Pusha T recently sat down with NPR to speak on a few things including his new album, My Name Is My Name, responsibility, Kanye West and much more! Check out an excerpt below.
This week rapper Pusha T released his first solo album after years of writing and performing as a duo, with his brother Malice in the Clipse. But he’s not all on his own. Pusha is part of Kanye West’s conglomerate — the two of them made Yeezus and My Name Is My Name simultaneously — and still works closely with Pharrell, who he’s known since they were in high school in Virginia Beach.
In the first part of an interview with Microphone Check hosts Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Frannie Kelley, Pusha decries the current state of hip-hop, saying he looked to rap made between 1994 and 1999 for inspiration while making My Name Is My Name: “Hip-hop to me right now is really easy listening. It’s very easy listening, like there’s nothing abrasive about it. There’s no album that I put in my car that makes me roll down the windows — all the windows — and ride past the club line three times before I get out the car. made me do that.”
FRANNIE KELLEY: I remember the first time Ali heard “.”
ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD: Oh my god.
PUSHA T: What was that like?
KELLEY: Tell me what you heard!
MUHAMMAD: What did I hear? I don’t know, it was just angst, frustration and hooray for hip-hop. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It’s a few songs that’s the representation of the entire genre. And I was like, “Finally.” I don’t know, that song’s so ignorant. When it come on — that tone, that bass line, the frequency. That pulse. It reminds me of the beginning, like when I first heard or something.YouTube
PUSHA: That record — I picked it because when I heard the track, it was the closest thing I could get to a RZA beat at the time. I felt like it was an unorthodox beat that required me to really rap. And I figured that’s gonna set me apart from what’s going on in music, cause I don’t believe people are like, really, really rapping. It’s polarizing. You hear it and it’s gone be like — I don’t know how the DJ’s gonna mix that in his set – and that was the goal.
MUHAMMAD: I love that record. Yo, I was in Austria two days ago — I just got back yesterday, but my set was two days ago — it was a film festival. And it was the kind of song that — I just try to move it through the periods or whatever. It doesn’t — if it’s music I’ll play it, but the thing I love about that — it doesn’t matter. If I’m playing Stevie Wonder, “,” “” — it is the record that sets a tone. It’s a great transition record for someone like me that plays a whole bunch of different genres. But it’s a wakeup call when it drops.
PUSHA: That definitely was the purpose.
Click here to read the full interview.