Daytona (album)

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Daytona by Pusha T.jpg
Studio album by Pusha T
Released May 25, 2018 (2018-05-25)
Recorded 2017 – May 2018[1]
Studio Jackson Hole, WY
Genre Hip hop
Length 21:08
Pusha T chronology
King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude
Singles from DAYTONA
  1. "What Would Meek Do?"
    Released: July 4, 2018

Daytona is the third studio album by American rapper Pusha T. It was released on May 25, 2018 by GOOD Music and Def Jam Recordings. The album features guest appearances from Rick Ross and Kanye West, the latter of whom produced all of its tracks, with additional production from Andrew Dawson and Mike Dean and uncredited vocals by Tony Williams and 070 Shake.[2]

Daytona is the first of five albums produced by West in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in what have become known as the "Wyoming Sessions",[3][4] released in 2018, with a seven-track album being released every week. The album preceded the release of West's Ye, West’s collaboration with Kid Cudi titled Kids See Ghosts, Nas' Nasir, and Teyana Taylor's K.T.S.E.. The album debuted at number 3 on the US Billboard 200 with 77,000 album-equivalent units, of which 39,000 were pure album sales, and received widespread critical acclaim.

It is supported by the first single, "What Would Meek Do?" which was released from the album on July 4, 2018.[5]


In December 2015, Pusha T released the album King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude, which was set to serve as a prelude to Pusha T's third album, King Push. However, the album suffered from numerous delays, and instead, Daytona was announced by Kanye West via Twitter on April 19, 2018, alongside the album's release date.[6][7][8]

Pusha T explained the title of the album by stating: "I changed the album title from King Push to Daytona because I felt it didn’t represent the overall message of this body of work. Daytona represents the fact that I have the luxury of time. That luxury only comes when you have a skill set that you're confident in."[9]

Recording and production[edit]

Recording sessions for the album took place in Jackson, Wyoming and Utah during 2017 up to May 2018.[10][11][12] Initial production for the album featured a variety of high profiled producers such as The Neptunes, however the original material was scrapped in favour of Kanye West producing the entire album. Production influences came from creating individual song lists and sampling.[13] Songs recorded for the album include "Sociopath", which was removed from the final track listing.[10]

The album was officially completed on May 23, 2018, two days before digital release.[1][14][15]


The original artwork for Daytona was replaced a few days before the album's release, with the final artwork depicting a picture of deceased singer Whitney Houston's bathroom.[16][17] The licensing for the artwork cost $85,000, paid by Kanye West.[18] Houston's ex-husband Bobby Brown criticized the cover, saying it was in "really bad taste".[19]


Canadian rapper Drake responded to the song "Infrared", which addressed Drake and his ghostwriting rumors, by releasing a diss track titled "Duppy Freestyle" on May 25, 2018.[20] The song garnered significant media attention, as well as a response from Pusha T on Twitter.[21] Four days later, Pusha T responded with his own song titled "The Story of Adidon" which alleges that Drake is secretly the father of a porn star's child.[22] Drake would later go on to confirm this on his own album, Scorpion, a few weeks later.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[24]
The A.V. ClubA−[25]
Consequence of SoundA−[26]
The Guardian4/5 stars[27]
Mojo4/5 stars[28]
The New Zealand Herald5/5 stars[29]
The Observer3/5 stars[30]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[32]

Daytona received widespread acclaim from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 86 based on 20 reviews, indicating “universal acclaim”.[23] Paul A. Thompson of Pitchfork described the album "a near-airtight exercise in flair and focus", stating that "it shirks the bloat and radio concessions of Darkest Before Dawn and, to a greater extent, his 2013 solo debut, My Name Is My Name. The beats – sample-heavy and produced entirely by Kanye – are uniformly excellent and let you see the seams: It’s like an album full of "Bound 2"'s, without the sentimentality", concluding that the album is "Pusha’s best work as a solo artist".[31] Ben Beaumont-Thomas of The Guardian stated that "Each track is an elocution lesson, his bars enunciated with the almost pedantic menace of a bad cop explaining what he plans to do to you", describing the lyricism as "crisply brilliant drug poetry" and commending the production.[27] Yoh Phillips of DJBooth wrote that Daytona "puts on display a maximized portrait of potent potential realized. After knocking at this door for years, Pusha has finally made an undeniable breakthrough. His words are razor sharp, his lyricism blessed by the kind of beats that allow him a beautiful ring to box in."[34]

Clayton Purdom of The A.V. Club expressed that Daytona is "an absolute masterpiece of minimalism", complimenting both the album's production and lyricism.[25] Kyle Mullin of Exclaim! stated that the album "boasts a mostly sinewy and understated sound that'll leave hip-hop heads in revelry".[35] Online hip hop publication HipHopDX wrote that Daytona provides "a fitting backdrop for some of the most grim, relentlessly murderous raps Pusha has ever rhymed", also crediting West's production and the album's run time.[36]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from Qobuz and Tidal.[37][38]

1."If You Know You Know"
2."The Games We Play"
3."Hard Piano" (featuring Rick Ross)
4."Come Back Baby"
6."What Would Meek Do?" (featuring Kanye West)West2:33
Total length:21:08


Sample credits[41][42]


Credits adapted from Qobuz and Tidal.[37][38]


  • Tom Kahre – recording
  • Nathaniel Alford – recording
  • Noah Goldstein – engineering, programming (track 1)
  • Andrew Dawson – engineering (tracks 2–4)
  • Mike Dean – mixing, mastering,[43] keyboards (tracks 3, 5)
  • Jess Jackson – mixing


Chart (2018) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[44] 11
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[45] 22
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[46] 163
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[47] 5
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[48] 18
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[49] 18
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[50] 86
Irish Albums (IRMA)[51] 17
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[52] 12
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[53] 12
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[54] 22
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[55] 25
UK Albums (OCC)[56] 13
US Billboard 200[57] 3
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[58] 2


  1. ^ a b "KANYE WEST on Twitter: "Daytona is the first project out of Wyoming. I'm really proud of what we put together. We've spent a year and a half digging for samples and writing. I really appreciate the overwhelmingly positive response that we've been receiving. 🙏🙏🙏". Twitter. May 24, 2018. Retrieved May 24, 2018. 
  2. ^ "Pusha-T Details New Kanye-Produced Album DAYTONA". Pitchfork. May 23, 2018. Retrieved May 24, 2018. 
  3. ^ Yeung, Neil Z. "Kids See Ghosts – Kids See Ghosts". AllMusic. Retrieved June 13, 2018. 
  4. ^ Findlay, Mitch (March 26, 2018). "Kanye West's New Album: Everything We Know". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved June 17, 2018. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "KANYE WEST on Twitter: "Pusha T May 25th". Twitter. April 19, 2018. Retrieved May 24, 2018. 
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  10. ^ a b "Pusha T Talks Good Music Presidency, Kanye, Nas Tour + Friday Album Release". Power 105.1. May 24, 2018. Retrieved May 25, 2018. 
  11. ^ "For Pusha T, Time Is Of The Essence". NPR. May 25, 2018. Retrieved May 25, 2018. 
  12. ^ "Pusha-T Talks Making 'Daytona' in Kanye West's Secluded Wyoming Sessions". Rolling Stone. May 25, 2018. Retrieved May 25, 2018. 
  13. ^ "Pusha-T on Kanye West and the organized chaos of Daytona". Entertainment Weekly. May 25, 2018. Retrieved May 25, 2018. 
  14. ^ "King Push on Twitter: "I changed the album title from "King Push" to "DAYTONA" because I felt it didn't represent the overall message of this body of work". Twitter. May 23, 2018. Retrieved May 24, 2018. 
  15. ^ "King Push on Twitter: "This is all happening in real time, you don't have my art work because i don't have my art work...the final master was turned in 2 hrs ago". Twitter. May 23, 2018. Retrieved May 24, 2018. 
  16. ^ "The artwork for Pusha-T's Daytona is a photograph of Whitney Houston's drug-infested bathroom". Consequence of Sound. May 23, 2018. Retrieved May 24, 2018. 
  17. ^ "Pusha-T's New Album Cover Is a Photo of Whitney Houston's Bathroom". Pitchfork. May 23, 2018. Retrieved May 24, 2018. 
  18. ^ "Kanye West Paid $85K For Pusha T's Whitney Houston "DAYTONA" Cover Art". HipHopDX. May 23, 2018. Retrieved May 24, 2018. 
  19. ^ "Bobby Brown Weighs In Pusha T's 'Daytona' Album Cover". Vibe. 30 May 2018. 
  20. ^ "Drake Disses Pusha-T and Kanye on New Song "Duppy Freestyle": Listen". Pitchfork. May 25, 2018. Retrieved May 26, 2018. 
  21. ^ "Drake Hits Back at Pusha T's Diss Track With 'Duppy Freestyle': Listen". Billboard. May 25, 2018. Retrieved May 26, 2018. 
  22. ^ "Pusha-T Claps Back at Drake on Vicious New Song "The Story of Adidon": Listen". Pitchfork. May 29, 2018. Retrieved May 29, 2018. 
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  24. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Daytona – Pusha T". AllMusic. Retrieved June 10, 2018. 
  25. ^ a b Purdom, Clayton (May 25, 2018). "The bracing, brilliant Daytona is uncut Pusha T". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 25, 2018. 
  26. ^ Suarez, Gary (May 30, 2018). "Pusha-T Adds to His Weighty Legacy on DAYTONA". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved May 30, 2018. 
  27. ^ a b Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (May 25, 2018). "Pusha T: Daytona review – Kanye ably props up rap's best drug storyteller". The Guardian. Retrieved May 25, 2018. 
  28. ^ Cowan, Andy (August 2018). "Pusha T: Daytona". Mojo (297): 91. 
  29. ^ Schulz, Chris (June 7, 2018). "Review: Kanye West's Ye and Pusha-T's Daytona might be part of a bigger puzzle". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved June 23, 2018. 
  30. ^ Macpherson, Alex (May 27, 2018). "Pusha T: Daytona review – rarely has he sounded so urgent". The Observer. Retrieved May 29, 2018. 
  31. ^ a b Thompson, Paul A. (May 25, 2018). "Pusha-T: Daytona". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 25, 2018. 
  32. ^ Reeves, Mosi (May 29, 2018). "Review: Pusha-T and Producer Kanye West Thrillingly Sharp on 'Daytona'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 29, 2018. 
  33. ^ Christgau, Robert (July 14, 2018). "Robert Christgau on G.O.O.D Music's Good (and Less Good) Music". Vice. Retrieved July 14, 2018. 
  34. ^ "Pusha T 'DAYTONA' 1 Listen Album Review". DJBooth. May 25, 2018. 
  35. ^ Mullin, Kyle (May 25, 2018). "Pusha-T: DAYTONA". Exclaim!. Retrieved May 26, 2018. 
  36. ^ Ketchum, William III (May 25, 2018). "Review: Pusha T's "DAYTONA" Is Predictable But Potent". HipHopDX. Retrieved May 27, 2018. 
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  38. ^ a b "DAYTONA / Pusha T". Tidal. Retrieved June 11, 2018. 
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  40. ^ 070 Shake [@070shake] (May 24, 2018). "HAPPY TO BE A PART OF THIS !!" (Tweet). Retrieved May 29, 2018 – via Twitter. 
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  43. ^ @therealmikedean (25 May 2018). "me and @JessJackson on the mixing me on the mastering @MrAndrewDawson on a lot of beats..." (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
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  50. ^ " – Pusha T – Daytona" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  51. ^ "Irish Albums Chart: 1 June 2018". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved June 2, 2018. 
  52. ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. June 4, 2018. Retrieved June 1, 2018. 
  53. ^ "VG-lista – Topp 40 Album uke 22, 2018". VG-lista. Retrieved June 2, 2018. 
  54. ^ "Sverigetopplistan – Sveriges Officiella Topplista". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved June 1, 2018.  Click on "Veckans albumlista".
  55. ^ " – Pusha T – Daytona". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  56. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  57. ^ Caulfield, Keith (June 3, 2018). "Shawn Mendes Scores No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved June 4, 2018. 
  58. ^ "Pusha T Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 7, 2018.