Born Terrence Thornton but known as King Push, Virginia Beach rapper Pusha T has been a fixture in the hip-hop industry since his time as a member of the duo, Clipse, along with his brother Gene “No Malice” Thornton and has deliberately etched out a fruitful career spanning more than two decades. In 2010, with three Clipse full-length albums under his belt, Push signed to Getting Out Our Dreams; a Def Jam Records subsidiary founded by Kanye West in 2004. Pusha T released his debut full-length solo album, My Name Is My Name, under the label in the fall of 2013. As per the new album’s single, “Untouchable,” the G.O.O.D. Music imprint has been newly bequeathed to Pusha T as West anointed Thornton as the president of the label.
With a Mount Rushmore boasting Kanye, Pusha T, Mos Def and John Legend, G.O.O.D. is also home to A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip and Big Sean, among others. Released in the last week of 2015, the 10 songs of King Push — Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude feature appearances from West, A$AP Rocky and soul icon Jill Scott and will precede Pusha T’s upcoming full-length album, King Push, slated for a 2016 release.
Pusha T emanates a confident classiness and seasoned sound in the contemporary time capsule that is King Push — Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude. Prodution from Kanye, J. Cole and Q-Tip is sprinkled throughout this album as well with Pusha describing working with an artist like Q-Tip to HipHopDX as helping “bring the Rap game full circle.”
In his 2013 eponymous track, “King Push,” Thornton testified “I don’t sing hooks,” but the new album does have more lyrical selections to choose from like “M.P.A.,” and “Retribution,” as opposed to the unforgiving “Crutches, Crosses, Caskets,” or the icy, haunting instrumental of the album’s finale, “Sunshine,” featuring Jill Scott. Push begins the track proclaiming “America, you need a miracle.” He goes on to attest to the propaganda spewed by the elite’s media, the dangerously alluring nature of television and fatal shortcomings of the justice system in specific reference to Freddie Gray. He assures and asserts “they’ll never re-write this like they re-wrote history.”
Recommended If You Like: Kanye West, Clipse, A Tribe Called Quest, Mos Def