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Apr 05 2024 | Hip-Hop


Hip - Hop, Rap
Release date
May 25 2018
Pusha T
May 25 2018 | Hip - Hop, Rap

Daytona (stylized as DAYTONA) is the third studio album by American rapper Pusha T, released on May 25, 2018, through GOOD Music and Def Jam Recordings. The album features guest appearances from Rick Ross and Kanye West, the latter of whom produced all of its tracks, with additional production from Andrew Dawson and Mike Dean and uncredited vocals by Tony Williams and 070 Shake.

Daytona is the first of five albums produced by West in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in what have become known as the “Wyoming Sessions”,, released in 2018, with a seven-track album being released every week. The album preceded the release of West’s Ye, West’s collaboration with Kid Cudi titled Kids See Ghosts, Nas’ Nasir, and Teyana Taylor’s KTSE. The album debuted at number 3 on the US Billboard 200 with 77,000 album-equivalent units, of which 39,000 were pure album sales. Daytona received widespread critical acclaim and is also Pusha T’s highest-charted album since My Name Is My Name, which charted at number 4.

In December 2015, Pusha T released the album King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude, which was set to serve as a prelude to Pusha T’s third album, King Push. However, the album suffered from numerous delays, and instead, Daytona was announced by Kanye West via Twitter on April 19, 2018, alongside the album’s release date.

Pusha T explained the title of the album by stating: “I changed the album title from King Push to Daytona because I felt it didn’t represent the overall message of this body of work. Daytona represents the fact that I have the luxury of time. That luxury only comes when you have a skill set that you’re confident in.”

Recording and production
Recording sessions for the album took place in Jackson, Wyoming and Utah during 2017 up to May 2018. Initial production for the album featured a variety of high profiled producers such as The Neptunes, however the original material was scrapped in favour of Kanye West producing the entire album. Production influences came from creating individual song lists and sampling. Songs recorded for the album include “Sociopath”, which was removed from the final track listing.

The album was officially completed on May 23, 2018, two days before digital release.

The original artwork for Daytona was replaced a few days before the album’s release, with the final artwork depicting a picture of deceased singer Whitney Houston’s bathroom. The licensing for the artwork cost $85,000, paid by Kanye West. Houston’s ex-husband Bobby Brown criticized the cover, saying it was in “really bad taste”.

Canadian rapper Drake responded to the song “Infrared”, which addressed Drake and his ghostwriting rumors, by releasing a diss track titled “Duppy Freestyle” on May 25, 2018. The song garnered significant media attention, as well as a response from Pusha T on Twitter. Four days later, Pusha T responded with his own song titled “The Story of Adidon,” which alleges that Drake is secretly the father of a porn star’s child.

Critical reception
Daytona received widespread acclaim from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 86 based on 16 reviews, indicating “universal acclaim”. Paul A. Thompson of Pitchfork described the album “a near-airtight exercise in flair and focus”, stating that “it shirks the bloat and radio concessions of Darkest Before Dawn and, to a greater extent, his 2013 solo debut, My Name Is My Name. The beats – sample-heavy and produced entirely by Kanye – are uniformly excellent and let you see the seams: It’s like an album full of “Bound 2″‘s, without the sentimentality”, concluding that the album is “Pusha’s best work as a solo artist”. Ben Beaumont-Thomas of The Guardian stated that “Each track is an elocution lesson, his bars enunciated with the almost pedantic menace of a bad cop explaining what he plans to do to you”, describing the lyricism as “crisply brilliant drug poetry” and commending the production. Yoh Phillips of DJBooth wrote that Daytona “puts on display a maximized portrait of potent potential realized. After knocking at this door for years, Pusha has finally made an undeniable breakthrough. His words are razor sharp, his lyricism blessed by the kind of beats that allow him a beautiful ring to box in.”
Clayton Purdom of The A.V. Club expressed that Daytona is “an absolute masterpiece of minimalism”, complimenting both the album’s production and lyricism. Kyle Mullin of Exclaim! stated that the album “boasts a mostly sinewy and understated sound that’ll leave hip-hop heads in revelry”. Online hip hop publication HipHopDX wrote that Daytona provides “a fitting backdrop for some of the most grim, relentlessly murderous raps Pusha has ever rhymed”, also crediting West’s production and the album’s run time.

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. “If You Know You Know”
West 3:22
2. “The Games We Play”
  • West
  • Dawson[b]
3. “Hard Piano” (featuring Rick Ross)
4. “Come Back Baby”
  • West
  • Dawson[b]
5. “Santeria”
6. “What Would Meek Do?” (featuring Kanye West) West 2:33
7. “Infrared”
  • Thornton
  • West
  • Robert Manchurian
  • Carter
  • Mark James
West 2:50
Total length: 21:08
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