As the warm up to his much-anticipated album King Push, last week Pusha T dropped King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude. Recently, Pusha was named President of GOOD Music and also released his own shoe with Adidas. So as an appetizer before his next studio album, we were given this prelude to keep us warm during this cold winter.
From his first words on the album, Pusha makes it clear that he is not a hero. With a start like “Leave your conscious at the door, We hid the monsters in the floor,” this is not an album for those who desire lyrically-heavy and conscious rap. With the bass clapping like thunder, the intro is the perfect track to bring the listener into the cocaine-filled world that surrounds Pusha T. Throughout the album, Pusha is able to stay consistent with deep metaphors related to coke. This is a good and a bad thing, as Pusha starts beating a dead horse, obsessing over it to the point of annoyance. Other than being the best rapper to ever sell coke, there isn’t much variety in the album. While thought provoking word play can be found throughout, it isn’t very often that we get to hear any other side of the Virginia Beach native.
Staying true to his words on his previous album, “I’m rap nigga ’bout trap niggas, I don’t sing hooks” Pusha goes against the popular trend in rap and does not sing at all throughout the album. He almost keeps the same rugged deep-toned vocals throughout the entire project. This causes the songs to all feel similar and not show much versatility with the almost 40-year-old rapper. While no one wants King Pusha to come out singing like Drake, a large vocal range could have lifted this project into a higher level.
I speak to the trap lords ///
And niggas wit their hands in the white like blackboards
If one thing is true about this album, it is that the production remains consistent and solid. With names like Timbaland, Boi-1da, and Q-Tip helping on production, this album contains beats that the average struggle rapper would kill over. The closing track “Sunshine” (Ft. Jill Scott and produced by Baauer, Kanye West & DJ Mano) allows the most meaningful impact on the album. With help from R&B legend Jill Scott and rapid firing snare drums in the background, this track is Pusha T at his best. Powerful metaphors about blacks in America like, “These aint new problems, they just old ways /// I see one time turn sunshine into Freddie Gray,” Pusha illustrates his ability to excel.
While this only feels like a warm up of what we are going to get this spring, with King Push, this album is nothing to be ignored. The album was also accompanied with a feature film starring Pusha himself and is directed by Kid Art. King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude is far from Pusha T at his best, but this project is sure to make many listeners excited for what will come. As the new president of GOOD Music, it will be interesting to see the new direction that Pusha takes from here.
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