Pusha T has been heavily involved in the rap game for years and he's an open critic of the way the game has evolved. Pusha hasn't compromised on his art and refuses to adapt to the changes.
Kanye West, on the other hand, is the polar opposite, creatively, constantly tinkering and changing his style as well as pop culture. Combine the two, and Pusha T believes he has the best hip-hop album of the year and would put it up against anything. Well, almost anything.
So, I know your solo album is pretty much done.
The album is done. Right now, I’ve just been making revisions here and there. It’s just a production thing. Some of the records haven’t been through Kanye’s full process. That’s what I’m waiting on. He actually took my hard drive and all my files.
At any point did you think about moving your date up to June 18 to drop with Kanye?
I wasn’t really worried about him and June 18. I look at it like Ye does exactly what he wants to do in regards to his music. He’s taking major risks on this album. You can hear the brashness. It’s aimed on a worldly, political, cooperate level. But my album by far is the best hip-hop album of the year.
That’s a big statement.
Nah, it’s a real statement. I posed to Kanye ‘If you don’t make the date, we should definitely drop on the same date.’ And his campaign being ‘I’m only competing with myself. I’ve reincarnated myself for the 7th time, Yeezus.’ Everybody can’t be a part of this conversation. I was recording my album at the same time in Paris so I felt what he was doing the whole time.
What do you say to the critics that want to hear you rap about different subject matter on this album from what we’re accustomed to from Pusha T?
I think that’s what the title of my album is about. By now, you should know what you’re getting with Pusha T. I’ve been in this game since 2002, and my name says it all. You know I’m only moved by a certain style of rap. Not that many other styles move me. You have to really be a rapper’s rapper for me to like it.
There was a time when you couldn’t shake the coke rap title, and then you kind of embraced it.
Coke rap is such a pigeon-holy title. If that’s all you take it for, you’ll forget the parallels in the verses to regular life. Now, Trap rap is the biggest thing going on. With the Clipse gave you all the elements and fundamentals of hip-hop with the theme that everyone is embracing now. We did it much better.
The Re-Up Gang mixtapes are going down in history, man. I still listen to them in my car, and the Hell Hath No Fury album. I tell people all the time that I’ll never make another album like that one again. Never! If I can make another Hell Hath No Fury, I would be going to jail. I don’t even want to be able to that. If I was able to write like that again, I’d have to be in the space where I’m going away… I’m guaranteed to be out of here. That’s one of the best albums ever made to me.
Better than My Name Is My Name?
Listen, let’s get off all this street shit and everything else. A great rapper has a curated album by one of the greatest producers right now, period. My album is one of the greatest… I put my album up against anybody’s.
From any time period?
Well, I’m such a fan, so my album isn’t as good as Life After Death. Purple Tape, I ain’t got one of those either. This ain’t Reasonable Doubt yet, but I’m a get one of those. I’m getting there. But I took a lot of those influences from all those great albums. I was the best student that I could be to give you the best album with My Name Is My Name. This album is everything that is missing in rap right now. And, I actually think rap is good right now. It’s better than it’s been in a while.
I know you said you got Kendrick on the album like no one has heard him before.
His verse is just so incredible. I think he tapped into what a fan of mine would want to hear from him on my album. I don’t believe that I’ve heard Kendrick talking like that on anything else. He’s just got this magic.
Who else did you create magic with?
I gave the people what they want to hear. Me and Ross’ record should be called “Honesty Hour” for what we’re saying on there. I gave you me and Jeezy. No compromise, all A-game Jeezy. They knew it was not for playing.
Because of Kanye being involved?
Yea, I would feel like that. Musically, we did the unorthodox. Lyrically, it’s top notch. I wanted to give you a car album. I haven’t heard an album since Teflon Don that made me want to play in my car and just drive by the club. Or like Jeezy’s Thug Motivation. Those records give you a certain feeling, you just want to front, go get some money or whatever. I done put in some good CDs. I listen to a lot of good music in my house, but for that feeling. No. I gave you that in play it in your car with the windows down music. This music makes you want to do something because it’s the right mixture of lyrics and perspective. It’s articulate street rap. This album is it. I don’t see that energy coming from anywhere else.