Darkest Before Dawn, the prelude to Pusha T’s highly anticipated album King Push, is finally here to blow white dust between our ears. The wait between 2013’s My Name Is My Name and now has thankfully been worth it, with Push bringing his always searing bars and more consistent production this time around.
If there’s one thing Push loves referencing even more than drugs recently, it’s movies. Since he’s released an accompanying short film with the album and has sprinkled movie shout outs across his discography in the past, we decided to comb Darkest Before Dawn for some more cinematic bars.
(“The final trilogy of Jaws/The grills, like, interior gauze”)
A reference to the James Bond villain Jaws and his two appearances in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. That grill looks like it could cut diamonds.
(“They tryna pin the trafficking on me like Mano and Tony”)
A reference to Manny Ribera and Tony Montana’s botched drug washing plans from the 1983 crime epic Scarface.
(“My breakdown game brought me 8 Mile fame/Selling Eminem to him and ’em”)
Here, Push is comparing he and Eminem’s skills as dealers of both drugs *and* music through a shout out to Em’s semi-autobiographical movie named after the road he grew up on. I wonder how Push would’ve handled rapping against Anthony Mackie?
(“Play your role, it’s easy acting like Mitch/Paid In Full was more than reading a script”)
A layered reference to the 2002 movie Paid In Full, which starred Mekhi Phifer as Mitch, the fictional version of infamous Harlem crack dealer Rich Porter.
“Keep Dealing (feat. Beanie Sigel)”
(“I got the cape on to cover kilos/The villain wins, the evolution of Nino”)
One of several references to Nino Brown, the infamous crime lord and antagonist of New Jack City, across the album.