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Pusha T - Daytona (Album Review)

Wednesday, 13 June 2018 Written by Milly McMahon

Pusha T has declared this season a surgical summer, waging war on Drake with a diss track for the ages immediately after making his comeback with ‘Daytona’.

Like The Story of Adidon, ‘Daytona’ shows no mercy, either to the vulnerable, weak or deceased. Produced entirely by Kanye West, from track one it’s clear that the follow up to 'King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude' will follow an explicit, dark and intense order of proceedings.

West paid a reported $85,000 to license the cover art, which depicts a messy bathroom sink and scattered drug paraphernalia allegedly belonging to the late Whitney Houston.

Discussing the album, meanwhile, Pusha stated that is his greatest work to date, that all gloves are off, and he regrets nothing he speaks on.

Numerous inflammatory tracks have dominated media attention, but the standout here, illuminating Pusha in his prime, is Come Back Baby. Sampling bluesy vocalist George Jackson’s I Can’t Do Without You, Pusha speaks about his cocaine dealing legacy through an easy-moving, relaxed flow that recalls Kanye and Jay-Z’s Otis.

Hard Piano is another brilliant highlight, this time featuring Rick Ross, while the opening soliloquy of If You Know You Know plays out like a one-sided rap battle. Instilling a sense of elitism and familiarity with those in the know, this is Pusha’s call to arms.

‘Daytona’ wages war on the world, and is an incredibly bold statement. But it’s also a powerful body of work. Although the production, writing and mixing of the album is polished and poised, it’s uncompromising and uncomfortable to experience at times.

The straight up immoral nature of some lyrics strike a red line through any redeeming creative features but, unfolding like a gory drama, the record improves upon every listen. The eventual bird’s eye view we get on the material as a whole makes more sense than in its constituent parts. Here Pusha is driven by emotion and feeling, but the flashes of greatness on ‘Daytona’ demonstrate his intelligence and artistic patience.  

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