Pusha T — It’s Almost Dry — Album Review
Hip-Hop | Rap
I remember just how good of a time the summer of 2018 was for rap music. Amongst many other great hip-hop albums that arrived around the same time, such as NASIR and KIDS SEE GHOSTS, we also got an album from Virginia rapper Pusha T, in the form of DAYTONA. The reason why I mention this, is because DAYTONA served as my introduction to Pusha T (another case of me being late to the party; I know).
Nevertheless, that very same summer seemed to continue this trend of coming at listeners with very short, snappy and concise listens, with albums that barely pass the runtime you would expect from an album, as opposed to an EP. With that said, and with the musical year of 2022 bringing us far more extensive records, it was safe to say that listeners like myself were certainly excited to see that same level of Pusha T energy on a longer record.
Thankfully, it seemed that we got exactly that with Pusha T’s fourth and newest studio album. It’s Almost Dry, on the surface, seemed like what was quintessentially DAYTONA with an extra ten-or-so minutes, and divided into twelve tracks as opposed to DAYTONA’s stingy seven. It took little to no time at all to stand as an album that fans just couldn’t complain about at all.
But I’m guessing that the real questions potentially being asked (by those who haven’t listened to It’s Almost Dry just yet), is how does the album stack up against DAYTONA stylistically? Does it just sound the same as the previous album?
Going into this album, my initial thought process was that it sounded similar (if not identical) to DAYTONA. And while that isn’t a bad thing either way, I was beginning to notice just how much It’s Almost Dry stood out from its predecessor with each subsequent listen. It likely had something to do with this album’s longer duration but It’s Almost Dry definitely feels more versatile by miles. There’s a really nice mixture of gritty and soulful tunes, as well as a pleasant combination of retro and modern instrumentations in the albums production.
In true Pusha T fashion, this album definitely isn’t shy of exciting features either. Boasting collaborations with Kanye West, Jay Z, Pharrell Williams, Kid Cudi, and more, this album definitely stays exciting at every turn. However, it undeniably remains a Pusha T project at its very core.
The narrative focal point of this album, is quite obviously about cocaine; a subject matter that isn’t exactly new in the rap community. I initially gave Freddie Gibbs the same kind of flack, with his 2019 collaboration with Madlib known as Bandana, before cutting Gibbs some slack upon realising that it makes up a large part of his aesthetic. And while Pusha T does that narrative as much of a justice as Gibbs, the narrative would honestly be one of the weaker aspects of It’s Almost Dry, in my opinion.
And the reason I really say that, is because almost every other aspect is knocked out of the park. It’s Almost Dry manages to have this weirdly pseudo-nostalgic feel, in the sense that it feels like an album that would’ve come out a few years ago. With that said, the record seems extremely memorable. I reckon that It’s Almost Dry, for all its stylistic merits, will remain one of the more iconic rap albums of 2022.
Favourite Tracks: Lets The Smokers Shine The Coupes | Dreamin Of The Past | Open Air | I Pray For You
Least Favourite Tracks: Call My Bluff
Getting Out Our Dreams | Def Jam Recordings | UMG