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“Daytona” is newsworthy in all kinds of ways. It’s Pusha-T’s finest work since “Hell Hath No Fury,” his 2006 classic with duo Clipse. Also, praises be, it’s only seven songs and 21 minutes long! And like Jay-Z’s 2017 release “4:44,” which teamed the rapper exclusively with No I.D., “Daytona” is a taut, cohesive work that is a full length collaboration with a single producer.

That producer is Kanye West, who — no matter what you think about his recent public statements in praise of Donald Trump and about slavery being “a choice” — immediately makes it clear that he still has his wits about him as a sharp, inventive beat maker. Pusha — who like Jay, has restored the hyphen to his name — allows West to guide the musical ship, and the rapper is on top of his game, whether catering to his hardcore fans on “If You Know You Know,” or wondering what was on the mind of then-incarcerated rapper Meek Mill on “What Would Meek Do.” West has a guest rap on that song, and it’s weak. The producer and Good Music label head is also responsible for the dubious decision to use a picture of Whitney Houston’s bathroom the day she died as the “Daytona” album cover. Houston’s estate says they’re “extremely disappointed” in West.

Finally, “Daytona” has also incited what promises to be an epic feud between Pusha and Drake, reminiscent of the Canadian rapper’s beef with Mill in 2015. On the album’s “Infared,” Pusha again raises the charge that the “Hot Line Bling” star doesn’t write his own raps. Drake responded immediately with the clever clap back “Duppy Freestyle” and Pusha struck again this past week with the brutal diss track “The Story of Adidon.” Don’t expect this to end anytime soon.

‘Daytona’

Pusha-T

Good Music

GRADE: B+

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