Artist: Pusha T
Album: Fear Of God II: Let Us Pray
Label: G.O.O.D. Music
First off let it be known that Fear Of God II: Let Us Pray isn’t officially Pusha T’s debut solo album. It’s technically an EP/sequel to his Fear Of God mixtape that dropped earlier this year. However, it serves as a nice preview to what Pusha T’s album will most likely consist of when it drops, and that is tales of a drug dealer turned rapper told by Pusha T and his drug dealer turned rapper peers. Sound Familiar? Well despite the lack of original lyrical content, Pusha manages to make things interesting by enlisting a number of high profile features for this project including everyone from former dope slanging colleagues like 50 Cent, Young Jeezy and French Montana to MC’s with much less of a criminal background like Tyler The Creator, Pharrell and G.O.O.D. Music label mate Kanye West. On the production side of things Pusha gets laced with an assortment of first class beats, mostly bangers, from the likes of Shawty Redd, Hit-Boy, The Neptunes, Bangladesh, Nottz, and Tha Bizness.
Fear Of God II opens with a song called “Changing Of The Guards” featuring Diddy, and by featuring I mean Diddy has some adlibs and maybe says a sentence or two before Pusha goes in. But it’s probably best that way because who wants to listen to Diddy actually spit when Pusha is serving up heat like “I gave these lions heart like my name ended in Oz / Been a long time coming Sam cooking up these bars”. As usual most of Pusha’s lyrics on Fear Of God II are made up of punch lines like the ones just listed, some that are much more clever, and others that just reek of laziness. The song “Feeling Myself” contains a surplus of played out punch lines that Pusha T really could have done without like “shine like diamonds and pearls” and “get shot like a free throw” (haven’t heard that one before). Fortunately for Pusha his lackluster lyrics are eclipsed by a more than catchy beat from Tha Bizness and an even catchier hook from Kevin Cossom.
Contrary to “Feeling Myself” there are songs on Fear Of God II that contain hot beats as well as hot lyrics. Tracks like “My God” and “Alone and Vegas” come to mind, but no song includes the best of both worlds more so than the EP’s first single “Trouble On My Mind”. “Trouble On My Mind” features a menacing Neptunes beat that sounds smooth over Pusha T’s bars but is a match made in heaven with Tyler The Creators flow when the Odd Future front man blesses the mic with bizarre lines like “You n*ggas coming shorter than a Bush Wick Bill costume on sale during Christmas in Philly”. Tyler even makes a Rugrats reference sound hard on this one when he spits “Mr. Lipschutz has been trippin’ since I mentioned Reptar’s triceratops dinosaur dick”.
There are a couple joints on this project that are straight bangers, in particular “Body Work” featuring Juicy J, Meek Mill and French Montana and “I Still Wanna” featuring Rick Ross and Ab Liva. “I Still Wanna” is one of the best songs on Fear Of God II thanks to an epic beat from Lee Major and above par verses from Rozay and Pusha. Pusha’s verse includes some of his better punch lines on the EP and probably the best Charlie Brown reference I’ve heard in a rap song when he spits “Sleeping with the finest / the thread count is bindless / security blanket of cocaine I am Linus”.
When it’s all said and done, Fear Of God II isn’t really worth the reduced price of $7.99. Not because it’s not an enjoyable body of work, but because the vast majority of the hottest tracks (“I Still Wanna”, “My God”, “Alone In Vegas” ect.) were featured on the first Fear Of God, which you can cop for free! Like most of his work with the Clipse, Fear Of God II successfully displays Pusha T’s past as a hustler. However, it is clear that he has yet to outgrow that hustlers mentality if he’s trying to push recycled material to his fans. That’s straight hustling backwards as far as the fans are concerned. Therefore unless you’re really into punch line cocaine rap I would recommend that you download Fear Of God the mixtape, and save some bills by copping tracks like “Trouble On My Mind” and “Body Work” by themselves.