In a year that promised albums from Justin Timberlake, JayZ, Kanye West, Drake, J Cole, Wale, Eminem, A$ap Rocky, SchoolBoy Q, Childish Gambino and Jay Electronica (let’s keep the faith. Jay Elec’s album might drop on the 31st of December. Keep the faith), this was actually the album that I was really really waiting for. Ahmean, not even a Wu-Tang album could have reduced my level of expectation. At the moment, there are very few rappers that actually walk the talk and vice versa but I can remember only 2 right now and while it would be G to see a Gunplay album this year, a Pusha album (or better still, a Clipse album) is really what I need. So let’s take a dive into the album from King Push.
Motivation is misguided if it hit the mark, then it’s not needed
Carry on like a carry on, and my side bitch I let tag along
Call me “daddy” from a complex
Cause her mother’s fucker wouldn’t marry mom
This one has that marching band majestic feel to it. add that to Push’s opening lines and you get the feel of a king walking into the room. I felt the jab at Drake and the rest of the Young Money Mafia. This is a good one that serves as an intro to the general mood and feel of the album. The beat even pulls punches on its own.
NUMBERS ON THE BOARDS
Ballers, I put numbers on the boards
Hard to get a handle on this double-edged sword
Whether rappin’ or I’m rappin’ to a whore
Might reach back and relapse to wrappin’ up this raw
This shii sounds like a Jay Electronica jam cos it has Push rapping over a beat that is not even really a beat. Ahmean, it’s just garbage bin drums and xylophone pops but Push still gets it to work with cocky verses. This is one of those tracks that is so good mainly cos of the quotables packed in. Nice.
SWEET SERENADE ft Chris Brown
Supreme ballers, all my niggas got ESPY’s
Triple doubles, both wrist and neck freeze
Triple doubles, two bricks and tech squeeze
Triple doubles, two hoes and check please (Wooo!)
They love me on my Ric Flair shit (Wooo!)
Do I like this one? I’m not even sure..it’s actually obvious that this track was made for the single purpose of being a charting single and it hasn’t failed in that regard so that’s pretty good. By the way, apparently there are some people who download songs based on their appearance on the billboard. That is just wrong seeing as songs get there in the first place beacause other people are jamming it. All I’m saying is: find your own songs and don’t rely on a list that has Justin Bieber/One Direction/Taylor Swift on it.
HOLD ON ft Rick Ross
I sold more dope than I sold records
You niggas sold records, never sold dope
So I ain’t hearing none of that street shit
Cause in my mind, you mothafuckas sold soap
– Pusha T
Crack dealer living like a hoop star
Black marble, white walls in my new spot
Four chains, big studs, a nigga too fly
Top down, tank top, I think I’m 2Pac
– Rick Ross
This one has the two rappers spitting introspective and soul-searching bars over piano keys that build up and become more powerful. Not super dope for me, just good. Ross didn’t really try here. Ahmean, we all know he is fake, ja? So why is he still trying to form like he is harder than liquid swords? FOH with that saturday night behaviour J: (His name gives him the right to speak on the issue tho)
SUICIDE ft Ab-Liva
I’m still feeding divas like I feed the meter
Holy father to em, I ain’t talking Jesus neither
Balance on the scale, I ain’t a Libra either
I’m just a name and a number with the means to reach ya
Grim Reaper, him cheaper, him chief of
His army, MCM on gym sneakers
– Pusha T
Nothing but cash here, this sweater is cashmere
The roof is a translucent, it’s nothing but glass there
The car is a concept, what’s next is my last year
My future is bright hot, you never can last here
This beat right here is just crazy! Not like I doubted him but this is proof that Pharrell really knows his stuff. And do you know the best thing about this? The beat on this one just pops and the emcees on this one spit some laid back rhymes. I understand that every rapper feels the need to declare he is the best but for Ab-Liva to claim top 5? I’ve never even heard an Ab-liva tape (by the way, I’m dropping my mixtape soon: The Life and Times of Jim Coker Vol 1)
J: HahaHa. Then you’ll release Reasonable Mouth and The BlueFilm 1-3
L: and I’ll prolly look for a rapper named Nasir to pick a beef with then I’ll “retire” with the almost-Black album
J: Hahahahaha. Next song
40 Acres ft the Dream
This cocaine cowboy pushed it to the limit
You thought Tony in that cell would’ve made us timid
We found his old cell, bitch, we searchin’ through the digits
This is one of the few tracks, if not the only track, where the chorus overshadows the verses. Remember how Justin Timberlake’s quasi-accapella intro on Holy Grail was and how everything sorta went down from that point on that song? Yeah, that’s just how this one is. I had chills based on the instrumentals at the start of the song already and when the Dream started singing at the start of the song, it was some scaringly soothing ish. Now imagine if the Dream’s version of the Holy grail had been used.
NO REGRETS ft Kevin Cossom, Jeezy
Got a call from my jail niggas, said I’m doing my damn thing
(Woo!) They see I’m doing my damn thing
Magazines, videos, they ain’t missing a damn thing
Nowadays I sell hope, what you rather I sell dope?
What I sell is a lifestyle, naked bitches on sailboats
– Pusha T
Momma had me in the ghetto, I was raised in the slums
Every hero got theme music, guess I need me some drums
FXCK!!! You might hate hearing Pusha rap for some weird reason known to just you and you alone but you can’t deny the fact that he only works prime beats. There is no Push tape without near-perfect production and this is no different. Every single instrumental on point so far but this one takes the trophy. The beat arguably killed Pusha’s verses and even tho Jeezy tried resisting, he got it too.
LET ME LOVE YOU ft Kelly Rowland
A ball player sold you a dream, ain’t do nothing
A couple rappers under your belt, but who’s judging
I ain’t tryna guide you, hand on bible
But Instagram pics show more than side views
30 dollar nude catsuits is not cute
And 50 comments on ass is not fluke
Meh. That is what I can describe this track as. The song is a convo between Pusha and his side chick with Kelly Rowland playing the part of the side piece. The coolest part of this one is when PushaTon uses the Ma$e flow+voice starting with the 2nd verse. Itz still sort of Meh to me
WHO I AM ft 2chainz and Big Sean
Entrepenuer, strip club connoisseur
Hot fudge sundae, pour it on you hallelujah
Pour it on you hallelujah, pour it on you hallelujah
And I be on my own dick, ain’t that much room for you, ah
And I’m going ’til I K.O
Eyes closed, I’m OK
All my bitches know they roll
Even when we role-play
– Big Sean
I have to confess that prior to writing this review, I hadn’t jammed this one at all based purely on the featured artistes so here goes nothing.
Yup, I was right. The features almost destroyed this. The beat is almost as cool as the Fonz but the featured artistes are just terrible on this especially Big Sean J: (Big Sean wasn’t all that terrible).
NOSETALGIA ft Kendrick Lamar
Black Ferris Bueller, cutting school with his jewels on
Couldn’t do wrong with a chest full of chains and a arm full of watches
What I sell for pain in the hood, I’m a doctor
Zhivago tried to fight the urge like Ivan Drago
If he dies he dies, like Doughboy to Tre
If he rides he rides, Throwing punches in his room
If he cries he cries, we don’t drink away the pain
When a nigga die we add a link to the chain
Inscribe a nigga name in your flesh
– Pusha T
He said “son, how come you think you be my connect?”
Said “pops, your ass is washed up with all due respect”
He said “well nigga, then show me how it all makes sense”
Go figure, motherfucker, every verse is a brick
Your son dope, nigga
– Kendrick Lamar
L: Yes, you in the audience. What is your question? Someone hand him the mic
RandomRapFan: Your Highness, I just want to know who killed who?
L: well, it is not hard to spot this one. He started by asking if you wanted to see a dead body and ended by calling his verses (and himself) dope. Kendrick killed this, he built his verse up from that first question to the final declaration
Random: so you’re saying Pusha Ton didn’t show up at all?
L: who said that? I’m saying if Pusha featured someone else and spat the same bars, it would have been a bloody massacre but K.Dot doesn’t let him. Instead, he comes here to renegade him. Solid jam
PAIN ft Future
18 wheeler gorillas
Black with gold chains, pitch bird like steelers
Hines Ward of the crime lords
Running through this money screaming “Encore”
Spending nights with the prime whore
But that’s the bitch that you’re blind for
Celebrating on a whim, nigga
Pain is Pac above the rim, nigga
I know some people don’t like this song mainly cos of Future’s chorus and the way it sounds so mainstream but I actually like this one so much that I’ve created a video for it in my mind, all artistic and shii (Push, holla at your boy if you want the video concept). This is actually one of my favorite jams on the whole album.
S.N.I.T.C.H ft Pharrell
We used to steal dirt bikes, dodge raindrops
So close niggas thought we had the same pops
Graduated, gettin’ money on the same blocks
But things changed and we ain’t end up in the same box
First off, this is a really creative use of backronyms and shii.
Secondly, Pharrell against drops a beast of a beat and once again Push stands his ground and doesn’t get swayed as he drops lines a!out friends turned turncoats.
Another good one from the prodigal brother.
Oh wait! This is the end of the album? Fxck! I was just getting into it but all in all, this is the best way he could have ended this album. Short album? Yes. Dope end? Yes.
There is no beating around the bush for this one. It is a dope album. The production on this was first class with Pharrell and Kanye combining to replicate and modernize the classic Clipse sound.
The bars were as Pusha Ton as ever. He rarely veered away from the subjects which he is known for but when he does, he does not disappoint. What does disappoint is the quality of the features: the PAIN chorus could have been done by someone else, Big Sean didn’t need to be here, (No) Malice could have been there. The arrangement of the tracks was also sort of off. It sounds more like a indie street tape than a boardroom approved tape which is a good thing considering who and what Push represents.
Another problem is the length of this one. It could have been 2 or 3 tracks longer. It just ended too damn soon.
J: Here’s the thing, this album is pretty much in a class of its own simply because you have an artiste talking about a topic that most rappers only brag about but are rarely into it but he on the other knows it in and out. This album has Pusha just inviting you into his own house and showing you all the different things about it like on MTV cribs (hope that’s a solid analogy for you guys) even though this is more of a dark ghetto crib than an a mansion on the hill. Truth is if you really get into the element of this album, you can only but appreciate it. This is definitely one of the best solo debut albums out this year. This album is simply “audio dope” All hail king Push for this one.
With all that said, I’m going to have to give this album an A-