King Pusha” “Daytona” is album number one out of Kanye’s myriad of projects that he plans on putting out this year. Fortunately for us, it couldn’t have come at a better time! We all know the s**t Kanye is going through in his personal life right now, and as a result of it, it wouldn’t surprise me if he had quite the urge to prove himself in the music industry once again. Pusha always has that urge to prove himself when he hops on a record, and this stems from an underdog persona that he has been unable to shed since his Lord willin’ days. So with that being said, we have the perfect combo here! This particular collaboration feels like Harden and Paul in search of a championship ring, which means I expect some tough ass lines and sick ass moves that’ll try to get the rest of the hip hop industry to break an ankle.
How many of ya’ll listened to this song with a squint on your face?
Pusha’s willingness to attack some of our beloved rappers in the game is quite astonishing. It’s a very slippery slope for him if he hopes to excel in the game, mainly because the rappers he chose to target have the ability to blackball him from the industry if they felt like. However, the combination of killer bars, truthfulness and timid responses to Pusha’s shots have made it hard for fans to vibe with, which is why I believe he walks away from his lyrical melee’s unscathed. With that being said, “Infrared” veers as far away as it gets from subliminals towards his foes, as Pusha finally does some name dropping, offering reasonable explanations when appropriate. I wouldn’t call the track a diss record, but more like a wake-up call to fans all over the globe that idolize the way some of our favorite rappers move even when their movements aren’t adding up.
4. WHAT WOULD MEEK DO
What would Meek do, you ask? He’ll probably talk about his Roley for 5 minutes and then attend a Sixers game.
The production on this song is nothing less than wicked, and historically, Pusha kills wicked beats. With the pressure to deliver on his back, the better half of the Clipse delivers, rapping with this cockiness that will make you want to either punch him in his face or dap him up. In one sense, he flaunts his luxurious items, describing them to us like he’s on an episode of MTV cribs, but on the other end, his tales of hustling comes across as a notch below heroic. S**t, i dont know what to do here, either.
As of late, It seems like Kanye feels this obligation to explain his way of thinking on whatever song he’s on; I hate it. We get it Kanye, you’re different n***a — so is Jordan Peele. Anyway, this might be Ye’s most aggressive verse of 2018, as throughout, he manipulates the beat by turning his aggression from high to low throughout. After he gets his explaination on, he gets back to cocky Ye, and cocky Ye is untouchable.
Pusha and Kanye make great songs together, but I can’t see them going on a couples retreat together.
3. COME BACK BABY
The come back trail Pusha is on right now is 95′ Jordan-Esque.
At first, it felt like Pusha and Kanye were taking a smoke break here, creating something that was simplistic production-wise. However, as the song goes on, you start to understand the tracks rhythm and love the way Kanye gets the beat to change faces on the hook. (It’s Classic Ye, if you ask me.)
After you gain appreciation for the musicality of the track, I implore you to go back and listen to Pusha’s verses. The flows he chose to use for the beat is flawless, his arrogance is as potent as it gets, and the wordplay he utilized is phenomenal. It’s almost like the track serves as a warm up for him — almost like a boxer going in on a punching bag before one of his matches.
2. HARD PIANO
Pusha and Rick Ross have a decent music catalog together, but in all honesty, “Hard Piano” is their best work to-date. Powered by this piano-heavy instrumental and inspiring hook by some random ass singer who I am assuming personally knows Jesus, Rick Ross and Pusha trade verses, each showing off their boss-like mentalities through some laid-back bars. The chemistry they have together is impeccable, as this particular link up sounds like a 60 minutes interview between two mock-up versions of mob bosses.
1. THE GAMES WE PLAY
“The Games We Play” is colder than a fat college student’s dorm room. It also has this 70’s feel to it, containing those same hard-hitting drums that powered bad asses like James Brown to greatness. With that being said, Pusha comes out swinging on the track, putting us on to game when it comes to moving in the streets and getting that work. Every word the VA rapper drops is delivered in this slow pace, making his lessons and subliminals towards his foes that much more potent to the ears.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. IF YOU KNOW YOU KNOW (4.8/5)
2. THE GAMES WE PLAY (5/5)
3. HARD PIANO (5/5)
4. COME ON BABY (5/5)
5. SANTERIA (4.5/5)
6. WHAT WOULD MEEK DO? (4.7/5)
7. INFRARED (4.7/5)
“Daytona” is probably leading the way when it comes to rap albums of the year. I personally think it’s flawless. To put it into perspective, it’s a meaner/more serious version of Cole’s “K.O.D,” to me.
You know how Metro Boomin’ had all those collaboration albums last year? Why isn’t this one considered a collaboration album? Seriously, Kanye’s production is just as important as Pusha’s rapping. Every beat Kanye delivers on this project will eek at your soul with its varied emotions, and Ye’s ability to think outside of the box when it comes to what we hear on the radio today should not be ignored. It’s clearly Kanye’s production that makes this album great, and I just hope that doesn’t get lost in translation.
I glow about what Kanye brought to the table on this album, but that doesn’t mean Pusha was a pushover (no pun attended). His villainous ways resonate throughout this album, and that is matched by lyrical venom that is a good blend between sarcastic and trill. His determination to not only make you hear but believe his Pacino like resume is relentless, and damnit, if it ain’t true, it doesn’t matter, Heath Ledger got an Oscar for playing a fake villain.
Remember back in the day when networks like NBC will give fans a 5 to 10 minute preview of the shows they planned on premiering in the fall? This felt like the musical version of that. The album was way too short, but it did get me excited to hear the next project Kanye has in store for us. How excited am I, you ask? I’m so excited that I’m actually drooling at the idea of Teyana’s next s**t!
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.