0 To 100/Catch Up Reviews
Pusha T- Daytona Album Review
(By: Tommy Rodriguez)
Pusha T delivers a brief and utterly nasty collection of drug-riddled bangers.
“If you know, you know”
That’s the first reference to drug dealing laid down by rap legend and G.O.O.D Music president, Pusha T on Daytona, his latest album. For me, this simple hook on the track “If You Know, You Know” is the perfect summation of what this album is. It’s a proclamation of greatness, an invitation to look into Pusha T’s success, and a subtle threat to any rivals that may impede on said success. Daytona is very much like a drug deal: it’s quick and to the point, it gives you the goods, and goes away in a flash. Standing at a mere seven tracks that barely inch over twenty one minutes in total, some people were a bit shocked this would be an “album”. Pusha T, however, is the master dealer in this musical exchange, and he takes advantage of every second available with incredible bars over great beats. Pusha wasn’t lying when he said that Daytona was flawless; he comes pretty damn close.
Daytona walks a tiny tightrope between gritty street life and high end luxury. Most rappers can’t really succeed in demonstrating both their modern success while also sounding incredibly cutthroat and hard edged, but Pusha T balances on both ends with his exceptional delivery and beats throughout the album. The ex-Clipse member sounds like a modern day Scarface, pushing dope and black-on-black Teslas. The beats, given to us by Kanye West, give a great support to Pusha’s dark and hard hitting flows throughout the entire project, matching Pusha’s confident and cutting cadences. Tracks like “Santeria” and “Infrared” are absolutely sinister in their lowkey sampling and skeletal melodies, but they give Pusha a podium to preach to his audience about ghostwriting fakes and unfortunate passings of his friends. There are plenty of bangers here too: the harder hitting beats on “If You Know, You Know” and “The Games We Play”, with the in your face samples on the former and powerful guitar licks on the latter are like the soundtrack to a badass showing you his exotic car collection. The beats are structured like the album itself: simple, hard hitting, and striving to show you who’s in charge. “Hard Piano” plays this up big time, especially with the mafioso piano loops, exotic singing on the hook, and Rick Ross appearing to make a surprisingly capable verse that makes him a companion to Pusha’s success. Most tracks barely push over the three minute mark here, but they feel as satisfying as any five minute song ever will because of how precise they are.
Daytona doesn’t just hit hard with how it sounds, however. There are some serious bars on this record. Pusha T, as stated before, is all about showing off his pride and power throughout Daytona. He isn’t trying to answer deep questions on humanity, pine over a fine girl, or get turnt in some Atlanta club; Daytona is a statement of how an older legend can appear out of nowhere and casually rock other rappers’ careers with his name alone. Throughout, Pusha T’s writing is clever, memorable, and hits so hard that it sometimes makes you wince. I love the Drake diss of “Infrared”, the devastating flexing on “Come Back Baby”, and the many references to controversy concerning Meek Mill on “What Would Meek Do?”. Kanye appears on the aforementioned track, and provides a solid feature that adds to the topic of controversy on the track (despite his odd scoopdi-woop intro). The hooks are often handled by samples, but when Pusha appears to deliver them he does them just as well as anyone would (i.e “If You Know, You Know”). In a way, Pusha’s lyrics follow the same line as the production: they’re simple, yes, but they do their job so well that you get rocked to your core and think “damn, did he just say that?”. I would continue to praise Pusha’s incredible lines here, but I’d rather show you a small sample of some of the dopest bars off of Daytona instead:
“Solely responsible for showin’ rappers how to stand
On the front lines when trappers started throwin’ bands
Where were you when Big Meech brought the tigers in?
‘Cause I was busy earnin’ stripes like a tiger’s skin”
“White on white, that’s the Testa
Black on black, that’s the Tesla
See these diamonds in this watch face? All that shit came from pressure”
“The coupe is 320, the roof’s hit or miss
Murder on the highway, the news is at six
See, I did it my way, the proof’s in the bricks”
“Let Steven talk streamin’ and Shazam numbers
I’ll ensure that you gettin’ every gram from us
Let’s cram numbers, easily
The only rapper sold more dope than me was Eazy-E”
Overall, I’ll keep my final thoughts on Daytona as concise as the whole album. This is fire, and one of my favorite albums to come out this year. It’s short, yes, but size doesn’t matter here. For what we have, Daytona’s only flaw is that we don’t get more of the goods Pusha T is dealing us.
Tracks to Save: All of them!
Tracks to Skip: None whatsoever
Listen to Daytona here!
What did you think about this album? Any comments or criticism? Comment down below and let me know; I’d love to hear what you think!
Check out my other reviews below!