Rhyming: an important skill for any artist trying to perfect the art of rapping. Wielded correctly, it is a weapon that can help even the lowliest of sucka MCs rise to the top of the game. Yet, even the greats stumble with their rhymes from time to time, losing their grip around the neck of the genre, in danger of tumbling down the mountain they just finished skillfully ascended.

That is where I come in. Hi, my name is Jeremy Klein. Armed with a sharp wit, an encyclopedic reference base, and lacking any sort of official degree or certification, I can help any rapper improve upon their craft. Who am I? I am a Rhyme Doctor. Think I am crazy? Would a crazy person wear a jacket like this?

What if I told you it was a women’s jacket?

Now that I have your attention, let us begin.

Pusha T’s King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude is an album with a very hard name to remember without looking it up, and I will refer to it as KP – DBD: TP from now on. At points, KP – DBD: TP has all the bombastic intensity, clever wordplay, and cocaine dealing-centric braggadocio you could hope for in a good hip hop album. Unfortunately, it also suffers from a general lack of momentum, and the sense that nine of its ten songs (the opening track “Intro” being the outlier,) could have just been arranged in any order, without consequence. Believe me, I wish I enjoyed this album more, if for nothing else than to be able to share in the near-universal critical praise it is receiving. Alas, today is not the day I find a community I can call my own…

But, let us get to the real reason I have been brought in today. Throughout KP – DBD: TP, Pusha T utilizes contemporary references to rhyme with his musings on cocaine dealing, to varying degrees of success. Often times, he does it expertly. For example, comparing his prowess to that of U2, or when he states, in so many words, fuck Donald Trump. There is however, one glaring misstep that threatens to take down the whole project. On the song “M.P.A.” Pusha T raps, “New bitch I been fucking might start a rap war/Won’t unveil it yet, can’t tell it yet/Defenses win championships, Bill Belichick.

Now, I can see the temptation to reference Bill Belichick here. His name works quite nicely in the rhyme scheme, and defense did literally win his New England Patriots their most recent championship. But, I ask, how long will this reference hold up? Because, while a Malcolm Butler goal line interception did clinch Super Bowl XLIX for Belichick, his teams are hardly remembered for their defense. Five to ten years down the road, maybe we will still get it, but by the time our grandchildren are exposed to KP – DBD: TP? Well, by the time that rolls around, I fear this reference will just seem strange and invalid.

Therefore, I propose this. If Pusha T wants to keep the “Defenses win championships” line intact, while also still referencing a Boston sports icon, one whose mention will resonate and ring true forever why not John Havlicek? His entire career with the Boston Celtics is much more in-line with Pusha T’s persona than anything Bill Belichick has done. John Havlicek: He took the role of the sixth man (an underdog on any basketball team) and revolutionized it, rising to the top of his game. John Havlicek: a clutch player noted for always HUSTLING on both ends. John Havlicek: He once sold three bricks of cocaine before going on to score 37 points that same night, leading his team to a blowout victory over the San Francisco Warriors, on the road. And, most importantly, John Havlicek: a five time member of the NBA’s All-Defensive Team. So, why not, “Defenses win championships, John Havlicek”? An eight-time NBA champion. A Hall of Famer. A man who is literally best known for stealing the ball, for making a defensive play. “Defenses win championships, JOHN. HAVLICEK.

For Pusha T, to ensure he makes no such Boston sports-related gaffes in the future, I am prescribing the following: Two six-packs of Samuel Adams (Cherry Wheat, preferably) one VHS copy of the Red Auerbach and Larry Bird edition of Kodak Video Programs series Winning Basketball, and a healthy dose of Bill Simmons’ Twitter feed every four to six hours. May your next rhymes be wicked smahhhhhht, Pusha T.

I have been your Rhyme Doctor. Please join me in the future as I continue to provide aid to all of hip hop’s best, in their quest for supremacy. Until such a time though, this shift… is over.

One thought on “RHYME DOCTOR: Pusha T

  1. Great stuff!

    My name is Derek and I’m the founder of the Fox Sports Engage syndicated sports and entertainment site nocoastbias.com. In short, the site is a hub for the most talented writers from across the country and I think you would be a great fit. If you’re interested, feel free to shoot me an email at derek (at) nocoastbias (dot) com or derek (dot) hernandez (at) hudl (dot) com. Thanks!


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