I spent the morning listening to Virginian Drug Music Czar Veteran Rapper Pusha T’s new album “Daytona.” Pusha T began his music career, alongside his brother NO MALICE (formally known as Malice) as the rhyme duo the Clipse. The group was affiliated with the production team the Neptunes (Pharrell Williams & Chad Hugo) and were signed to their label Star Trak Entertainment.
While together as a Hip Hop duo, the Clipse released three studio albums and one un-released album. After that they formed the Hip Hop group Re-Up gang and launched their own record label Re-Up records. The Clipse then took a hiatus in 2010. During that time, No Malice & Pusha T announced they both would be releasing solo albums. No Malice decided to retire after his second solo album. Pusha T has three solo albums to date.
I don’t usually keep up with current releases because I sometimes feel disconnected to most current Hip Hop (new artists and their music that debuted after 2010). That being said, I just enjoy older urban music from my youth into my mid-30s.
Every now and again hype will build around a particular album, or rapper that will spark my interest. This go around it happens to be Daytona, the latest album from Pusha T. His first two albums were good records with solid production and good rhymes; I definitely feel like he stepped his game up and put his all into this project.
This album feels like I am more connected with the picture he is trying to paint. In this case the picture is 90’s Hip Hop era drug & fashion rap. Pusha T and his brother were big wearers of streetwear fashion in the early 2000s. They, along with Pharrell, were some of the earliest rappers that were wearing the Japanese brand Bape.
Every song told a story, and painted a very vibrant picture of the drug dealer lifestyle. When the first track comes on you are immediately hit with some of Pusha T’s powerful energetic rhyme flow and then the beat drops! Only seven tracks; all heat no fluff! For me I feel that the album is very consistent with its balance of lyrical skill and Kanye’s heavy sampled production. The album feels like putting on a new pair of limited edition 'Yeezy Adidas sneakers and an all white outfit while stepping into a live Sunday day party-- so much energy & attitude put into this project! Some have said that this album is a masterpiece! I think Daytona is really good, but masterpiece is pushing it (no pun intended).
Music aside, I could not write this post without mentioning the controversial album cover. The cover is a picture taken of Whitney Houston’s bathroom after she od’ed. Whitney’s death picture…REALLY?! The story goes that this rare picture was sold to Kanye for $85,000. Pusha told Ye not to change it from the initial art work that was already chosen. I feel this was in bad taste. Too soon as the youth says. Many people are still affected by her death including her family. I felt they should have gone in another direction with the album cover.