Pusha T. - DAYTONA
Produced entirely by Kanye West, Pusha T.'s new album (maybe it's an EP? who really cares?) DAYTONA is an absolute stunner of a record for the Hip Hop veteran. It's hard to believe that Pusha T has been in the game for over 20 years since his Clipse days, and yet He still feels just as relevant today. Pusha sees himself in Jay Z's lane, whom He takes a few shots at throughout the record, a stalwart voice in the genre and an unwavering symbol being yourself. Pusha is never going to delve into topics that He doesn't know or try to impress you with his wealth of knowledge, but he is going to nimbly tell you about his life over whichever insane track a producer puts in front of him. Pharell has done this in the past, and Kanye has too but on this record the beats just wrap Pusha up perfectly. They are sparse, cutting and incredibly diverse. The samples seem to boost Pusha to new heights and while giving him this almost blank canvas to work over still coming in with typical Kanye soulful sounds. Kanye also reportedly paid $80,000 to change the original album art to a picture of Whitney Houston's bathroom, a stark and painful imagine. Pusha T. certainly has a niche, but it is a niche in which He is absolute king, a place where whatever He says is the last word on the matter. It is what gives him this grandiose position without really having to prove it 365 days a year. HE has taken rapping about selling drugs and making money to it's absolute highest heights. Other rappers might sound annoying or like they are stuck in a lane, but not Pusha T.
This record is short and by hip hop standards incredibly so at only seven tracks and 21 minutes. It keeps things incredibly tight though never letting a minute go by without some kind of punctuation. Ye himself makes an appearance on "What Would Meek Do?" with his full MAGA Hat wearing self waiving, but as much as I hate to admit it, the verse kind of claps. He shrinks in comparison to Pusha though which is the point of any stellar producer, let the artist they are working with shine. This is a a record perfectly suited for 2018 and for banging loud as you possibly can. There is nothing like the drop on "If You Know You Know" when that twisted up vocal comes pushing through the beat giving you reminders of Jay-Z's "Hard Knock Life". Pusha T's early career with Clipse was spent pushing boundaries on what kind of music hip hop could be, and He's still doing it all these years later. His content might be the same, but Pusha T keeps getting better and better with this record being his most direct and precise yet. Don't let this record get lost in the flood of G.O.O.B Music release about to drop, DAYTONA is the shit.
8.8 out of 10