This is going to be a quick review because long story short; this album has 7 joints with bars on it and every one of em' is hot. Full disclosure, I love EyeQ as a person-- that's my guy. But I love Hip-Hop a lot more than I love EyeQ (sorry bro) so I would never lie to y'all on record like this.
FYI: The RIAA classifies 7 songs as an album, so that's what I'm calling it.
If you aren't familiar with EyeQ Shahid, the first thing you have to understand is how prolific this man is. He's come out with more projects this year than your favorite rapper did last decade. Most recently (May 28th...like real recently) he dropped an 18 song album called "Rich," and in the six months before that he dropped two EP's called "No More Second Chances" and "Malcom Luther Q" as well as ANOTHER album called "Lead by Example." And to further let y'all know I'm not just slurping my boy I'm gonna put it like this... When you're putting out that much music there's bound to be some misses --and EyeQ is not immune to that probability. None of those albums were flawless. This one probably isn't either-- but its damn close.
He starts the album off with an acapella track, "The Jail or The Grave." Overall, I usually don't love acapella or spoken word shit, but this poem/verse/whatever you wanna call it -- goes extra hard and sets the tone thematically for the entire album. I personally have encouraged EyeQ to think of himself less as a rapper and more as a griot. If you don't know what that means, do yourself a favor and look that word up. Over the years though, while maintaining his "street" content, EyeQ has progressively gotten more and more steeped in the spirituality and wisdom that the Black experience brings. Throughout this album he finds a perfect balance of giving you the Southern (Richmond) hustling bops --- you know --- "thug shit," but there's so much more to it. He's dropping life gems all over the place! I love the intro because he does that completely on his own with no musical accompaniment and it just lets you know this album is gonna be deep.
Like I said off jump, I would literally recommend every song on this album... but my undisputed favorite is "Life," because the trap wisdom is accompanied by a flow and a soundscape that fits his content and vocal strengths perfectly. There is no ceiling on any artist, so there's a great chance he will top it one day, but for now-- this is EyeQ Shahid's masterwork. A lotta times in reviews I will quote some of the bars but I'm not going to here. Just go get it.
Another highlight for me was "You Love Me?" where EyeQ flexes a growth in his sound with some pretty effective harmonizing. Again, what would normally be just your typical "girl record" is spiced up with more wisdom drops. Throughout "Pusha E," Shahid's pain and experience, his confidence and his vulnerability are all showcased perfectly in a package that will still keep a more shallow rap fan locked in. This is amazing work.
After I listened to it once through I was blown away. I hit Shahid up...
ME: "I finally listened to Pusha E, man. This shit is 7/7 with the money tracks bro. Big flame.
EYE Q: "Thanks bro, I appreciate it. *100 100 100*."
ME: "Wtf tho dawg... I know this aint worth nothin, but its a crime you're not in the hundred thousands at least with this shit."
EYE Q: "I'm just to the point that I feel like being from Virginia its just way harder for us bro. Why isn't Nickelus F way bigger? I can name a shit load of VA artists who should be going super crazy, but we just got it tougher for some reason *shrug* ... IDK but it aint gonna stop me."
I don't know if its being from Virginia or if its something larger in the overall state of the music industry these days. Like he said, I find myself wondering this about a LOT of "local" artists. If you played me this exact same album 15 years ago I would say "How many times did it go platinum??" IDK what's up with shit either, but I know I can take that last part to the grave. Regardless of what happens this griot is dedicated to his purpose. "Pusha E" was an incredible snapshot of an artist and a man in his prime.
Oh by the way, EyeQ runs an awesome Youtube channel that includes a nightly reaction show to indie music and whatever else is going on.
Post By: @itskirbs804