Pusha T’s third studio album is the audio equivalent of a thin steak with garnish and minimal dressing; light, refined, well-done, but not enough to walk away from the table feeling full.
“YOU CAN NEVER DO WHAT I DO BOY”
Just In Case You Forgot. In the opening lines Pusha T re-establishes the narrative he’s spent an entire career creating; what he does isn’t easy, he just makes it look that way (referring to both his exploits in the drug game and in rap). From the moment you press the play button it’s clear that this isn’t going to be an album that you can ignore, it’s not a “play in the background whilst you tidy your room” type of album, it’s a cacophony of horns, synths and high-hats that demand your attention.
Taking Off The Cape. It’s hard to believe that the Virginia native has managed to remain just as (if not more) culturally relevant and fresh-faced as the day he stepped into the rap game nearly two decades ago as one half of the rap duo “Clipse”. Much of this can be credited to the consistency of his brand as a ‘cold-hearted, unrepentant cocaine kingpin’ or as he would put it himself “The Last Rap Superhero”. But every superhero has an alter ego… Batman’s is Bruce Wayne and Pusha T’s is Terrence Thornton. On the track “Santeria” we are given a rare insight into the man under the mask, as he mourns the death of his road manager in arguably the most personal verse he’s ever wrote (supported by the haunting background vocals of G.O.O.D Music’s latest signee 070 Shake).
“Darken my doorstep, they told me the day’s gone
You listenin’, De’Von?
As I’m talkin’ to your spirit, for God’s sakes
I’m dealin’ with heartbreak
Checkin’ my ego, I’m livin’ with lost faith”
Drake once paid Pusha T the backhanded compliment of calling him “an approachable dude”, Terrence Thornton is the man that he was referring to.
With ‘Ye Back Chopin’. On “the song “What Would Meek Do?” Kanye West raps “He Been Out Of Touch He Cannot Relate” – referring to his polarising political views and comments on slavery – all of that may be true but the man can still produce at a level befitting of a producer on rap’s Mt.Rushmore producer. His flip of 24 Carat Black “I Want To Make Up” for Pusha T’s aptly named diss track “infrared” is absolutely breathtaking. Kanye West’s fingerprints and isms are all over “Daytona” and it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that this album simply wouldn’t work without him.
Not For The Radio. This is the first of Pusha T’s solo projects where you don’t feel as if he’s trying to catch a radio hit like “M.P.A” or “Let Me Love You” and the album sounds that much more cohesive because of it.
Pusha T coined the term “luxury rap” for this album on his press run and after listening to it you can understand why. 7 tracks… 21 minutes and 8 seconds. If we are to stick with the restaurant analogy that Push has likened his album to, then it’s fair to say that you won’t walk away from this table feeling full, but this isn’t an all you can eat buffet, it’s Michelin star dining experience.
You will not walk away full but that isn’t the point of this album… instead you’ll walk away from the table feeling satisfied, still hungry for more of the same and a overwhelming appreciation for cocai… I mean music… music (nearly made it through the whole thing without a joke).
Standout Tracks: Listen to the whole thing
Is Daytona The Rap Album Of The Year So Far? Was It Worth The 3 Year Wait? Is This Pusha T’s Best Solo Album?
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