Pusha T – King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude

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Heard a good chunk of this album at Hanmoto last night, a new restaurant that got a good write-up in The Globe and Mail; a Japanese-meets-North American fusion in the style of Kinka Izakaya (f.k.a. Guu), where chicken wings get paired with dumpling stuffing and katsu buns are served with lettuce and mayonnaise, located in the hipster-central area of downtown Toronto (oh, get over it – fellow Torontonians will not exactly where I’m referring to). Food was stunningly presented and quite delicious; make sure to get the deviled eggs. Oh shit, I’m not on Yelp right now? Err – clearly a stopgap album based on the title; the features and production credits of “M.P.A.” make for the biggest anti-climax, replete with a ghastly pronunciation of “sirens” by The-Dream and the hand-off beat from a keyboard to a guitar punctuated by a tambourine that’s ultimately annoying, and the beat-switch isn’t nearly enough to save it; Q-Tip’s “F.I.F.A.” is pure filler. It makes sense that this was loudly blaring at the restaurant: the beats are constantly dark or washed-out if not (as opposed to the dissociate identity disorder of My Name Is My Name). This, in combination with Pusha T’s ever-calculated flow, makes for good background music; it bangs just enough to remind you that something’s happening, but if you pay attention, you might doze off at the limited subject matter (excepting “Sunshine”, a highlight). Other highlights: “Untouchable” (check out how Timbaland moves the key to Pusha T’s self-aware signal, “Mu told me to switch styles”); “M.F.T.R.”s “They ask why I’m still talking dope, why not? / The biggest rappers in the game broke, voilà”; “Retribution”‘s contrast between the fast-paced synths and bass pulse (again, produced by Timbaland); Puff Daddy’s “Keep Dealing”‘s cavernous beat – all good songs, but not a single one worthy of “Numbers on the Boards.”

B+ (Barely.)

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2 responses to “Pusha T – King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude

  1. Pingback: Rihanna – ANTI | Free City Sounds·

  2. Pingback: The 10 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2015 | Free City Sounds·

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