Review Summary: How do you respond?
The single best metaphor for Kanye West’s sessions in Wyoming is his interplay with Pusha T on “What Would Meek Do?” Both of them muse on what they do when people are talking shi
. When they talk shi
to Push? He juggles references to Dave Chapelle and Frank Sinatra, exhausting every possible angle of his trapper turned rapper narrative. He flexes that little bit harder on anyone that dares to bite back, spiting, growling, and leering. He gives his foes that much more space to move in before he shrugs them off with a devastating, complex insult. He uses his lyrical prowess as a slanderous, insulting weapon. When they talk shi
t to Kanye?
He doesn’t care. He feels unencumbered by anybody's insults. He doesn't care about mockery for embracing Donald Trump, or that he’s lost it. He doesn't care that Ye
is a bad album, or that Nas used his album to say stupid things. What he does care about are his collaborators, who he refuses to let fail (insofar as he can help them). Where his own album sounded paranoid and unfinished, his production for others sounds purposeful and intentioned. Even as he admits to Pusha that he doesn't care about his own response, he expects Pusha to care every damn time; to be sure, Daytona
is the sound of Pusha-T being pushed to pursue perfection.
All that can be written about Daytona
has been already; as a rap album, its lyrical focus is dope and luxuries. Dissecting its lyrics is worthwhile, as every line bleeds at least two or three allusions layered with meaning. But the impact isn’t felt by researching every line that comes out of his mouth. In 21-minutes, he does nothing but flex. One moment, he’s dragging Drake for ghostwriting and falling in love with Rihanna, the next telling Judge Brinkley to perform unseemly sexual acts on Meek Mill. He’s juggling Russian election conspiracies with Lil Pump disses in a way that doesn’t sound embarrassing. It sounds collected and downright venomous. It’s non-stop braggadocio devoid of content or subject, devoted entirely to the stardom of Pusha-T and the musical prowess of Kanye West.
There isn’t much purpose to rambling about Daytona
, in part because its abruptness doesn't lend itself to the format. You’ve read the tired rhetorical narrative points already. You’re not going to learn a lot about Pusha-T that way. You’re not going to enjoy Daytona that way, either. Without wanting to make an oversimplified declaration, this is not music that lends itself well to blather. There is no way a critic could articulate a line like, ‘Where were you when Big Meech brought the tigers in? / 'Cause I was busy earnin' stripes like a tiger's skin
,’ without being vaguely trying to express how nasty and disgusted Push sounds pronouncing every syllable of that line. I can’t explain it because I’m not Pusha-T. That should be impetus enough for you to appreciate Daytona as a work of sheer hip-hop utility and performance.