Pusha-T just dropped his third studio album, DAYTONA, and we at Highsnobiety love it. With rhymes covering everything from life in the coke game to working with Kanye West, Diddy, and Nas, it only made sense for us to break down some of the record’s best lines.
Over the years, King Push has proven no stranger to calling out industry favorites. Here, the rapper takes shots at Drake’s ghostwriting controversies and the feud between Lil Wayne and Birdman, gives props to Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole, and even offers West the chance to explain his MAGA hat. Other topics include Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo movement, and Meek Mill’s legal circumstances.
Before the breakdown, you can listen to the album below.
“It was written like Nas, but it came from Quentin”
It’s no secret that Pusha-T has a strong stance on authenticity, especially when it comes to rappers penning their own lines. On “Infrared,” the rapper takes a shot at Drake, who was called out by Meek Mill for ghostwriting back in 2015. Quentin Miller was identified as the ghostwriter, which he denies. Pusha, in effect, is telling Drake that his bars will never match the greats.
“Another multi-platinum rapper trapped and can’t retire”
Also on “Infrared,” Push highlights Rick Ross’ diss track “Idols Become Rivals,” which took shots at Birdman and his business dealings at Cash Money. An ongoing feud over pay between Lil Wayne and Birdman has stunted the Southern rapper’s career.
“Remember Will Smith won the first Grammy? And they ain’t even recognize Hov until Annie”
In 1989, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince became the first hip-hop artists to win a Grammy. The Recording Academy, however, chose not to air the hip-hop segment, causing the pair to boycott the event. Again on “Infrared,” Pusha talks about how hip-hop artists don’t get the recognition they deserve unless working outside of their “domain.” JAY-Z sampling the musical Annie on mega-hit “Hard Knock Life” is a prime example.
“I’m top five and all of them Dylan”
In the early aughts, Diddy made the reality TV show Making the Band, which gave young hopefuls a chance to sign to Bad Boy Records. In one series, rapper Dylan became a notable figure after comedian Dave Chappelle used the series as part of a skit on Chappelle’s Show. The line, from “What Would Meek Do?” is a reference to both Diddy and Chappelle’s hilarious sketch.
“If you ain’t driving while black, do they stop you? Well, MAGA hats let me slide like a drive-thru.”
This last one is a Kanye West line, but it’s worth noting nonetheless. On “What Would Meek Do?” West touches upon the viral photo in which he wore a Donald Trump MAGA hat. Here, West addresses the irony of race relations in the U.S., specifically how a black man driving solo is seen as a threat, but when he allies himself to a movement regarded by many as an expression of white nationalism, society will give him a pass.
What are your favorite bars from DAYTONA? Drop them in the comments below.
In case you missed it, check out some of the Twitter reactions to ‘DAYTONA’ here.