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Pusha T, King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude (GOOD Music / Def Jam)
CD Reviews: January 7, 2016

01/07/16
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



 This Virginia hip-hopper’s knack for sinister ’90s-reborn flows landed him an audience with Kanye West, whose GOOD Music imprint put him in the company of Mos Def and Teyana Taylor, among others. This album finds him descending deeper into the murky darkness and posting up some really good stuff all while his public persona demands Album of the Year awards. After tabling an intro that finds Pusha showing off the spittings that got him a ton of love for his 2013 LP “My Name Is My Name,” he sample-checks Biggie Smalls for a few seconds of the Timbaland-crafted “Untouchable,” lifting the tune’s title from Biggie’s guest-drawl on Pudgee’s “Think Big.” That sample makes the song more believable, if not better, but I dunno, it kinda seems like a reach. I know, “whatever,” and don’t get me wrong, the more disembodied freak-beats like the one on “Crutches Crosses Caskets” are winners, but Kanye comes in to bling it up and wreck my mellow on “M.P.A.,” a shame-on-us brag-fest contrivance that feels phoned in (especially the New Jack City references, not that those will ever cease being the lifeblood of this genre). B






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