Darkest Before Dawn
I generally like rapper Pusha T. I liked his work on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (MBDTF) and My Name Is My Name (MNMN). Though MNMN often strayed too pop for my taste, Songs like “Numbers On The Boards” and “Nosetalgia” were solid, standout songs on that album. Unfortunately none of the songs on this ridiculously titled (pre)album reach those heights, but this project is definitely more consistent.
King Push starts off with “Intro” which once it actually gets Push, blasts off. The small build up to it with the sample and narrator was a bit too corny for my taste. The narration at the end is better handled and ends the song strong. “Untouchable” with its Biggie sample and undeniably head nodding beat is one of the best songs on here. Not to mention the intense wordplay on both verses. “M.F.T.R.” has some fire verses, but The Dream’s hook is weak. I wish there was not even a hook, just Push rapping straight through.
“M.P.A.” features Kanye West and A$AP Rocky - a collaboration I was most excited about. However, in execution something was missed. Neither Kanye or Rocky have a verse on the song, they only sing the cliche hook. The tambourine is obnoxiously loud compared to the piano and everything is just kind of boring. I did not like the beat on “Got Em Covered.” I’m not even sure I like it now, it is one of the more experimental beats. After “Got Em Covered” are two of the weaker songs “Keep Dealing” and “Retribution.” “Keep Dealing” should not have been put on here, the beat is weak, the hook is weak, and the verses are not good. “Retribution” could have benefited from a different singer on the hook and a rewrite on the verses. “F.I.F.A.” is my least favorite beat, but Push holds down the verses and the hook.
“Sunshine” is one of my favorite songs on the album, I think it has some of the most ear-catching lines. “C-N-N, Don Lemon, no Kweli when you meet me… Woo! Still a target, but the badge is the new noose. Yeah, we all see it, but cellphones ain’t enough proof. So we still lose.” Or “they’ll never re-write this, like they re-wrote history. The fact that the Statue of Liberty was black is a goddamn mystery.” The main problem with the song is the mixing of the harmonies on the chorus, they sound so out of place and bad.
For as much as I should love this album, I am lukewarm on it. I don’t love it, but it does get me slightly excited for his next album. I hope that he can stay away from pop on the full King Push album.
by Addison Garry (@addisonagarry)