50 Best Albums of 2018 So Far

Including Janelle Monáe, Cardi B, Kacey Musgraves, the 'Black Panther' soundtrack and more

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Pusha-T, 'Daytona'

Pusha-T, 'Daytona'

We Say: Pusha-T's third – and best – solo album is a marvel of musical precision. On this 21-minute, EP-length collaboration with producer Kanye West no moment is wasted. ... As usual, Pusha presents himself as the all-knowing veteran dope dealer who pushes product to his consumers. "I predict snow/Al Roker," he promises on "If You Know You Know," an opening track buttressed by snippets of ragga chants and a digital dancehall rhythm constructed from Ypsilanti, Michigan's Seventies hard rock also-rans Air. It's a conceit he has maintained throughout a career that dates back to the late Nineties as one-half of Clipse, the ferociously talented duo he formed with his brother Malice (now a born-again Christian rapper performing as No Malice). ... But here, it feels less an end to itself than metaphor for Pusha-T's ethos as a pure MC. In other words, he doesn't cut his lyrical cocaine with pop fillers. M.R.

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