Nearly four years after dropping what may have been 2018’s most celebrated rap album in Daytona, Pusha T’s inimitable rap voice and unstoppable pen have returned alongside some absolute legends. There’s almost nobody who can come close to matching the former Clipse member’s absolute level of conviction in the booth and creativity when it comes to hyper-specific lyrical mic-drop moments, and this time around the production work is being split by two of the most celebrated beatmakers of all time in Kanye West, who revives his classic chipmunk soul sound, and Pharrell Williams, who tries out a couple new things and ends up crafting some of his career-best work. With guests like Jay-Z and brother Malice in the fold — not to mention a mountain of clever double, triple and quadruple entendres — It’s Almost Dry should be just about every hip-hop fan’s dream.
There’s always been a certain kind of magic in how cool and collected Pusha T sounds on the surface despite every syllable dripping with condescension, confidence, and his signature evil grin. Not only does he offer some more hair-raisingly threatening tracks here with a growl in his voice, he attaches real-life names and faces for the first time as he calls out his old manager’s betrayal while dropping Godfather allusions and casually calls hits on foes. On the other side of the coin, rhyming over West’s brighter flips of Donny Hathaway and Beyonce samples makes him sound more regal and expressive than ever.
Best Track: “Let The Smokers Shine The Coupes”