Showing posts with label pusha t. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pusha t. Show all posts

Sunday, January 6, 2019

the top 25 best albums of 2018

Normally this is the list that feels like the greatest relief to make - it's the final moment where we can lay a year to rest chronicling the best of the best, the sort of release that comes with it being the last list but also one that feels the most professional, for lack of better words. I'm having fun with the lists of the best and worst hits, I'm getting more personal with the overall songs list - this list for critics is staking claim, drawing our lines in the sand, and as such, it's normally the most professionally rewarding.

But I have to say, in comparison to previous years, this list was not that hard to make. Even though I covered far more albums in 2018 than ever before, it felt like I hit greatness less often on average. Which is probably not completely true, but it sure as hell feels like it, especially given that the cuts weren't that painful this year, or it certainly seemed like there was less of them to make. And while I don't do an Honourable Mentions segment for this list, I will say I'm a little regretful that I have to leave Rolo Tomassi and Against All Logic off this list, and I'm sure I'm going to surprise some folks by saying that Beach House and Kacey Musgraves also missed the cut - sorry, but especially in country, Kacey had stiffer competition. But really, if we're to highlight a genre that turned out in spades in 2018, it was hip-hop - and no jokes here, this is more hip-hop on this albums list than I think there has ever been before... which yes, means that there were two painful cuts in the form of Marlowe and Armand Hammer. But you know, let's start off with hip-hop here...

Saturday, June 30, 2018

the top albums/songs of the midyear - 2018

There are years where I struggle with this midyear list, sometimes in years overloaded with quality that force me to make some painful cuts, or years that are a little more scant I'm stuck with what seems like a smaller list... and still have to make painful cuts. 

And thus it feels odd that building this 2018 midyear list is perhaps one of the easiest I've ever assembled, and since I'm not about to assume I'm getting good at this, I'm genuinely curious why that might be. I will say that outside of hip-hop, other genres don't seem to be having an exceptionally strong year - great albums in rock and country and metal but few that really went over the top in terms of quality, and I'd argue pop has had it even worse. But more than that, even the records that just missed the cut - Beach House, Iceage, Parquet Courts, Against All Logic, and especially Phonte - while they were truly terrific releases, I'm not precisely torn up that they had to miss the cut, as they all have a considerable shot for the year-end as my tastes evolve and change. 

So given that this is my fifth list like this, you know the rules: the albums and songs have to have been reviewed in 2018, and while I'm fairly certain you'll all know what's going to top this list, I'll add that there are songs from The Trailing Edge that have a chance to wind up in the individual songs, because there really were some incredible cuts there. So let's not waste any time and start with...

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 9, 2018 (VIDEO)

And now we have a busy but overall pretty damn good week, I'm generally pleased with this.

Next up... okay, fine, we'll deal with the elephant in the room, and I won't have a lot of mercy - stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 9, 2018

...well, I can't say that the Hot 100 doesn't surprise me occasionally. I was expecting some fallout from the Pusha-T and Drake beef, but the most we got was the worst song to come out of it and half of Pusha-T's album! And when you pair it with all the rest of the scattered entries, this week wound up feeling surprisingly busy...

Thursday, May 31, 2018

video review: 'DAYTONA' by pusha-t

Took a while to get to this one, but MAN I'm happy I did. Great project, damn great project...

Next up, Trailing Edge - stay tuned!

album review: 'daytona' by pusha-t

This is one of those reviews where I'm actually incredibly grateful I didn't jump the gun and review this early, if only because it feels like this week for Pusha-T might be one of the most tumultuous for hip-hop in 2018, and even now it feels like we're only joining the story in progress. And indeed, there's a part of me that just wants to focus on the beef with Drake, how Drake seemed to think he could put away Pusha-T's career with 'Duppy Freestyle' like he had Meek Mill, only to put Pusha-T's fiancee on wax and for Pusha-T to declare all bets are off with 'The Story Of Adidon', which might just join Jay-Z's 'Super Ugly' in the realm of diss tracks that seemed to step over the line. And yet for me... there's a part of me that feels Drake brought this on himself and has been pushing this line with too many people for too long, and not only did Pusha-T seem fully aware of the gravity of his references, the framing of all of it was highlighting the twisted cycle of abandonment that Drake was perpetuating from his father, be it his closest producer or his previously unrevealed son. For someone of principles - even the warped code of bleak, nihilistic pragmatism that Pusha-T adheres to - this is a much higher crime.

And yet it already seems like some are forgetting how the release of DAYTONA had been mired in some controversy of its own, with Kanye West operating as sole producer yanking the album art to replace it with a photograph of Whitney Houston's bathroom for a sum of $85,000, and that's before you got the lingering questions whether just seven songs from Pusha-T would be enough. Granted, I did just cover Minor Threat's Out Of Step less than a week ago, and that was about as long with nine tracks, but seven songs meant Pusha-T had no room for error or dead weight, and while the critical acclaim was really damn encouraging, I was cautious, especially as it seems like this might be the abortive substitution for the long-delayed KING PUSH - but hey, that didn't mean it wouldn't be good, right?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

video review: 'king push: darkest before dawn - the prelude' by pusha t

Okay, that's one - got another a review coming tonight, the last album review of this year - stay tuned!

album review: 'king push: darkest before dawn: the prelude' by pusha t

I always get the feeling that I should be a bigger fan of Pusha T than I am.

Because when I reviewed his solo debut My Name Is My Name, I found myself struggling to like it. And going back to it now... well, putting aside how uneven it feels as a whole, Pusha T always struck me as a strong, technically detailed MC that didn't take his coke hustling and gangsta image beyond a wallow in darkness, almost for its own sake. And while he definitely had the voice and production for make something vividly compelling out of it, I kept looking for more of a pay-off that didn't really materialize. And it's not like Pusha T had The Game's pop sensibility or Freddie Gibbs' complicated framing or even the over-the-top gangsta iconography like Rick Ross or Jeezy - you could definitely argue that the methodical grime of Pusha T's best material simply operated as a mirror to the subject matter, nothing more, nothing less. But that's probably been the reason why I've always been a little underwhelmed by Pusha T's work over the past couple of years since Clipse broke up - for such a talented rapper, you'd like to think he'd go for more than that.

And the funny thing is that Pusha T appears to have brought more ambition to the table in the lead-up to his 2016 release King Push - so much so that he dropped an entire album's worth of material as a prelude, a short, brutally dark project released just before 2015 comes to a close as one of the best years for hip-hop in recent memory. And while I remember not being all that enthused about My Name Is My Name, after relistening to it I was interested in this. After all, that album had been stuck in development hell, and now that Pusha T had a firm hand on his career - probably helped by being appointed President of G.O.O.D. Music - maybe this prelude might have real impact for me. So how did Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude turn out?

Monday, October 14, 2013

video review: 'my name is my name' by pusha t

Well, it took longer than i would have liked to get out, but here it is, my review of Pusha T's solo debut. Now I can go back to never having to care about this guy for a good year or so (judging by how much legwork it took to get this album out, I've probably got some time).

This week... well, damn, I've got no clue. I probably should cover Joe Nichols, but man that album looks bland as all hell, and here's a case where not a single song on the album was touched by Nichols himself - lovely. 

On the other hand, we've got Pearl Jam.

...okay, I think I know what I'm going to be talking about tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

album review: 'my name is my name' by pusha t

I've got to be honest, it took a lot for me to get remotely excited about this album.

Hell, if I'm going to be completely honest, it's taken a lot for me to get excited about Pusha T as an artist altogether - which is really frustrating because everything I've heard about the guy suggests that I would actually like him as a rapper. According to the majority of the critical press, he's one of the few artists Kanye West signed to G.O.O.D. Music who was actually any good, and from what I remember from Cruel Summer last year, I think I liked what he put on the table. I remember thinking he was better than Big Sean and 2 Chainz, but then again, that's not hard by any stretch of the mind, and it brings to light a big problem I've had with rap music recently: it appears that everybody's critical standards for technical rhyming abilities have just plummeted while mine haven't moved. I look at rappers who have been laughed out of the rap game in the 90s or even the 2000s for sloppy flow or bad lyrics somehow gaining critical acclaim when their subject matter doesn't back it up. 

So thus when I'm confronted with a rapper like Pusha T, who gets critical acclaim because he's got a good flow and interconnected, well-written lyrics, I'm left a little unmoved because that's my standard for good rap music - if you can't do that, I have a hard time understanding why you were given a career (looking at you, 2 Chainz)! If you just deliver that without adequate subject matter behind it or anything interesting to say, I don't really have much to praise besides basic competence.

But to be fair to the guy, I'll admit I haven't had much of a chance to peruse a lot of Pusha T's material outside of guest verses, so I figured now would be a good time as any to take a look at his big solo debut, overloaded with guest stars as it is (which I'll co-opt Nathan Rabin and coin 'The Master P effect'). If he's looking for an opportunity to establish his presence and cred in the industry, this long-delayed album titled My Name Is My Name should be worth something, right?