Pusha T’s latest release ‘King Push – Darkest Before The Dawn – The Prelude’ is his (and possibly the year’s) bleakest offering yet.
The highly anticipated sophomore album perfectly marries Pusha’s intense lyricism with a collection of beats most rappers would do well to steer clear of. True to form, Push-a-Ton’s production choices differ from the norm- the beats sound hollow and unfinished, it’s as if the producers left the studio early and just didn’t get around to adding the final touches…. but contrary to everything I just said, it’s the best production I’ve heard all year!
In interviews leading up to the album’s release, Pusha T says that he asked the producers to give him their grittier, edgier ‘B-Sides’ and that’s just what he got! The minimalistic production showcased in tracks like “Crutches Crosses Caskets” gives Pusha’s lyric driven hip hop the room it needs to breath, complimenting each verse in the same way as the score of a Hollywood movie sets the tone for each scene. Ironically, DBD’s release was accompanied with a short-film starring King Push himself. Enjoy!
But back to the album. Thematically, the album is everything fans and critics expected… Dark, Unrepentant, Coke-Rap. I mention the critics because there are those who say Push needs to move on from his brick-moving days and show progression as an artist; But his fans will thank him for doing the complete opposite. There are few rappers who have carved a lane as aggressively as Push has, from the very day he entered the game he proclaimed “Playas we ain’t the same I’m into ‘Caine and Guns” and 10 years later those words stand as true as ever.
Not many artists can (legitimately) call on dope dealing experiences as easy Push and he knows it… and with lines (no pun intended) as whitty as “I speak to the trap lords and niggas with their hand in the white like blackboards” why would he stop?
Raising the Bar. In Pusha’s first project ‘My Name Is My Name’ the features just couldn’t match his energy, such has been the case since the dissolution of the Clipse and his split from rhyme partner Malice. Cue Mr Beanie Sigel. In Beanie, Pusha finds a rapper who is able to paint the picture of a twisted, needle-infested paradise as skillfully as he is, and they come together to devastating effect on the album’s standout track ‘keep Dealing’.
Pusha T’s flow is both his crutch and his sword on this album. His spaced-out delivery and over-the-top lyrics have always made him stand out from the crowd, however on this album he has trouble creating tracks that stand out from each other. The verses he drops on tracks like ‘M.P.A’ are as complex and intricate as ever, but the lack of variety can get jarring at times.
Coming in at a lean 33-minutes, DBD sticks around just long enough for you to appreciate it, but not so long that you have a chance to get bored of it.
However, ‘Darkest Before The Dawn-The Prelude’ is only a warm-up for next year’s long-overdue, ‘King Push’ album, and if DBD is anything to go on, his fans have a lot to look forward to!
Overall Rating 8/10
Tracks To Listen Out For: ‘Keep Dealing’, ‘Untouchable’ and ‘Sunshine’
What Did You Think About The Album?
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