Album Review | Pusha T – King Push: Darkest Before Dawn (The Prelude)

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This album came out on December 18th this year, and it’s apparently a teaser for the “real” Pusha T album, which is coming out next year. Pusha T is one of my favorite MCs, so I’m really looking forward to this. I’m even more excited for this one than I was for Big K.R.I.T.’s mixtape. That’s probably because it’s been so long since we got a Pusha T project. My Name Is My Name came out almost three years ago now. I have conversations with a lady at the church I go to—I’m an Athiest, but my mama’s pretty religious, so I go to church to make her happy. Church is so fucking awful tho. I hate church. I’d rather go to Hell than church. Hahahaha. I said that to some kids at the school I go to (I got to a Catholic school), and they got so fucking mad hahahaha—about Hip Hop, and Pusha T’s name always comes up when we’re talking about artists that we like. I feel like he’s a really under appreciated MC. He’s pretty much the best MC in mainstream Hip Hop after Kendrick. Yes, he’s better than J. Cole & Drake. There’s no competition there to be honest. I feel like he’s yet to make his best project, but I have a feeling it’s coming up. I don’t think it’s gonna be this one since it isn’t the “real” album. It might be the one that comes out next year tho. The first half of My Name Is My Name is really good. It kinda falls apart after that, but it’s still good. Nosetalgia, Suicide, & Numbers On The Boards are some of the best songs that Pusha T has ever made. I’m probably gonna have to do a Clipse marathon next year. I really would like a Clipse reunion. That would be fucking great. Also, Pusha T has really been doin’ well this year. I mean, he became the president of G.O.O.D. fucking Music. That had to have felt good when Kanye chose him for that position. He’s planning on making a sequel to Cruel Summer too. That should be dope. Good for him. He deserves to be in that position. He raps like a boss, so it makes sense that he’s the boss of G.O.O.D. Music now. He also released a short film for this album. I don’t really like movies, but I think I’m finna go ahead and check that out…

Short Film: Darkest Before Dawn (Directed by Kid Art)

Okay, I’m ’bout five minutes in. The intro just ended. Kid Art went a little overboard with this letterbox. I don’t know if he was in control of that… This is pretty much like any other Paid In Full type of movie. If your into that and you have nothing better to do then I think this would be a pretty good waste of time. Unless for whatever reason you hate Pusha T. There’s a group of three guys. It’s Pusha T, Other Guy #1 & Other Guy #2. Other Guy #2 just got arrested after they crackhouse got raided. He had a baby too. That sucks for him. Oh okay, Other Guy #2’s real name is Ace. I guess I can just call Other Guy #1 Other Guy now. Damn. Some of the songs from the album are playing in the film and that shit sounds fucking great so far. Wow. Pusha’s in a club and his own music is playing. Hahaha. Okay. That’s cool I guess. Okay, Other Guy just died. Okay, Pusha’s in a confession… Uh… Box? Confession Box? Is that what it’s called? The church is being raided by strippers dressed up as nuns. I think they’re about to try and kill Pusha. This is honestly kinda stupid. Oh nevermind. The stripper nuns aren’t in the church. Pusha was dressed up as a priest and he’s infiltrating the church. He just shot the shit outta the antagonist, which was some Spanish guy with Hopsin contacts. I think he was Spanish. I don’t know for sure tho. Push was just about to shoot him one more time because apparently he wasn’t dead from the other 5 bullets, but right at the last second Pusha T looked up to the heavens and decided to leave it “in God’s hands.” What the fuck? Spanish Hopsin just stood up. Did he not get shot like a thousand times? What the hell is happening? This motherfucker got Wolverine powers or something. He just shot my favorite MC. Oh nevermind. He was about to shoot him, and there was a gun shot, but instead of Spanish Hopsin shooting Pusha T, this random white woman just shot Spanish Hopsin. Spanish Hopsin is finally dying now. I guess that white lady just has a better gun than Pusha T. That makes sense, right? After that, Pusha T “became king.” It’s over. That was it. Okay, don’t waste your time watching this unless you’re a huge Pusha T fan and you’re really excited for the album like I am. It’s never really clear what’s going on. I’m not sure who Spanish Hopsin was or why he was evil, or who that white lady was, or how Other Guy died, or what the point of Ace was since he got locked up after the first 5 minutes. How did he “become king?” By killing Spanish Hopsin? Did he usurp Spanish Hopsin. Is that what he meant? There’s a comment on YouTube from someone named Chance Jolivette. It says “this was dope as the fuck, i woulda paid to see this in theaters.” Are you fucking shitting me? Jesus Christ. Some people… Well, good for him. I’m glad he enjoyed it. I personally feel like it was a waste of time, but fuck it. It is what it is. I’m not gonna rate this shit.

Track 1: Intro (Prod. Metro Boomin’, J Gramm, Puff Daddy & G Coop)

This was one of the songs from the Short Film. It opens up with a guy who sounds like Spanish Hopsin talking about how Pusha T has to pick one: “Drug Dealer? Demon? Rap nigga? You tryna save the culture?” Pusha’s goin’ in now. I really like his flow on this one. It’s not smooth or quick or anything. It just sounds good. It sounds aggressive. He’s not even yelling or rapping fast, but it still sounds aggressive. It’s dope. The beat’s pretty good. “The only thing missing is a cape on me / You niggas wanna tag a late great on me / Put the fears in my peers, heard my footsteps coming from the rear / Now it’s murder was the case homie.” This was a pretty damn good way to open the album up. It’s just one dope verse over a good beat. It’s dope. 4/5

Track 2: Untouchable (Prod. Timbaland & Milli Beatz)

Untouchable

I remember being really fuckin’ excited when this first single dropped. I’ve already seen the music video and everything. It’s fucking great. I love this song. Lemme handle this shit from the beginning. It opens up with the hook, which is a sample from The Notorious B.I.G. The way he says “Untouchable, uncrushable” right on top of the first drum kick was dope af. Timbaland did a good ass job mixing this shit. I’m assuming he’s the one who mixed it. Speaking of Timbaland, this beat is fuckin’ crazy. “I am more U2, I am like Bono with the Edge / In Mexico, fuck Donald and his pledge.” I love how rappers like Mac Miller & and Pusha T are comin’ out and shittin’ on Donald Trump like this. Donald Trump is a piece of fucking dog shit that shouldn’t even be considered when it comes to anything related to politics. That man is a fucking clown. He also said some shit about the whole Birdman Vs. Lil Wayne thing. “I’m aiming for the moguls / Why y’all niggas aiming at the locals? / And rap niggas broke like them, they’re mere hopeful / Still wishing on a star / The last one to find out that Baby own the cars.” Pusha T called that shit from a mile away. You gotta respect him for actually having the balls to call out that Cash Money bullshit. Oh shit… Apparently today (December 20th) is the one year anniversary for this website. I wasn’t really sure when I started this website to be honest. I knew it was at the end of 2014, but I wasn’t sure when the exact date is. I probably should’ve planned something special for today. Shit, fuck it. Nobody really give’s a fuck anyway. Push’s flow isn’t super fast on this song, but it’s still really dope. Particularly when he says “Matching Missoni looks African on me / They tryin’ pin this trafficking on me like Mano and Tony.” That shit sounded so smooth. There are just so many quotable lines in this song. I would quote more, but y’all should just listen to the song for yourselves. All of those quotes were only from the first verse too. His delivery in the first few lines of the second verse just sounds gangsta as fuck too. Fuck. I was trying not to quote any lines from the second verse, but I just have to. “My breakdown game brought me ‘8 Mile’ fame / Selling Eminems to him and ‘em / White to the Blacks.” He killed this shit. This is absolutely dope af. The beat is dope af, the bars is dope af, the hook is dope af. Everything about this song is dope af. The music video is cool I guess. It’s not really different from any other Hip Hop music video. He’s just rapping to the camera. The song is dope af tho. 5/5

Track 3: M.F.T.R. Feat. The Dream (Prod. Boi-1da, Frank Dukes & Hudson Mohawke)

Is it The Dream or The-Dream? I’ve always called him The Dream, but every time I see it listed it says The-Dream. Fuck it. I’m finna leave it as The Dream. I’m not really feelin’ his hook to be honest. It’s not terrible, but it definitely isn’t good to me. It’s tolerable. The title stands for More Famous Than Rich. He’s making a lot of references to the drama between Lil Wayne and Birdman. “The illusion of money we don’t believe in / You ask me, Tyga looking like a genius.” I guess if we’re really being objective about this, Tyga did kinda do something good. I mean, I was just ridin’ Pusha’s dick because “You gotta respect him for actually having the balls to call out that Cash Money bullshit.” Tyga did that shit and he was signed to the fucking label, so I guess he deserves some credit too. I would be less apprehensive if Tyga was actually a good rapper tho. Pusha killed the first verse. I really don’t know about this hook from The Dream. It sounds like he’s about to cry. The hook’s average I guess. Pusha killed the verses. The beat was dope too. I FUCK with this song. This song is DOPE. 4/5

Track 4: Crutches, Crosses, Caskets (Prod. Puff Daddy, Sean C & LV, Mario Winans, C-Note & Yung Dev)

Crutches, Crosses, Caskets.jpg

This beat is dope af. It’s different. Not nearly as experimental as Numbers On The Boards, but still dope af. Basically, Push’s rappin’ about how he’s better than all these other bitch ass sensitive rappers. “Rappers is victimized at an all time high, but not I, you pop niggas thought I let it fly / I’m Yasiel Puig, I’m in another league / I defected, only thing we have in common, niggas bleed.” It took me way longer than it should have to get that baseball reference. Pusha T is just such a dope rapper. I don’t understand why he’s never mentioned alongside rappers like Kendrick Lamar & J. Cole. Whenever people think of mainstream MCs that can actually rap, they never talk about Pusha T. If you say his name, they’ll agree that he can spit, but they never think of it themselves. I never understood why. Maybe it’s because his beats are more unorthodox. That’s a good thing if you ask me. “Swordfish, my reality is more fish / Banana clips for all you Curious Georges.” There’s no such thing as a Pusha T song without a quotable line. “Old niggas slapping young niggas / HA! Imagine that, where you from nigga?” That’s obviously a reference to that time that Puff Daddy slapped the fuck outta Drake. I wish I coulda seen that shit with my own eyes hahaha. “The pop, pop, pop / The chop, chop, chop / The throwaway TEC’s got Tourettes.” I swear damn near every fuckin’ line in this song is bananas. You can’t say some shit like that and not have your song be dope af. The music video is cool I guess. He’s just rapping to the camera again. I guess there’s an added bonus of stripper nuns. So if you think nuns are sexy, this is the music video for you. I think I’ll pass tho. I mean, if a nun was throwin’ her pussy at me and she was attractive, I’d catch, but I don’t really think about nuns like that. The music video’s average. The song is dope af. 5/5

Track 5: M.P.A. Feat. Kanye West, A$AP Rocky & The Dream (Prod. Kanye West, J. Cole & Che Pope)

Goddamn. These features and production placements are crazy. Would’ve been cool if Cole had a feature, but that might’ve just been too much. Damn. The Dream is singin’ right now, and it actually sounds pretty good. Okay, the beat just came in. Wow. A$AP Rocky & Yeezy are on the hook. They’re singing on the hook. They didn’t get any verses. You know, if I thought A$AP Rocky & Kanye West were as good at rapping as Pusha T I would be pretty disappointed right now. I feel like their verses wouldn’t be good enough. Pusha T sets a fairly high bar, and I don’t think A$AP Rocky could meet it. Kanye probably couldn’t either if we’re being honest. I mean, I feel like he has the ability to meet it, but I don’t expect him to rap really well these days. I feel like he doesn’t really care about making music anymore. I gotta be honest tho… Their hook isn’t bad, but I feel like Cole would’ve did a better job singing it. It’s not bad tho. I actually like the hook. I probably wouldn’t if it weren’t for the background vocals from The Dream. He really added a lot to this track so far. The beat is dope af by the way. That’s to be expected tho. When I first saw the title, PeeWee Longway lead me to believe that it stands for Money, Pounds, Ammunition, but apparently it stands for Money, Pussy, Alcohol. That’s cool I guess. Oh shit, I guess I should clarify… Pusha T isn’t making an attempt for mainstream success with this song. Well, I guess that’s not true, but he isn’t sacrificing musical quality just so that he gets radio play. It features Kanye West & A$AP Rocky, but they’re only on the hook, and Pusha T’s talkin’ about Money, Pussy & Alcohol, but he isn’t glorifying it. He’s actually doing the opposite of that. “The three leading killers of you niggas / Is the shit that’s most appealing to you niggas.” He’s still rapping his ass off even if the song has a more mainstream sound. Wow. Is he really being nice to women that have a lot of sex? “We can’t judge you ‘cause we ain’t hug you / We sent you off to other hoods and let them niggas fuck you / For real, we made you watch from afar / Even talked down on you, tryna dim your star / Until we seen them foreign cars pull up, and watch them pick you up, and then we realized we missed a diamond in the rough.” THIS IS HIP HOP, PUSH. YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THAT. This is really fuckin’ dope. The beat kinda switched up for the last verse. It’s dope af. This is so dope. There’s really nothing to dislike about this song. I guess some people will probably be disappointed that Ye & Rocky are only on the hook, but I personally wasn’t really bothered by it for some reason. I normally do get pissed off at shit like that, but I didn’t really care for this one. I will say this tho: It’s definitely interesting how Ye has been sticking to sung hooks on most of his recent features. Not to mention the singles he’s been dropping for SWISH. Only One & FourFiveSeconds were both just singing. He also released a revised version of the opening track to 808s & Heartbreak (It’s dope af) and a remix to Tell Your Friends by The Weeknd. I may be reaching for this one, but I have a feeling he’s gonna be doing a lot more singing than rapping on SWISH. Oh. Hold up… I forgot about All Day. Well, nevermind. You can go ahead and flush that theory down the shit swallower. The Dream was dope on this shit. I fuck with the hook. The beat’s dope af. Push killed it. This shit is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 6: Got ‘Em Covered Feat. Ab-Liva (Prod. Timbaland & Milli Beatz)

This should be dope af. I really like this Ab-Liva guy. He has a song with Jahlil Beats called Cruising On Red Leather. It’s dope af. The song he did with Pusha T on My Name Is My Name was dope af too. He has a great voice for Hip Hop. He sounds great. Also, I know I already said this, but I gotta say it again. That intro that The Dream did on the previous track was so dope. It’s such a small part of the song, but I really like it. Okay, back to this song. It’s starting now. Goddamn. This beat is crazy. It’s really different and abstract. Kinda like the beat from Numbers On The Boards. Again, it’s not as experimental, but it’s still different. It’s dope af. Push’s first verse was great. I fuck with this hook. It’s simple, but it works. His flow is really dope on this one. “Whichever rapper hot at the moment / Don’t realize he a candle till he blow it.” There really isn’t anything to be said that I haven’t said about the other songs. The beat’s dope af. Pusha T is killin’ it, as you can see from the line that I quoted. That shit was great. Fuckin’ love this guy, man. This is so dope. Ab-Liva went in too. His aggressive delivery was dope. He sounded like he was pissed off, but he was still trying to be calm at the same time. This song is dope af. Both MCs killed it and that beat is bonkers. That’s right. Bonkers. I fuck with this shit. 5/5

Track 7: Keep Dealing Feat. Beanie Sigel (Prod. Nashiem Myrick & Puff Daddy)

Goddamn. This beat is produced by the same motherfuckers that made Who Shot Ya. This shit is about to be crazy. I actually don’t think I’ve ever heard any Beanie Sigel songs before. I’m probably gonna have to review some of his shit next year. I don’t even think I’ve ever heard him on any features. Okay, this song is starting now. Goddamn. This beat is fucking bananas. I know I’ve heard this sample, but I can’t remember where it was. Push’s first verse was dope. His flow was great. He sounds really good on this beat. He killed both of his verses. I fuck with the hook too. I love the way he came in on that second verse. Goddamn… Goddamn. Beans fuckin’ killed this shit… I mean… I said Push killed it, but Beans fuckin’ killed this shit. He kinda… He almost stole the show to be honest. I mean, I still fuck with Push’s verses, but Beans really fuckin’ killed that shit. His flow and everything… He just went off on that one. That shit was dope af. Everything about this song is great. The beat is fuckin’ incredible. Push killed his verses. The hook was great. Beanie Sigel went off on that shit. This song is dope af. I fuck with this shit right here. 5/5

Track 8: Retribution Feat. Kehlani (Prod. Timbaland)

This beat kinda reminds me of the beat from ‘Bout That Life by Dizzy Wright. That song is dope af. This beat is cool I guess. It’s definitely not bad, but it doesn’t really hit as hard as the other beats have so far. Push’s first verse was cool. The hook from Kehlani is alright. It’s definitely not bad. It’s just not really doin’ much for me. The second verse was dope. The last verse is definitely my favorite part. The way the beat kinda switches up sounded great, and Push’s verse was dope. As a complete song, it really isn’t bad, but it wasn’t doin’ much for me. It’s not bad tho. I kinda fuck with it, but at the same time I don’t really care about it. It’s just fine. It’s average to me. The hook wasn’t terrible, but I think I’m still finna cut it out in GarageBand. It was just a little slow for me. It lasted too long. 3/5

Track 9: F.I.F.A. (Prod. Q-Tip)

Damn. The production on this album has actually been really good so far. This beat is crazy. I love how Pusha never rhymes over same type of production that other mainstream MCs do. Well, I guess the previous beat wasn’t that unorthodox, but still. This beat is great. It doesn’t sound like something I would expect Q-Tip to produce. The hook’s dope. The first verse was dope. I love the first line of the second verse where he says that the coke pops up in his hair and looks like dandruff. That’s so fuckin’ gangsta. The beat… I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s just drums and… It’s so dope. I don’t know. It drops out at all the right moments. The drums hit at all the right moments. Pusha’s rhymes almost fit perfectly into this beat. It’s so dope. This shit is dope af. I definitely fuck with this shit. 5/5

Track 10: Sunshine Feat. Jill Scott (Prod. Baauer, Kanye West & DJ Mano)

Wait a minute… Isn’t Baauer the motherfucker that made the Harlem Shake? That shit was awful… Well, Kanye West & DJ Mano are here so hopefully they keep things from getting too rough in terms of production. Maybe Baauer isn’t usually that bad. I’m gonna be cautious with this one. Okay, it’s starting right now. Ah shit… SHIT JUST GOT POLITICAL IN THIS PIECE! He’s talkin’ about the police brutality that’s been goin’ on lately and racist ass Fox News and shit. This is great. I love the dark beat. “In Fox eyes we the dark side, so they tell you lies.” He also mentioned that argument that Talib Kweli had with Don Lemon. That shit was great. I know this has nothing to do with the song, but I wanna tell yall about this bullshit anyway. I was in Psychology class, and my teacher was like “What happened in Ferguson.” Of course none of the ignorant ass white anglo-saxon kids knew what the fuck she was talkin’ about, so I was like “Mike Brown got shot.” This bitch turned around and said, “Mike Brown was in New York.” I was like “BITCH IS YOU SERIOUS?” Then she got mad at all the students, talkin’ ’bout “SIGH You guys have GOT to watch the news!” I was like “Bitch, YOU need to watch the news.” She told all the dumb ass kids in my class that Freddie Gray was in Ferguson. I’m still pissed off about that and it probably happened like 3 weeks ago. Fuck. Alright, back to the song. FUCK. I accidentally started the song over. Whatever. I’ll listen through the beginning again. Okay, I’m back to where I was now. Goddamn. His flow was great when he said “In order to be me you gotta see what Chief Keef see / Brenda’s baby next door to the candy lady / Same project as Candy Man where they still doing hand-in-hands.” Man, I FUCK with Pusha T. He just seems like a smart ass guy. “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.” I gotta be honest, the background vocals during the hook sounds absolutely terrible. Jill Scott is cool most of the time, but the singing in the background was just bad. I fuck with what Pusha T did tho. The shit he’s saying is way too important for me to deduct any points for that hook. I can get passed that hook. These verses are dope af. I definitely fuck with this shit. Wow. I can’t believe Baauer produced this shit… 5/5

Track +: Lunch Money (Prod. Kanye West)

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This song isn’t on the album, but I wanted to talk about it because it’s fuckin’ great. It came out on July 11th last year, and when I first heard it I couldn’t decide whether or not I liked it. I pretty much reacted to it the same way I reacted to Numbers On The Boards the first time it came out. I knew I liked the beat, but it really didn’t seem like it was meant for anyone to rap over. Pusha did it tho. I just had to get adjusted to the way the production was. It sounded a little disjointed at first, but the more I listened to it, the more I liked it. I don’t even know how to describe the beat. It’s more experimental than any of the beats that made it onto this album. It almost sounds like a chopped up video game sound effect. It’s dope af tho. Speaking of video games, there’s a line where Push talks about growin’ up “on Nintendo playin’ Contra.” Any song that references Contra is dope af. Just kidding. That’s definitely not true. But this song is dope af tho. He also talks about police brutality in this song too. “America’s still abusing us, and 9/11 is the Ku Klux, so why wouldn’t I fire back when everyday them niggas shooting us?” This song is dope af. It definitely takes some getting used to and most people won’t be able to get into the abstract beat, but I definitely fuck with this shit. This is dope af. The music video is nothing special. 5/5

Final Thoughts:

That shit was dope af. This is easily one of the best albums I’ve heard all year. There’s not really a lot of room for error since it’s only about half an hour long, but that’s not a bad thing. The production was all on point. Pusha T is just a dope ass MC. If you like really lyrical MCs then you should check this shit out. As I said earlier in the review, there are just a shit load of quotable lines. The album definitely does it’s job of getting me excited for the full King Push album. I hope he doesn’t make us wait too long for that shit. The features were all pretty good to me, with the exception of Jill Scott & Kehlani. I just couldn’t fuck with Jill Scott’s hook. Kehlani wasn’t terrible, but it just wasn’t doin’ much for me. The beats were all really good for the most part, and Push was spittin’ his ass off. I don’t really know what else to say. It’s just good ass Hip Hop from a real MC. I definitely fuck with this shit. This album is definitely my favorite Pusha T project so far. I mean, I loved the first half of his previous album, and his mixtapes have some pretty good songs, but this is definitely his most consistent solo album. It’s dope af.

Favorite Song: Keep Dealing

Least Favorite Song: Retribution

Verdict:

92%

VERY HOTTTTT

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