Release Date: May 25, 2018
Record label: Getting Out Our Dreams
Pusha T has been bodying verses for as long as anyone has heard him, but his latest release, the noticeably concise DAYTONA, has the younger Thornton brother sounding the most deliberate he's been since Clipse's 2006 LP Hell Hath No Fury. During discussions to coronate the rollout, Pusha used wordplay to refer to the Rolex DAYTONA wristwatch. "DAYTONA reflects that I have the luxury of time," he wrote.
Pusha T's seven-track DAYTONA marks his first release in three years, which justifies why he has so much to say. With album art showcasing Whitney Houston's drug-stricken bathroom counter, the rights to the photo allegedly paid by Kanye West, Pusha T still knows how to demand attention. West also produced DAYTONA with help from Mike Dean and Andrew Dawson.
Sometimes the conveyor belt of hype and rumor slows down long enough to spit out something fully formed. Daytona appears as the long-awaited Pusha-T album we'd all been told to anticipate; his last full-length, 2015's Darkest Before Dawn, was meant as a teaser to this, the major work. It's unclear whether there are remnants from early drafts of the album that's been delayed year after year, or if these songs sprung entirely from the Wyoming of Kanye West's imagination.
Pusha-T's third – and best – solo album is a marvel of musical precision. On this 21-minute, EP-length collaboration with producer Kanye West no moment is wasted. If this seven-song collection being marketed as an album statement seems frustratingly incomplete, it's only because Pusha T and West leave the audience wanting more.
In 2016 I had the pleasure of an early morning phone call with Pusha T to discuss his forthcoming album 'King Push' for a Clash cover story. He'd just hit the gym and was preparing to hit the studio to put the finishing touches on his highly anticipated new LP: he shared plans to drop a huge radio single, and told us about studio sessions he'd been putting in with Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Mike WiLL Made-It, DJ Dahi and Frank Dukes - and then it never materialised. If his new album - which is now called 'DAYTONA' - teaches us anything, it's that none of that matters.
Rating: NNNN On his third solo album (after myriad mixtapes and a lengthy career with his now-born-again brother No Malice in Clipse), Pusha T unsurprisingly maintains his complex and stylistically consistent level of quality. It's pretty amazing how in-the-zone he's remained. It's also bittersweet that his coke-selling lamentations are as relevant as ever in a society that is likely descending into a real-life version of the cartoonish slaughter game Fortnite.