|2022||It’s Almost Dry||Pusha T||★★★★½||85||Hip-Hop|
A hip-hop veteran who’s always worn his confidence and swagger on his sleeve across his collaborations, albums and feature verses, Pusha T has been in a great rhythm since Daytona came out in 2018. It’s Almost Dry is such a solid hip-hop album, there isn’t really that much I have to say about Pusha T’s performance other than I really like it. It’s Pusha T doing what he does best: sounding cool and talking about pushing drugs over good beats.
Pusha T proves for the second album in a row that he can carry his own album and be the star of the show. “Call My Bluff” and “Brambleton” are probably my favorite tracks here and showcase Push’s range and craftiness.
But while he’s the focus first and foremost, a big draw of the record is the collaborations with folks he’s worked with in the past. Jay Z fits in with Pharrell and Push on “Neck & Wrist,” which serves as a nice sequel to 2016’s “Drug Dealers Anonymous.” “I Pray For You” is a triumphant reunion of Push and his partner in Clipse, Malice.
For production work, It’s Almost Dry also brings together two familiar faces: the aforementioned Pharrell — who produced Pusha T’s work with Clipse back in the 2000s — and Kanye West — who produced Daytona and countless other Good Music tracks featuring Pusha T over the previous 12 years. (Thank God It’s Almost Dry came out before Kanye was truly, unequivocally known as an anti-Semite).
While Kanye seems to mail it in with his two guest features on this album, as a producer he pulls some rabbits out of his usual bag of soul samples and beats. “Diet Coke” is one of the most obvious Kanye-sounding sample flips he’s made, but it really works and is one of those songs that, if you have it on repeat, you could listen to it five or six times before realizing it’s starting over. “Just So You Remember” sounds like it’s straight from the Daytona sessions.
But Pharrell really brought his A Game on this one and kind of wiped the floor with Kanye. He counters Kanye’s samples with some soul pulls of his own like on “Let The Smokers Shine The Coupes.” And for some reason Pharrell’s patented Neptunes bounce throughout in the bass and percussion tracks — from “Brambleton” to “Neck & Wrist” and “Call My Bluff” — feels more energized and adds a bit more depth to the overall mix than usual.