Project Spotlight: “It’s Almost Dry”


Pusha T

“It’s Almost Dry” Album Cover.

Christian Maldonado, Contributor

The President of the G.O.O.D. Music record label and four-time Grammy Nominee, Pusha T, is back with his 4th studio album, “It’s Almost Dry.” Pusha T has been rapping about the highs and lows of the drug industry for years, and he still finds new and innovative ways to include clever double entendres and one liners that entice even those in his audience who have no experience at all in the drug industry.

Before this album came out, he had released two singles that made their way onto the tracklist. “Diet Coke,” features a sample from rapper Fat Joe’s 2005 song, “Get It Poppin.” This was used as an homage to Joe, since both artists hail from the Bronx, and is found rapping about the drug game in his songs as well. While lyrically the topic of this song may not be anything new to people who have heard Pusha T’s music before, the simplistic Ye production and repetitive sample make this a song to bob your head to.

“Neck & Wrist,” a track featuring icons of the music industry in Jay-Z and Pharell, has Pusha T flexing his success in the rap and drug game. The line “the money counter ding is so exciting,” emphasizes how he feels about the success he’s had in his endeavors whether they be legal or not, and the fact that he has the same ideology as the drug lords we see on TV, which is to make

as much money and build your empire. Whether it’s referencing actor Faizon Love, who came after his credibility, or calling out rappers for the lies they tell in their verses about their wealth and success, or even calling out people who to this day claim that he would not be where he is if his longtime friend and mentor The Notorious B.I.G. had not died, instead saying that Allah is the reason for his success. It’s no surprise that Jay-Z’s verse comes off as both braggadocious and mature at the same time. Pharell is mostly credited with the production on the song, but his high-pitched post-chorus features a double entendre about lines, using it as a reference to a line outside a dope house, and a line of cocaine.

The rest of the album consists of incredible Ye and Pharell production, as it almost seems like the two were in competition to see who could come away with the best beats on the album. His standout beat seems to be on the song “Dreamin of the Past,” which uses a pitched soul sample, something that he made famous early in his career and still uses to this day. Whether it has been the Chaka Khan “Through the Fire” sample used on his hit song “Through the Wire,” to the Smokey Robinson “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” sample used on his universally celebrated, “Devil in a New Dress” song. For “Dreamin of the Past,” he uses a John Lennon sample from his song, “Jealous Guy.” The sample on top of a beat similar to that of the cover Donny Hathaway did of Lennon’s song, is sped up and has enhanced bass drum and piano to make it sound more suitable for a rap song. While this kind of beat is one that we haven’t heard much of in this genre, Pusha T and Ye’s bars about having the things they never thought they would have, and now being in a state of reflection on how their lives used to be, makes this song such a worthwhile listen.

Pharell is not to be outdone on the production side. The intro track, “Brambleton,” has the signature Pharell four count at the beginning of the song that he has made famous on songs like “Happy” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot” by Snoop Dogg. The bass, snare, and hi-hat all work brilliantly with the synthesizer repetition in the background. The song title is a reference to a street Pusha T lived on as a kid, and talks about the death of Ernest “Shampoo” Waller, an associate he had in the early part of his rap career. He describes the effect Waller’s death had on him, and what life was like as a kid in Norfolk, Virginia. The song is the most personal of the tracklist, but still features the same lyrical topics, as Pusha T talks about how he wanted to build an empire like Michael Corleone in “The Godfather” trilogy.

While some people may label this album as formulaic, with Pusha T addressing the same topics he usually does in his music, he brings some of his best bars, flows, production, and wordplay to this album. Hopefully we don’t have to wait another almost four years for his next record, as at the age of 44, Pusha T seems to still be in his prime years on the mic.