First I would like to apologize for the late review. That's it.
Ok. So King Push has been claiming he has the best album of the year. Don't know about that, but for his first solo LP the VA native definitely did not disappoint. We have already heard the singles Numbers On The Boards, Sweet Serenade, Nosetalgia and S.N.I.T.C.H. Besides Sweet Serenade (which is a more radio friendly club type track) the rest have gotten high praise as far as singles go. So we knew he had some straight raw Hip-Hop tracks, but what about an album as a whole?
King Push is the intro track. And as far as intro tracks go, this joint is pure fuego. The intricate track has a very distorted raw tone to it. It builds up quickly to an onslaught of different instruments and vocal samples. Pusha T attacks the track like a Fear Of God lost tape single. This is his intro as a Good Music artist. And he knows you only get one intro track to your first LP. The lyrics are everything you love about Mr.T (ha..sorry..won't happen again). He carved his lane as the unfiltered genuine street lyrical d boy emcee. Overall the track is perfect blend of high energy and lyrical bravado.
A track I did not expect to like was Hold On solely because I am not the biggest Rick Ross fan. But over dude did a decent job as a feature. The track goes from a simple piano and 808 laced instrumental to crescendos that add some complexity to the track. Push rides the smooth beat with a more introspective approach. This is where I feel Pusha T stands out against other "street pharmacist" rappers. This dude is able to paint different pictures from what he observes, but he is also able to break down what he sees interjecting a human filter. We don't just see how things go down, but also why. Oh, and I was scared that Kanye was going to T-Pain the mess out of the end of the track (a la Blood On The Leaves). But thankfully he backed off.
40 Acres is probably my favorite stand out track against all the street bangers joints on the album. This is another great instrumental. The segments that accompany The-Dream for the chorus is stripped down to a faint base and string instrument with a few piano keys. Once Push starts the instrumental transforms to a very simply eerie head nodding drum and base beat. In this track Pusha T raps about pushing (of course), family, religion, and relationships. Again, able to basically rap about the same subject matter but never really recycling his perspective.
Numbers On The Boards and Nosetalgia have gotten critical single acclaim. Numbers On The Boards is just pure unadulterated go-hard-or-go-home Hip-Hop. And Nosetalgia boasts the best feature on the album, Kendrick Lamar. I think Pain was actually the first single that was dropped for My Name Is My Name. Definitely not a Future fan, but thankfully dude is just on the hook. Who I Am is a Tity Boi (sorry..I mean 2 Chainz) and Big Sean assisted track that is lyrically sub par and lazy instrumentally (is that a word?). And even though Let Me Love features the lovely Kelly Rowland, it seems a bit out of place. But I know why it had to be on the album, gotta have a track the ladies can sing to. Overall the album is conceptually cohesive minus a few throwaway tracks. Yes Pusha T raps 99% of the time about drugs, but if you look past the surface you will see a growth and complexity that is not present in most dough boy emcees. He will always be your favorite trappers favorite rapper, and as long as he keeps supplying, we will keep buying.