Pusha-T – DAYTONA (Review & Stream)

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AFTER CARRYING US for about 4 years with “King Push,” we did not get ‘King Push’. Instead we got a 7 tracked all Kanye West produced project named ‘DAYTONA’. The timing of this release was everything to me. One because Kanye West needed something good to happen in his life. The guy is honestly going through a lot and isn’t the Ye of the past. We all are aware of his antics as of late so I don’t need to carry on and go in to much detail.  Secondly, this was perfect timing for Pusha-T because its been TOO DAM LONG SINCE HE LAST DROPPED A PROJECT. At least it feels that way. With the excitement surrounding this piece there was also some controversy. The official album cover to Pusha-T’s DAYTONA was originally leaked in Pusha-T’s official online shop. The cover is a slightly-edited version of this photograph of Whitney Houston’s bathroom. So as everyone criticized, I waited for an explanation. When asked about the cover art Pusha T stated that the photo represented “organised chaos” and  followed by saying “sonically that’s what my album feels like.” With that being said lets dive in and see what magic Yeezy and King Push were able to cook up.


Tracklists and Ratings

  1. IF YOU KNOW YOU KNOW (4.75/5)
  2. THE GAMES WE PLAY (5/5)
  3. HARD PIANO (5/5)
  4. COME ON BABY (5/5)
  5. SANTERIA (5/5)
  6. WHAT WOULD MEEK DO? (4.75/5)
  7. INFRARED (5/5)

Favorite Songs: Hard Piano, Come On Baby, Santeria, and What Would Meek Do?


 

Let me not waste time and just go ahead and say it. ‘DAYTONA’ IS the front runner for  ALBUM OF THE YEAR. There has been PLENTY of fantastic projects released as we arrive at the half way mark of 2018 but this project is in a class of it’s own with possibly J Cole’s ‘K.O.D’ and Nipsey Hussle’s ‘Victory Lap’ . (I think not but lets see how it ages.)  Pusha- T delivery on here was different. As some would say he still is making the same drug references he’s made for the last 15 years but that is not remotely true. On every track, verse and bar you hear a Pusha-T feeling that he has something still to prove.  WHICH IS CRAZY! Because for you phony “hip hop heads’”, Pusha T has been bodying sh*t since Clipse’s 2006 LP Hell Hath No Fury. In this seven track installment Push  delivers the steely, luxurious drug raps that he made his mark with whiles occasionally extolling himself as a pioneer, taking credit for “showing rappers how to stand on the front lines when trappers started throwing bands” on “If You Know You Know,” and for being one of the first to diss Birdman for screwing over an Lil Wayne on the albums closing track “Infrared.” Also on Infared Push comes for Drakes neck as he throws shots at Drake for basically hiring co-writers to write his raps for him. (We know these writers as the OVO Sweatshop)  Also on ‘DAYTONA’ he shouts out some of the greats of hip hop, everyone from De La Soul and Will Smith to DMX, The LOX and JAY-Z. “To all of my young n*ggas, I am your Ghost and your Rae/this is my Purple Tape, save it for ‘Rainy Dayz’,” he spits on “The Games We Play.” On Infared he raps “Believe in myself and the Coles and Kendricks
Let the sock puppets play in their roles and gimmicks/ Shit remember Will Smith won the first Grammy? And they ain’t even recognize Hov until Annie.” So how do you critics like that for “Pusha-T only raps about selling drugs?”

As for production……

I would like to thank god for not letting Kanye lose his ability to produce even though it seems that he has lost himself at times. (I know thanking god here was a bit dramatic but I was worried.) The production on here is absolutely a work of art and if I were to look at the production on this album alone it is easily the best so far amongst the other great hip hop projects released this year. What Ye did on here with production was so different than what we have heard on his last few produced projects. Producing is a form of art and Kanye equips Pusha with a palette that maintains focus without sacrificing dynamism. On “The Games We Play,” Kanye uses western Kill Bill-styled guitar plucks, “Come Back Baby” employs a soul sample for the chorus, and “If You Know You Know” shows off Ye’s expert vocal chops. “Santeria” resurrects the strings sampled from a Lil’ Kim track titled “Drugs” blended with a Spanish Harlem sound before incorporating a dramatic dark  feel, a fitting backdrop for some of the most grim, relentlessly murderous raps Pusha has ever rhymed, only briefly interrupted by a heartfelt reference to his slain tour manager De’Von Pickett. (Sad story. Also google Santeria for those who are not familiar with it.)

Kanye’s production on here was just  as important as Push’s rapping! Every beat matched Push’s energy and emotion. As for Ye’s choices in samples and instrumentation use, HE MAKES INSTRUMENTS THAT DON’T REALLY GO TOGETHER GO TOGETHER! Kanye’s verse on “What Would Meek Do?” also showed some signs of him getting his “bars up” after he displayed some forgettable verses on TLOP.

‘DAYTONA’ is a complete project that makes you wish it was a 14- track project rather than seven but at the same time you appreciate Kanye and Pusha-T’s decision to keep it short and sweet. Some critics say Push shows a lack of evolution. I think it depends on perspective. Push sticking to what he knows works! This is his life. So of course he’ll double down on straightforward tales of coke, guns and lavish living.  The result of doing so shows how all this was once considered rigidity has now become DEDICATION. So by putting out a seven track album you know there is limited room for error. Or does it increase your error margin? To each is own on that theory.  Needless to say Kanye and Pusha-T pretty much put out a flawless project.

 

Rating: 10/10

 

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