Exclusive Interview

Pusha T: "I Made the Hip Hop Album of the Year"

G.O.O.D. Music rapper talks getting Kendrick for "Nosetalgia" and arguing with Kanye West
 / October 10, 2013

Pusha T's long-awaited debut album My Name Is My Name is finally out after years of mixtapes and Clipse albums with brother No Malice. It's a critical smash, earning across-the-board acclaim. 

"It was like a double win for me," says the rapper of his album's critical love. "Just putting out a solo project and people doubting if the solo project was ever coming. But also it's a win because people are just being receptive that I'm having a solo project without my brother...It's the hip hop album of the year."

Pusha also told Fuse about how label boss Kanye West helped him become a successful solo rapper. "He gave me that platform with 'Runaway.' He's just been very particular on how I'm viewed. There'd be arguments about putting out mixtapes because he's not into mixtapes. I sent him [2011 mixtape] Fear of God and he said, 'Oh, this is an album.' I said, 'I'm about to put it out tomorrow.' He was like, 'Why are you doing that? You guys just waste all the resources and we just gonna give this for free? That's what you think you should do, huh? I could touch these records up, but I don't think I want to give 'em away for free after I touch em up.'"

Then there's "Nosetalgia," Pusha's fierce collaboration with Kendrick Lamar. "I've been sitting on this beat for over a year and a half," admits Pusha. "I wanted Kendrick on it. He was touring at the time, so I sent it to him. It took a while for him to bring it back and it's like 32 bars. I said, 'I gave you a skeleton of what my verse was going to be. It was going to be 16 bars apiece.' He comes and goes buck fooly on it. I had to take that back and re-evaluate and moved everything around. I've never heard Kendrick in regards to the drug culture and how it affected his life. He chastised his father on his verse and I said, 'Dawg, are you sure you want to say this on my album?' He was all in."

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