Pusha T
King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jordan M. STAFF
December 19th, 2015 | 99 replies


Release Date: 12/18/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Adulation and recognition be damned.

Leave it to Pusha-T (or Lil Ugly Mane) to release one of 2015's tightest rap albums 13 days before the year ends. As a counterpoint to surprise release schedules that have seen Beyoncé and D'Angelo into the grey area of year-end recognition, Darkest Before Dawn makes its lack of conceit its selling point; Pusha outlines as much on "More Famous than Rich", where, 'Street millionaires rub shoulders / And laugh at bitches fucking promoters / Hoping that they get noticed, still driving a Focus.' His obligations are few and far between, and his continuing involvement with cocaine trafficking has ensured him the security needed to survive. Accordingly, he doesn't feel compelled to prove anything or pander to anybody with his rapping; utterly confident in his abilities, Pusha's ardent in ensuring that his raps are as lyrically precise as they are nimble in delivery.

Given such focus, Darkest Before Dawn does its best to avoid any reliance on narrative, context, or existential desire- anything that might implicate it as more than the sum of its parts. When outsourced hooks do appear, such as on aforementioned "MFTR", they're a distraction, another obstacle between the meticulously strung-together quotables that define Pusha's lyrical precision. Few can make a line like 'I'm the L. Ron Hubbard of the cupboard' sound convincing. Then again, fewer still can assemble that into a convincing rap about dealing coke and schooling peers. It's a narrowness reminiscent of 2015 efforts from Earl Sweatshirt or Vince Staples, where producers whose typical forte for bangers (Timbaland, Metro Boomin, Hudson Mohawke) are made to reassess their craft for the benefit of whoever's rhymes are upfront. For most rappers, their album would live and die by a track featuring Kanye West and A$AP Rocky; Pusha refuses to relent and push a made-for-radio hit, ensuring "Money, Pussy, Alcohol" remains sparing in both production and guest verses. It's because of such tenacity that Pusha's so confident releasing the most well-rounded rap album of the year at a point when the press won't care. It doesn't matter whether or not you think Darkest Before Dawn is good enough because Push is already rapping like it is. Adulation and recognition be damned.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
GringoSuave89
December 19th 2015


1127 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review.



Album's highs are highs, but there's plenty of low points. Kinda bummed with MPA.

Tyler.
December 19th 2015


16450 Comments


Heard good things so I'm excited to check

Archael
December 19th 2015


1163 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

people releasing albums on december why

RadicalEd
December 21st 2015


9446 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Untouchable slays, will have to check this out. Decent review.

Digging: Maurice Louca - Elephantine

ShakeSoda
December 21st 2015


151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There's always been something about Pusha T that brings out the best in whatever producer he works with. Hmm, must be the YUUGH's.

Tyler.
December 21st 2015


16450 Comments


yeah i'm enjoying this a lot

JAV
December 22nd 2015


3089 Comments


anything that might implicate is as more than the sum of its parts


Assuming you meant "it as" as opposed to "is as".
Good review, will have to give this a listen.

Solbrave
December 22nd 2015


574 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Reasonable doubt, drug era, keep climbing

I’m my brother’s keeper, Lord Willin’, keep grindin’

Tunaboy45
December 22nd 2015


16708 Comments


So this is a big deal

EyesWideShut
December 22nd 2015


4884 Comments


Keep Dealing is easily the highlight for me with that vintage Beanie verse.. even got The Virgin Suicides theme song in the beat.

Captain3
December 22nd 2015


66 Comments


Gonna check this soon

Tunaboy45
December 22nd 2015


16708 Comments


Seems to be some hype around it.

Captain3
December 22nd 2015


66 Comments


Mostly hype i bet

MMX
December 22nd 2015


5012 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Drug money kicked around like it’s FIFA

Lord(e)Po)))ts
December 22nd 2015


41620 Comments


how did i know this was going to be a positive Arcade review

Digging: Edyth - Bare II

Lord(e)Po)))ts
December 22nd 2015


41620 Comments


how did i know arcade would answer my rhetorical question with another rhetorical question

TheCrocodile
December 22nd 2015


2925 Comments


you're a nice couple agreed ;)

treeqt.
December 22nd 2015


16962 Comments


because neither of y'all got any original content hahahahaha



















haha

Lord(e)Po)))ts
December 22nd 2015


41620 Comments


neither do you u just rip off filthy RYM lists

treeqt.
December 22nd 2015


16962 Comments


[citation needed]



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