Daytona

Pusha T

G.O.O.D. Music, 2018

http://www.facebook.com/pg/PushaT

REVIEW BY: Daniel Camp

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/24/2018

For one month this summer, Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music made constant waves in the music world with a series of five coordinated weekly album releases, all produced by West from a ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The opener of the cycle was Daytona, Pusha T’s long-awaited, much-teased sequel to 2015’s Darkest Before Dawn, itself advertised as a prelude for the album to come. The combination of Pusha’s rhymes and West’s production gives fans the payoff for that wait with a propulsive album that wastes none of its 23-minute runtime.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Pusha T establishes what he’s about from the outset in “If You Know, You Know,” delivering line after line about his street cred with earned swagger. He rarely deviates from the stereotypical drugs-money-women rap trifecta in the song or indeed the entire album, but he sells it in a way that some aging rappers years removed from the game (looking at you, Hov) can’t. Even for listeners completely foreign to the world he grew up in – like this humble reviewer – you’ll find yourself bumping along.

No other track is quite as hard-charging as the opener, but in “The Games We Play” and “What Would Meek Do?” Pusha comes out swinging again, planting his flag as the king of street cred and daring anyone to snatch it away. Two major figures he’s sure won’t are Lil Wayne and Drake, both of whom he takes brutal shots at on album closer “Infrared.” Drake tried to respond days later with diss track “Duppy Freestyle,” but Pusha’s response, “The Story Of Adidon,” put matters to rest and sealed the veracity of Daytona’s message: if you come at the king, you best not miss.

For all the lyrical fireworks, the star of the show is the beats, and it’s impossible to know whether to give more credit to Pusha T or Kanye for that. There’s not a bad sample among the album’s seven songs, and each balances perfectly with Pusha’s staccato, precise rapping. These are songs you’ll have stuck in your head for days after you hear them, and you won’t be mad about it.

The remainder of G.O.O.D. Music’s releases produced mixed results, but they started in style. Daytona isn’t flawless (it would have been nice to see Pusha T get outside his lane a little bit in terms of subject matter), but it’s a fiery, tight banger that pulls no punches.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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