Pusha-T’s DAYTONA is a strong contender for best album to come out of Kanye's Wyoming sessions. He certainly feels that way, remarking in a new interview that the project is his "Purple Tape," in reference to Raekwon's 1995 masterpiece.
Speaking with VEVO, Pusha not only breaks down the ways Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… shaped his album, but also the 25-song search he went on with Kanye West to discover the "feeling" of DAYTONA.
“The 25 songs was a process that I feel like… That’s something that me and Ye have never done together," Pusha said. "Being in Wyoming, being in Utah, we was searching for a feeling. I didn’t know at the time what he was asking for. He just said, ‘Gimme 25 songs that you just love… Just anything you love: R&B, rap, anything you love just tell me real quick.’
"As we listed the songs, you know, I would say things—“Incarcerated Scarfaces,” “Glaciers of Ice”—certain records I was pulling out. As we listened through those songs, we would take them off the list and he would say things like: ‘That’s the feeling! If the record don’t come on and feel like this, see we know that something’s about to happen. You know that something’s about to be crazy…’ If it can’t evoke that feeling, then that’s not what we puttin’ on the album.”
Obviously, Pusha and Kanye’s approach worked wonders. Not only is DAYTONA one of 2018’s best rap releases, but the project also boasts some of the best anticipation-building beats of the year. The opening notes of “The Games We Play” are bound to psych anyone up.
Looking beyond Pusha-T, this approach speaks to the importance and impact of creating and immersing yourself in what you love. Music made from a place of passion will always outshine an artist going through the motions of the creative process.
Kanye’s suggestion that Pusha fall back on and explore what he loves may well have been the reason DAYTONA is Pusha-T’s strongest solo effort to date.