From his early days in Clipse, to making it on his own as a solo rapper, Pusha T continues to offer fans his remarkable talent. His sophomore LP, King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude, is a terrific album. Now three years later, Pusha T returns with his third studio album, Daytona. In the world of rap, it seems that Pusha’s credibility has only been rising; but when it comes to Daytona, does the record deliver upon the hype?

One immediate surprise that comes to mind with Daytona is its runtime. The album clocks in just barely over 21 minutes, with tracks lasting anywhere from two and a half, to three and a half minutes. Thankfully, Daytona offers a solid production in entertaining beats, with Pusha continuing to provide engaging lyricism.

“If You Know You Know” opens with the instrumental slowly building up, just before bursting forth. The energy level of the music maintains a consistent high, flaring up throughout the progression. The composition blends with Pusha’s vocal delivery, coming together to make for a bombastic flow. Daytona provides plenty of stories about the drug game, and Pusha wastes no time in the opening track with such insight. The record shifts into “The Games We Play,” carrying the same level of energy with a new flavor. The production presents an upbeat rhythm of keys and claps that bring an element of smoothness to his vocals and lyrics. The chemistry between his words and the instrumentals make for a natural and catchy progression. Lyrically, Pusha continues to share stories about dealing, while also shouting out some of his rap influences.

Each of Daytona’s seven songs is absolutely full of flavor. However, while the quality of Daytona shines, it’s odd to see how short its runtime is. It leaves some room for desire, as the songs play out and end before you know it. That said, it helps that the material is a joy to listen to, and warrants reason to return.

The instrumental of “Come Back Baby” primarily keeps to a minimal beat with consistent claps, tossing in flares of Motown vibes. The minimalism allows the track to focus on Pusha’s lyrics, shifting gears with the use of the soulful hook. It’s a nice change of pace that adds to the album’s variety in production. “Santeria” brings in a heavier rhythm that’s woven with somber tones. The track has Pusha taking on a different lyrical direction, sharing a story about a personal loss. Pusha brings a new form of aggression to the material, adding a welcoming touch of emotion to the record. The heavy rhythm produces a warm aura of sadness, and embraces the grit of Pusha’s tone.

While Daytona doesn’t offer as much material as King Push, its quality stands tall. It would have been nice to see more songs, but Daytona offers more than enough to have listeners come back for multiple spins. Pusha T continues to prove how he is one of the biggest names in rap with this latest effort. His use of wordplay is engaging, bringing listeners in for playful lyricism and storytelling. The production is incredible, making for a terrific blend of beats. As his third studio effort, Pusha T continues to climb in greatness.