This is the 4th full-length album from Virginia emcee, songwriter & record executive Pusha T. Coming up as 1/2 of the duo Clipse alongside his older brother No Malice about 3 decades ago, their debut Lord Willin’ & their sophomore effort Hell Hath No Fury would go on to become some of the best of the 2000s & essentials in the coke rap scene. But following the brothers’ final album together ‘Til the Casket Drops, they would disband after No Malice became a born again Christian & resulted in Push signing to Kanye West’s very own Def Jam Recordings imprint G.O.O.D. Music as a solo act. He has since made himself home under Ye’s wing by dropping 3 solo efforts, with the last one being the Kanye-produced DAYTONA in the spring of 2018 & one of the greatest diss tracks of all-time “The Story of Adidon” merely days later. But after 4 long years, Push is returning with It’s Almost Dry.
“Brambleton” opens up the album with a cloudy yet rubbery instrumental from longtime collaborator Pharrell & lyrics addressing Pusha’s relationship with his former manager Geesy whereas “Let the Smokers Shine the Coups” has a more triumphant tone to it saying he’s just here to find the truth. Kanye tags along for “Dreamin’ of the Past” sampling “Jealous Guy” by Donny Hathaway to belittle their competition, but then JAY-Z comes into the picture for “Neck & Wrist” working in some experimental undertones talking about the rapstar life.
Meanwhile on “Just So You Remember”, we have Push reminding the whole world who they’re fucking with over a sample of “6 Day War” by Colonel Bagshot just before “Diet Coke” flips “Take the Time to Tell Her” by Jerry Butler taking jabs at those who be selling impure shit. KIDS SEE GHOSTS reunite 1 last time for “Rock n Roll” due to KiD CuDi & Kanye’s falling out talking about how this is their story over a sample of “1+1” by Beyoncé leading into the eerie “Call My Bluff” telling listeners that everything don’t need to be addressed.
“Scrape It Off the Top” has a more playful sound to it as Lil Uzi Vert helps Push spit them coke bars & “Hear Me Clearly” was one of my favorites off Nigo’s recent solo debut I Know Nigo, so I’m happy he put it on here. The penultimate track “Open Air” incorporates some flutes talking about slanging powder in an unenclosed space outdoors & “Labyrinth” ends the album with an organ-heavy Clipse reunion talking about all the people they pray for.
This has been one of my most anticipated albums of 2022 for a minute now & boy it did not disappoint. He continues to spit the gangsta rap we all know & love, except Kanye & Pharrell’s production is like yin & yang with the Chicago genius’ signature chipmunk soul sound that he came up on or the some of the pop rap undertones coming from some of the cuts that the Virginia visionary has to offer.