixtape About Nothing” (2008).
I was so ready to put “Fear of God” amongst the elite but oddly enough… I would never. I liked the tape but it was not worth the hype. There has been talk about this mixtape for nearly a year. The least I expected was something album worthy. The debate is his lyrical ability. Ok, cool. Pusha more than showed off his ability to spit (no homo.) But something is missing. Oh! I know. It’s his ability to construct a song. Even the first leak, “My God,” the repetitive hook sold him out. Two words in an entire hook can get old fast. The hook to “Cook it Down” (even though it’s tough) is just Drake’s words reworded. Complex compared “Touch It” to Cam and Wayne’s “Suck it or Not.” Not even close. Another rushed hook and they get the -___- face for not having Kanye spit a 16.
There’s a new formula to mixtapes. They sound like albums. Some are even originally produced from start to finish. But this rule doesn’t apply to you if you’re Pusha T. Since his skills are so unmatched he can just put 20 or 30 plus bars over instrumentals like Wayne’s “Money on My Mind” and Jay’s “Can I Live.” He also opted to throw in a “Speakers Going Hammer” freestyle. I guess he thought that was what’s hot in the streets.
I should have seen this coming but I didn’t. For some odd reason I thought Push was gonna lay off the ‘coke rap.’ I mean, you’re affiliated with Kanye, your solo career is taking off, you’re in your 30’s and most of all, coke rap is dead! I could be wrong but I haven’t seen any candy painted old schools banging TM103. Have you? Oh. Let’s just say crack rap is fatality wounded. Dope boys have taken the mixtape route to showcase their scales, arm & hammer and aprons. How has that been working out? I don’t see the CEO of SRC spamming Tity Boy’s mentions on Twitter. *shrugs* Right now, the only coke rapper that is winning is Rick Ross. Even so, he still manages to switch up the subject matter.
Don’t get me wrong. Pusha T did have a few gems on the tape as well. “Feeling Myself” featuring Kevin Cossom sounded like it could be a first single from “Long Live the King” rather than a throwaway. I could always hear the chemistry between Pharrell and the Clipse. No surprise “Raid” was a banger, in spite of 50 Cent’s struggle to put bars together. And if you’re gonna rap about being a cocaine boss, who better to grab for a feature other than Rick Ross? Of course you have to try to build your weed carrier’s resume as well. That’s what friends are for, right?
I’m not trying to shock the world by saying Pusha T’s tape is average. I’m just saying Pusha T’s tape is average. We could have downloaded this on September 14, 2010 and been over it by now. It just wasn’t worth the wait and the hype. I will still be checking for “Long Live the King” and whatever else he does in the future, but a spade’s a spade. “Fear of God” is just another mixtape. – @Lil_Vern