It was almost five years ago when Virginia Beach rapper Pusha T released his third solo studio album titled “Daytona.” Part of independent record label G.O.O.D Music’s stacked 2018 summer releases, the former label president still found a way to stand out. The rapper is mainly known for his time in the 2000s with his brother as the legendary rap duo Clipse.
Despite releasing some great albums during the 2010s (“My Name is My Name”/”King Push: Darkest Before Dawn”), Pusha’s solo career in the early 2010s failed to reach such levels of acclaim. The “Daytona” album, however, had high expectations as it was exclusively produced by Kanye West (during weirdly better times).
Despite only sitting at seven songs and 21 minutes, the album was, and still is, his best piece of work. Pusha T is known for experimenting with the production of his album and using the “weirdest” beats possible from famed producers. The album begins with the aggressive and somewhat celebratory song “If You Know You Know,” before transitioning to a personal favorite “The Games We Play.” Sampling Booker T. Averheart’s “Heart N’ Soul,” and Jay Z’s “Politics as Usual,” “The Games We Play,” shows the true creativity of Kanye and Pusha T as a duo.
The middle of the album is not as great as the first two tracks, but still holds its own in the album’s context. There is “Hard Piano” (feat. Rick Ross), which samples and loops a piano segment from the 1970 song “High as Apple Pie (Slice II),” by Charles Wright. Another song, “Come Back Baby,” features Pusha T rapping over a simple drum, serenaded with light bass. However, what makes the song truly stand out is the sampled hook from George Jackson’s 1969 song “I Can’t Do Without You.” That is not to forget Pusha T, who still comes with impressive bars and references. For example, the lyric: “Who else got the luxury to drop when he want / ‘Cause nobody else can f*ck with me? What a show-off,” is a reference to naming the album Daytona, which to him represented the luxury of time.
However, the two songs that make the biggest noise are “What Would Meek Do?” (feat. Kanye West) and “Infrared.” I already mentioned this in my previous review of “Her Loss” for the KO News, but in 2018, Pusha T had beef with Drake (and Lil Wayne/Birdman), and disses were released left and right. These two songs only fanned the flames of the disagreement. “What Would Meek Do?,” references the former beef Drake had with fellow rapper Meek Mill.
However, the most offensive bar comes when Pusha asks Kanye, “***** talkin’ shit, ‘Ye—how do you respond?,” only for Ye to respond with “Poop, scoop! Whoop! Whoopty-whoop!” This bar references Kanye’s 2018 song “Lift Yourself,” where he purposely used a beat that Drake wanted to use, only to say “Poopity Scoop,” at the end of the song. “Infrared,” continues fanning the flames as it showers light disses towards Drake. We know now that it all led to the scathing diss track “Story of Adinon,” but I’ll spare you from going in depth into the song.
Overall, “Daytona,” is an impressive showing from Pusha T as a rapper and Kanye West as a producer. The album is a perfect mix of trap aggression and weird samples, leading to me rating this a nine out of ten.
Rating: read the article/10
Favorite songs: “If You Know You Know,” “The Games We Play,” “Hard Piano,” “Come Back Baby.”
Least Favorite: None