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The president of G.O.O.D Music has addressed you; snarling through his teeth. He's been watching all along and isn't pleased in the slightest. And now, because of us, no one is safe. Pusha T's highly-anticipated second solo studio album King Push - Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude is an uncompromisingly dusky and defining moment, in not only the Virginia-rapper's extended discography that dates back to the early '90s, but as a significant marker of the rap industry's current state - a partisan and contaminated "three ring circus," he calls it. Marking the end of a frenzied and replete 2015, after all the mixtapes, streams, think-pieces and year-end 'top albums' lists have been recycled, King Push has appeared from the shadows of December's celebratory comfort, catching us off-guard in the midst of our grandiose self-congratulatory brashness, pleased with all we've accomplished in the year. But through the sheer intensity of his 10-track sonic zeitgeist, he's supplied a raw and assertive critique of us. And all he sees is victims.

From trap lord to rap kingpin, Pusha T's fervent focus on the follow-up to 2013's My Name Is My Name is threefold: delivering the fiery Mafioso rhymes and anecdotes that formed the archetype for rap's last dope dealer, offering menacing street tracks brimming with stanzas as witty as they are vicious. He's served the scornful prologue to his third album King Push, which is set for release in April 2016. And finally, he's assuredly sported a self-claimed cape (made of only the finest threads) as rap's current crusader, in an attempt to save the culture from ourselves. But the juxtaposition of the intrepid aims are telling. He's neither hero nor villain. While MNIMN was a direct reflection of Terrence Thorton's drug-dealing past, Darkest Before Dawn is a declaration of now, using the rap world's skewed priorities and current disordered reality as his muse, dissecting its flaws through neurotic observations and sociological exploration - and of course the most inexhaustible adlib in the game. And while MNIMN's faults lie in its sequencing and filler, Darkest Before Dawn is concentrated and trimmed. And Pusha T, strengthened.

"Even you fools serve purpose. Let 'em run amuck until the king resurface. Then it's off with your heads. Wear your little jewels, you can't floss when you're dead," Pusha T growls on the album's thunderous intro. Over prolific production from hip-hop's most notable hit makers, he's unleashed a steady barrage of street-oriented singles like 'Untouchable' and 'M.F.T.R,' mixing fire and bass with the help of Metro Boomin, Kanye West, Boi1da, Timbaland, Q Tip, and Diddy. Timbo's sporadic drum patterns on cuts like 'Got Em Covered' and 'Retribution,' coax rap's most consistent artist out of his comfort zone to navigate over the sometimes sparse and stripped down, sometimes lush and triumphant beats. And while packed full of features, rap guests like Beanie Sigel and Ab-Liva leave Pusha unmatched, although thoughtfully purposed hooks from Jill Scott, The-Dream and Grammy-nominated Kehlani offer depth and dexterity to the barrage of single-worthy cuts.

Ending off the opus, Pusha T takes his glare off the industry for the album's most sincere and touching flash. 'Sunshine' holds up a much-needed mirror to America as a whole, blindingly beaming on 2015's stormy racial climate and the many deaths turned headlines, at the hand of police brutality and the media's skewed view of black bodies. "The badge is the new noose. We all see it, but cellphones ain't enough proof, so we still lose," he raps. The words hit directly and with no remission.

Although passionate about altering the landscape of music heading into the New Year, Pusha T is no rap conservative. Distilling fears in his peers, his call for change is an aggressive attack and just when the industry had dropped its safe-guard. And for so many artists, writers, producers and tastemakers glorified for trolling the game, Pusha T just did it better. "Chess moves on your checkerboard. King him." EUGHCK!

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