Check out Pusha T’s latest interview with MTV Hive where he reveals he would like to work with Adele and more.
Pusha T can sum up his career in one word: “Weird.” For most of hip hop history, an elder statesman of the game (T turns 36 in May) who wasn’t already a well-established superstar was unlikely to break through to audiences constantly seeking the youngest and freshest voices. But either the game has changed, or Pusha T is changing it: He’s on deck with his first official solo album, the Kanye West-produced My Name Is My Name, due out later this spring, and he’s about to embark on a tour that will see him co-headlining with Fabolous. In other words, it’s a good time to be Pusha T. Hive caught up with the rapper last week in Austin, Texas. and he opened up to us about a number of things, including which of the younger acts he’s feeling right now, recording with Kanye, The-Dream and Rick Ross, as well his desire to work with Adele and Andre 3000.
How do you relate to the younger guys who are coming up right now?
I think they’re dope. I’m just a fan of them, you know artistically, but the way that they have these subcultures and these fans that are grown virally, that everybody is so hip and into. I just sort of like and admire the way they grew their fanbase and now they’re bringing it to the mainstream with the MTV-type outlets. I like how they made so much noise in a viral world and in the underground world that people had to reach out to them and make sure that they’re heard and they’re seen. People want to be a part of that.
If the Clipse were starting out right now what do you think it would be like for you?
Oh man, if we were starting out right now I think it would be awesome. Just looking at where hip hop is going, it’s full-circle back to lyric-driven hip hop. It’s full-circle at lyrics and hip hop fundamentals. I’m watching people give guys like Kendrick Lamar the platform to just be real artists and admire the fundamentals and technique of what a guy like Kendrick Lamar does, which is just very raw, true-to-form hip hop and lyricism.
It seems like in the past in hip hop, you couldn’t peak late. It seems like you’re peaking right now. Is that an opportunity that existed before?
Just looking at it, my career is so weird, in regards to where I am right now. I came out in 2002 with the Clipse, had a platinum album. It took me four years in label limbo to drop probably the most critically-acclaimed album of a hip hop group to not sell massive numbers, Hell Hath No Fury. Then it took me another three years after leaving a label and going to another label. That’s three labels in seven years. I get to Til the Casket Drops album, within there’s like critically-acclaimed mixtapes from the Re-Up Gang and the We Got It For Cheap series, and touring off of that. Probably my lowest point commercially, I started a clothing line called Play Clothes that was based off touring and people being into what I was wearing. I started that when I wasn’t even popping musically and now it’s five years later and we’re still here and now the brand is growing. Everything has happened so backwards for my career. Me being where I am right now, I don’t know what to say for it. It’s crazy.
Have there been times in the past 10 years that you couldn’t see yourself being where you are right now?
No, not really. My peers always made me feel that I was underrated. The people always said I was underrated. I’ve always been embroiled and combative with the top-tier MCs. Regardless of what type of platform I was on or how low I was on with commercial success we’ve always been talked to by the top MCs. If somebody throws shots at the Clipse it was from the top guys. How did you guys even hear us? But they did. It’s things like that that kept us alive. We’ve always really been a threat. Now just me as a soloist, the flood gates have just opened. Like shots everywhere.
How are you getting ready for My Name Is My Name?
I feel like it’s really just a classic album. I’m so excited about it. I’m putting it together competitively in my mind with the great classic albums that I love from the past. I want to have pieces of Life After Death on this album. I want to have pieces of Hard Knock Life, Volume 2 by Jay-Z on this album. I want to have pieces of Harlem World, Mase on this album and then I’ll sprinkle the rest with Purple Tape. I’m going to do it all in thirteen records. I’m at eleven records right now and the last two records I’m not trying to compromise, so it’s taking a little bit. I told everybody last week I was in Paris and I was going to finish up the album and I lied to them and on Sunday I got to go back and finish it. It’s dope because explaining to Kanye what I want done he gave me that call. I actually landed home from Paris and got the call from him. He was like, “Yo, come back. I got it.”
This was last week?
This was yeah, maybe four days ago. I literally got off the plane and got the call to come back. I’m only having to leave because I have shows and shit that I booked, not knowing when I was going to be out here. It’s a little bit tedious, but it’s just what we’re doing.
Are you excited to get back over to Paris?
Hell yeah, I’m ready to go. I’m not even going home. I’m gonna leave from SXSW. Sunday night I’m just going to fly back to Paris.
Read more here.
Download Pusha T’s new single “Millions” featuring Rick Ross on iTunes Now!
“Wrath Of Caine” Mixtape Available Now on Livemixtapes.com
“My Name Is My Name” Album Coming Soon.