It could be the way that Kanye West handled the production entirely, or maybe the way that Pusha T uses his voice to illustrate a sense of boss level forcefulness that comes naturally. In the end, it is likely a mix with a few features that gets sprinkled on the top of the seven-track boost to the ego. Whether in the car, or under the stage lights; Pusha T has always felt substantial to the soul like a good meal. Hearing his voice perform over the usual clean 808’s and rattling hi-hats feels glossy and approachable. Here, Daytona is a glorified push of simplified production that allows the main focus to be entirely on the vocals and lyricism of Pusha T.
He brings back that ugliness and authenticity to rap that feels missing at points. “I’m too rare amongst all of this pink hair” Pusha T explains on “Hard Piano,” one of the leading tracks on the front end of Daytona. Or to the first lines where he describes, “This thing of outs, oh this thing of ours. A fraternity of drug dealers ringin’ off, I just happen to be alumni.” Drugs and cocaine is nothing new to Pusha T, but here it feels more understood to a fan base that has never even thought to see or touch a kilo. Daytona is a reminder that Pusha T grew up in an scarred world, but touched gold with music and was able to influence more than just the local kids.
He broke through that wall and managed to see greatness and through his double entendres, wild lyricism, and the older, more experienced Pusha T has more to offer in just seven-tracks than some could teach in years of records. “If you know You Know” is a track that opens doors to the head banging movement to a less of a bragging method, and more of a realistic approach to the concrete jungles of rap. From the dope dealing glamorization, to the hustling of poetic bars, Pusha T never denies his past and acknowledges through his vernacular. “I am the hope, the dope dealers won. Price and the quote, the dope dealers want” he explains on the single “What Would Meek Do?” that quickly became a crowd favorite off the record.
The twisted cover, the furious lyricism, the diverse production from Kanye West; Daytona collectively acts more as organized chaos that is unreachable for those who see rap from an outside view. But to those who understand and respond, then if you know you know.