Music Review: Pusha T stakes his claim for rap supremacy on Darkest Before Dawn

As its name would suggest, King Push—Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude is a bleak, caustic, and at times unsettling listening experience. It is a 10-track twisted odyssey crafted by one of the most lyrically gifted rappers of the 21st century as he unloads on a range of specific enemies and larger issues both real and perceived. Never before, either in his solo work or as a member of Clipse, has Pusha T sounded more pissed off.

At a time when the most talked-about issues in rap music are centered around process and authorship—a conversation that was sparked earlier this year by the Meek Mill/Drake beef that began with accusations of ghostwriting—Pusha instead takes umbrage with matters of content and persona. On “Crutches, Crosses, Caskets,” he lays out his larger problem with the current state of rap quite clearly, saying, “Rappers is victimized at an all-time high …

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