DAYTONA, BY PUSHA T

pusha-t-daytona-artwork

The President of G.O.O.D Music is up first in the line of G.O.O.D artists to drop their albums in the weeks ahead (Kanye, Kanye & Cudi, Nas, Teyana Taylor). That opening statement doesn’t show my level of excitement for these next few weeks. Pusha T had a name for this album a long time ago King Push but he changed it to DAYTONA, and I think that is a much better title for it. One word, straight to the point, DAYTONA; Pusha himself tweeted: “I changed the album title from “King Push” to “DAYTONA” because I felt it didn’t represent the overall message of this body of work. “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.” If that doesn’t perfectly summarize what to expect, I’m not sure what would, and I’m writing this introduction before even listening to the album. And if the title doesn’t let you know what’s about to happen in these upcoming weeks, the album cover Kanye West and Pusha T decided to use for DAYTONA sure does; it is a picture of Whitney Houston’s bathroom, completely a wreck after an intense night of drugs. We’re about to hear savagery at its finest.

DAYTONA has only 7 songs and is 21 minutes long. That looks short, but as you’re about to find out, it is the perfect length. I said in a previous post that I think the best length for an album is 45 minutes long.

Pusha T has been keeping the masses waiting for so long, and DAYTONA was what we waited for. Holy. Flames. From the first song ‘If You Know You Know‘ to the last song ‘Infrared‘, Pusha T raps. He doesn’t waste time with hooks, or letting the beat play at the start or the end of a song; he just raps. Pusha T is well known for rapping about cocaine and drug dealing, and for most of the album, of course that’s what he’s rapping about. Or sending shots at Drake; yes, he sends a few shots at Drake. When Pusha was rapping, you could hear that he wasn’t there to waste time, he was on a mission with DAYTONA and he certainly accomplished it. His voice sounded so intense and ruthless, the iconic Pusha T adlib “yugh” sounded way more savage than I’m used to hearing. Easy to tell that Pusha T is disgusted at himself, in the best way possible. Disgusted at the lyrics he’s spitting, and at the nasty beats he’s spitting those lyrics over.

The lyrics are one beast on DAYTONA and the beats are a different beast. Every song on DAYTONA was produced by Kanye West; genius, Kanye West; Jesus, Kanye West. He’s back to chopping up beats and samples, and turning them into nothing but immaculate perfection. I wonder what the highest level of perfection is. Whatever it is, the beats Kanye West used were unreal. How can one person do all that? It is absolutely stunning to me, and to everyone else, I’m sure. Kanye West used impeccable timing for the beat switches and a masterful use of piano, guitar, bass and drums during certain parts of the songs. He used the samples as the hooks, which gave his songs something like an intermission in-between verses. Like we have to catch our breaths. Like the most incredible elevator music ever made.

Now that I listened to DAYTONA a few times I can go back and think about how it sounds in relation to the album name and art. When I hear “Daytona” I think of the NASCAR event, and I think that was the point. Pusha T came in like he was driving NASCAR, and on the final lap. It’s like he was speeding up, gaining more and more speed, then dropped the album off at the finish line and continued speeding off; leaving us in the dust to contemplate life after we hear the album. The album cover was a great choice by Kanye West to use. Simply, it is a picture of what the album is about, that drug lifestyle, and living life too fast, too hard, and not thinking about the consequences. What consequences? Kanye West paid $85,000 to be able to use that image and that was money well spent, it added to the classic-ness, the iciness, and the mercilessness of DAYTONA.

Why are Pusha T and Drake even in a conflict? They’ve been talking shit to each other for years. ‘Exodus 23:1’ by Pusha T must have been the start. I guess during that time everyone was doubting Drake but Pusha is still doubting, wondering who writes Drake’s songs. Pusha T let a few bullets fly at Drake during DAYTONA especially on the last track ‘Infrared’. ‘Infrared’ is one of my favorite words, too. Pusha disses Drake but he doesn’t spend a whole track talking about him, still going with the theme of not wasting time. This’ll be the year Drake responds, (SCORPION SOON), so we’ll see, maybe Pusha T will drop a more complete diss track in the future. I’m really looking forward to this summer.

I really can’t pick a true favorite song right away because it’s still so soon, but ‘Santeria’, meaning ‘way of the Saints’ is… whoa; something really special. The opening beat comes in hard and Pusha T instantly goes off. Oh my, santeria ! Then 070 Shake comes in in Spanish and murders it, sounding so saintlike. Then Pusha T is back rapping over a new, quieter toned beat, then the beat changes again (!) To sounds that sound like you’re inside a villains hideout trying to find him before it’s too late. It was already too late, though. Be quick, be moves ahead. ‘SANTERIA’ is surreal.

DAYTONA is an instant classic. It’s one of those one listen classics. From the album name, to the cover, to the lyrics, to the beats. They’re all classics. Pusha T, Kanye West, and everyone else involved made a monster album that was worth the wait, even if it was only 21 minutes long. Of course it’s a 10/10, and with so many more potentially life changing albums coming out seems like I’m going to have to split up a current playlist I’m working on. Don’t waste your time. Yugh.

 

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