In 2018, Pusha T released his critically acclaimed ‘DAYTONA’ album that went on to be hailed the “Best Rap Album of the Year” by many critics. While the project went on to lose the Grammy award for the same category – falling to Cardi B’s ‘Invasion of Privacy‘ – it left fans wondering how he would follow up. With his latest effort, ‘It’s Almost Dry‘, the Virginia-native sees success in doing just that. The 12-track album has a great flow and if you’re like me, finding yourself skipping singles sometimes in albums, you won’t have that problem here. Singles like “Hear Me Clearly”, “Diet Coke” & “Neck & Wrist” fit so well into the album that they seemingly go unnoticed.
Pusha’s gritty yet crisp voice is fully displayed on this project as his lyrical expertise is undeniable. Seeming to have further perfected his musical aesthetic, utilizing his peers in Pharrell Williams and Kanye West. The album is a trojan horse, essentially presenting us with a ”Verzuz Battle” between the two legendary producers. Push didn’t waste any time releasing versions of the album with alternate track lists. Pairing all six Pharrell-produced songs together against West’s six tracks. Knowing that both producers bring out the best in him – Push uses this tactic to give to give us a perfectly balanced project.
In a recent interview with Charlamagne Tha God, Push refers to the album’s intro, “Brambleton,” as a “very personal record” as he addresses a DJ Vlad interview where former Clipse manager, Anthony “Geezy” Gonzalez apparently took shots at the group. On the track, he also takes us back in time to a street where his mother worked as a pharmacy technician but it was also a staple during his young adult life. The hook features assistance from super producer, Pharrell, who also co-executive produced the entire album with frequent G.O.O.D. Music collaborator, Kanye West.
One of the standout records would be “Just So You Remember,” where Push empties the clip lyrically over a sample of Colonel Bagshot’s “Six Day War” on a Kanye-produced track. It’s on this track that he zeros in on his doubters.
“The number don’t change, I know who the chemist is / Brick by brick, we kept open dealerships / Mitch by mitch, we built up our villages / Seein’ you rappers apply for the stimulus / Livin’ a lie but die for your images,” raps Push, as he directs his fiery bars toward his contemporaries, some of which have seen a financial decline since the pandemic struck in 2020. On this record, he bounces back and forth between the accomplished, well-off life that he’s living now and his violent, drug-filled past.
The problem that many listeners had with ‘DAYTONA’ was that it wasn’t long enough. At just seven songs, the album clocks out around 21 minutes, you could see how fans could feel a way about a project so short from an artist of Pusha T’s caliber. However, records like “If You Know You Know” and “Infrared”, where he sent shots at Drake for having a ghostwriter, help to make the album a huge success. Length definitely isn’t going to be an issue with this new album, tapping out around the 36-minute mark.
Having pulled inspiration from mentors like Sean Combs and the theme of DC villain, The Joker, songs like “Call My Bluff” take listeners back to Clipse projects that featured unique beats by The Neptunes. The production on this track gives a carousel feel as Push’s Joker theme is on full display.
Push closes out with ‘I Pray For You feat. Labrinth & Malice, giving us a Clipse reunion that has been worth the wait. It’s safe to say that Malice can still rap with the best of them. Push even hinted at a Clipse return on the first verse of the track.
“The past ten years, screamin’ ‘Uno’ / Then I side step back into the duo / The kings of the Pyrex / I’m my brother’s keeper if you listen and you dissect / All I talk is money if you listen to my dialect,”
All in all, if you’re a fan of Pusha T — or a fan of any of the parties involved in making this album — this project is for you. Even if you haven’t heard ‘Daytona’ but, you’re a fan of rap in general, this project is for you. As it’s projected to sell between 50,000-55,000 units, ‘It’s Almost Dry‘ is looking to be the Virginia Beach rapper’s first #1 album. All over the album, Push is flaunting the expensive cars, clothes and luxuries that have come with his current lifestyle but he seems to be making the connection between his past life and his new one. The expensive clothes and foreign cars he owns now are a direct result of the times where he had to live frugally; but ironically his career may not have been so successful without that period of his life. So there’s a pendulum-like effect in his music, swinging back and forth between the relishing of his life now and the gratitude that comes from surviving the life he once lived.
During the first week of April, Push announced that phase one of the It’s Almost Dry Tour will kick off with a performance in Seattle on May 29.
‘It’s Almost Dry‘ is available now on all streaming platforms via G.O.O.D. Music / Def Jam Recordings.