Pusha T has been in the game for some time now starting out as a member of Clipse. Clipse saw their stock rise when they linked with Pharrell and started pushing out smash hits. After Clipse disbanded and Pusha started his solo journey he caught the attention of Kanye West and shortly after signed to G.O.O.D. music. It didn’t take long for Pusha to become a key member of the G.O.O.D. music collective and in 2015 Push became president of the label. 2018 has been a busy year for Pusha as he is coming off a beef with a titian of the industry- Drake. Pusha also released his third studio album titled Daytona. Daytona, produced entirely by Kanye, is a solid album where we see Kanye back with his production-hat on, coupled with the drug kingpin bars of Pusha T. Pusha T has always had a consistent message of drug peddling and street life in his music and he does not stray from that on Daytona. To fans of Pusha this is great because you know what you are getting. To those looking for something different you will be hard pressed to find that. What may get both groups excited is the welcomed return of Kanye production, every beat goes in. Another potential pitfall is the length of the album; with just 7-tracks this seems a little too safe, how many times have we encountered a 16-track album that is otherwise very lackluster but has 5-7 solid records. That aspect of Daytona is to me what may hold it back from what could have potentially been greatness. We at Critix Music give Daytona 3½ out of 5 X’s.
In 2018 we see the return of Kanye with the release of his eighth solo studio album, Ye. Although the album is short with seven records, Ye is a very solid album that can be introspective at times and has musical layers and depth. This is exactly what we expect to hear from a Kanye album, which he delivers for the most part. Despite Kanye seemingly losing it recently, Ye’s lyrics on the album are very direct and he may just have been trolling everyone because he hasn’t lost a step musically. Some standout records on the album are “All Mine” and “Violent Crimes”. In “Violent Crimes” we see Ye reflecting on his daughter growing up and facing objectification of men. With this reflection, Kanye realizes his own shortcomings in the past when it comes to dealing with women. The moral of the song is basically that women are something to nurture, not something to conquer. This stance is particularly interesting with the current landscape with women coming forward to report abuse and assault that they have faced at the hands of men. The only criticism that can be made of Ye is that it’s far too short of a body of work especially from an artist like Kanye. Kanye touches on a number of interesting topics throughout the project and we only get an appetizer sample from this record. With that being said Ye gets 3 out of 5 X’s.
Kanye West and Kid Cudi are two of the most influential artist in recent history. Along with that the two share a chemistry that is just about unparalleled in hip-hop. The two have been working with one another since 2008 and ushered in a new era of hip hop with melodic rapping and deep emotional subject matter reaching a pocket of hip hop that was seemingly never spoken directly to. Fast forward to 2018 and we have Kids see Ghost the title of the new formed group between the two and the title of their first album. Its a common theme throughout these reviews that these albums are too short. Kids See Ghost had the potential to possibly be an unprecedented album, but the length of the album hindered the growth of any type of theme, as well as show the full range of the duo. Kids see Ghost feels like more of the start of something that could have been epic. It feels like studio session records that happen to fit pretty well and packaged as a sampler trying to satisfy your musical hunger. The album does have a number of bright spots as it is arguably the most musically creative out of all these Kanye produced albums. “4th Dimension” is a standout record with Kanye featuring the vocals of Louis Prima, an artist that was active during the 1930’s and 1940’s. Kanye recently stated that we will see more Kids see Ghost albums, but that they will follow the 7-track formula. Let’s hope that Kanye and Cudi can continue to build on what they established in 2018. We at Critix Music give Kids see Ghost 3 ½ out of 5 X’s.
The announcement of a Nas album is always highly anticipated news in hip-hop. Back in the summer of 2016 we received an announcement via a single off DJ Khaled’s Major Key titled “Nas Album Done”. It took almost two years from that announcement to get the album, but now we have it and it delivered. The biggest news coming off of the new album Nasir is that it was entirely produced by Kanye West. We get two cultural icons linking to give us one of Nas’s best bodies of work in recent history. Nasir was rolled out with several other Kanye produced albums, but the Nas album is the only one that played like a cohesive record. Nasir has theme’s of black excellence, wealth generation, police brutality, and racism. These theme’s are presented throughout the 7-track album. With Nas’s vivid story telling and lyricism, that is second to none, this may be way the 7-track formula works for Nas and didn’t quite work for everyone else. Nas has a clear, direct message and he gets straight to the point on every record. It’s amazing that for over 20 years Nas has been a top echelon talent that is able to still produce a relevant album with a current sound. So many MC’s have came and went, yet Nas remains with little to no sign of slowing down any time soon. We are not too sure how many Nas albums we will get, so enjoy them while you can. We at Critix Music give Nasir 4 out of 5X’s.