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King Push: Darkest Before Dawn

by Pusha T

Released December 18, 2015 via GOOD Music / Def Jam Recordings

Reviewed December 24, 2020

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Untouchable (62%), M.P.A. (58%), M.F.T.R. (32%)

Darkest Before Dawn delivers the same Pusha T we know and love: Cocaine metaphors and luxurious references to a life of lavishness. But these songs hit a lot harder than its subject should. It’s rare to find a song like “Intro” or “Untouchable”, and this album is chock full of these types of tracks, with no filler. While not as good as DAYTONA, this album’s variety in production alone makes it a standout in his discography. On the first track, Push raps “the only great I ain’t made better was J Dilla.” While he’s not 100% correct (no Clams Casino collab yet), the variety of the production, from Q-Tip to Kanye West to Metro Boomin, and the uniqueness of the individual beats is unparalleled. Looking back on it, Darkest Before Dawn was a late contender for best album of 2015 and a turning point for one of the best rappers of the 2010’s. – Alan (8.7/10)

Pusha T’s solo discography is relatively short, spanning only about two and a half hours over almost ten years. Yet, the classic motif of intertwining his cocaine-dusted past and his Dior-fitted present is found on each project, carving out a Pusha T-sized hole in hip-hop’s legacy. Darkest Before Dawn is no exception and finds Push adding a few more highlights to his tape of nasty punchlines and double entendres. With its carefully selected and calculated supporting cast— ranging from Beanie Siegel to Jill Scott—and sparse yet effective production from Timbaland, Q-Tip, Kanye, and others, Push does great at making a little go a long way. Although this doesn’t necessarily amount to Pusha T’s best solo work, it shuffles neatly into his catalog and doesn’t bring with it many negatives. – Pax (8.3/10)

Darkest Before Dawn is a book of revelations, which in 2015 once again reaffirmed Pusha T's unflinching values and character. He's not the artist to push boundaries or elevate an album musically, but you're best served staying out of his way. The lane in which Pusha T does operate well within, he dominates and defends admirably. The confidence and will imposed on tracks like "Untouchable" or "Crutches, Crosses, Caskets" go above and beyond, even in a genre that demands these qualities. "King Push..." is another convincing notch in the belt for a hip hop legend whose stature speaks for itself. – Enth (8/10)

Alan: 8.7/10 | Hadley: 8.5/10 | Pax: 8.3/10 | Dominick: 8/10

Enth: 8/10 | Jared: 8/10 | Cam: 7.3/10


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