It’s been over 8 months since Pusha-T released his third, solo studio album, DAYTONA, and it’s still the best rap project in that time span. It only took 7 songs to breathe life back into the rap game. Similar to how Dwyane Wade lobbed the ball to Lebron James for their iconic alley-oop and walked away knowing Lebron would take care of the rest, Kanye did the same for Pusha-T here. When two of the best connect, we only expect greatness… and Pusha’s DAYTONA exceeded that.
Seven Pusha-T, Kanye West-produced songs gave us the equivalent of what Raekwon’s Only Built For Cuban Links, aka The Purple Tape, is to Pusha-T — a classic rap album. While some may say it’s too early to make that proclamation, DAYTONA gives u that feeling it will stand the test of time. Likewise, to fine wine, DAYTONA will only get better with age. “DAYTONA represents the fact that I have the luxury of time. That luxury only comes when u have a skill set that your confident in”, Pusha tweeted. With every bar, you feel his confidence exuding more and more. “They tweet about the length I made ’em wait. What the f**k you expect when a n****a got a cape and he’s great?”, he raps on The Games We Play. Since his Clipse days, his confidence is what has propelled him every step of the way. DAYTONA is the culmination of Pusha-T’s career so far.
“He only raps about drugs.” “He doesn’t have any hits. Name his last song that went number one” “(insert your favorite rapper’s name) is better though.” Pusha-T laughs off these type of critiques. There’s no need to concern yourself with being everyone’s favorite when his place in hip-hop is already cemented. He’s your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. Pusha-T doesn’t make music for the casual hip-hop fan. He makes music for those that relate to him — those that know about that life. “A fraternity of drug dealers ringin’ off. I just happen to be alumni”, Pusha raps on If You Know You Know. Pusha raps to those that were in the same weight-moving game that he himself graduated from.
Contrary to the typical roll-out of an album where the artist would drop a couple singles a few months in advance of the album release, Pusha didn’t give us a single, any previews, or even a studio snippet. All we knew was that it was part of G.O.O.D. Music’s 6-week takeover of having a new, 7-track album drop every week from May 25th, 2018 – June 23rd, 2018, with Pusha T’s DAYTONA being the one to release first, thus having to set the tone.
While 7 songs for an album is below the average length of 12 songs, did we need more? The short answer is no. Pusha-T is surgical with every simile and metaphor he spits throughout DAYTONA. Every word was purposeful and none were wasted. Some people take 12 songs to say what they want and others may take 20. Pusha-T only needed 7. DAYTONA deserves its flowers now rather than 5 years down the road.