After years of label purgatory with coke-rap menaces Clipse and a string of mixtapes for Kanye West's G.O.O.D. imprint, Pusha T finally gets his solo debut. He's still a witty, quietly vicious rapper, capable of tearing apart spare street tracks like "Nosetalgia" and "Numbers on the Board" while barely raising his voice. But set in the more commercial contexts of Kelly Rowland features and the-Dream's fluorescent R&B, he can sound like a fish out of some pretty expensive water. The album title – a nod to The Wire's Marlo Stanfield – is assertive, but ironically it goes in circles. Who Pusha was is gone, but who he is is still sometimes unclear.
From The Archives Issue 1194: October 24, 2013