Pusha T channels his inner Lazarus on the opener to Wrath Of Caine, the highly anticipated prelude to his My Name Is My Name solo debut. The same way the aforesaid biblical figure was said to have risen from the dead, P declares his return on the intro’s opening line “The dead has arisen,” thereby also picking up where Fear of God II: Let Us Pray’s “Changing of the Guards” left off (“Gunshots going off that’ll awake the dead”). But that’s not to say that he’s been gone for a while or rather returning from a hiatus, instead this is the G.O.O.D. Music golden child’s way of bringing back the core street element of rap—you know the days of harrowing black hoodie verses and rolling-down-your-car-windows-in-the-winter anthems.
The first moment that resembles such toasted epoch off Wrath Of Caine is on “Doesn’t Matter.” Sure P cooks up heat rock with “Millions,” the track’s predecessor, but on “Doesn’t Matter” he’s at his core—scoffing at those loudmouth attention seekers who always has something to say. “There’s a meaning to the kissin’ of the ring/The gods don’t mingle with the mortals/Peasants ain’t sittin’ with the kings/Goliath ain’t worried ’bout your sling/And Cassius ain’t bothered by your swings,” the rapper swipes, while French Montana’s signature ham-handed chorus blankets the Renegades-produced backdrop. Another is found on “I Am Forgiven,” the ’tape’s closer, where he gives us a glance into his bird eye view (double entendre!). “Although it’s cliché, the devil had a hold of me/This greedy motherfucker couldn’t put the blow away…I ask forgiveness lord, in hopes of getting more/Then beg forgiveness for the same thing he forgave me for.”
On the Harry Fraud-produced “Road Runner” (with Troy Ave) he goes trafficking that four letter and scribes more of his drug dealer Picassos and money-making memoirs on the Wale-assisted “Only You Can Tell It.” “Aston Martin, DBS, James Bond cool as James Todd/Best nigga to make hits and run base since A-Rod,” he brags on the latter track before gilding some more, “Coke ties, that coke dries, it’s cemented, it’s baked on/Yuugh! That’s based on, the life of a nigga who ain’t said nothin’.”
Clocking at a little over half an hour, Wrath Of Caine, although a quick fix, serves as an overall potent listen. It’s no doubt that Pusha is at his best—displaying the same championed vernacular that’s crowned him underground king since he first instructed “Playas we ain’t the same, I’m into ’caine and guns,” on his Clipse advent LP, Lord Willin’. Succinct while covering all necessary bases—“Blocka” and “Take My Life” successfully marries the streets with its kissing cousin, reggae—WOC is another batch of pure dope that only Neighborhood P could’ve provided.
All hail the ’caine.—Ralph Bristout (@RalphieBlackmon)