Pusha T

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 04: Pusha T attends Variety's Hitmakers Brunch presented by Peacock | Girls5eva on December 04, 2021 in Downtown Los Angeles. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Variety)

The artist known as "Pusha T" may not ring a bell for those who don’t keep up with hip-hop/rap. Perhaps you recall his name from the infamous 2018 beef with Drake, where he revealed to the world that the superstar artist was hiding a son conceived out of wedlock on the track “The Story of Adidon.” Many may recognize him from past collaborations with Kanye West. A more relevant but lesser known accomplishment is Pusha’s contribution to the world famous McDonalds “I’m Lovin’ It” slogan. He wrote the jingle as an up and coming rapper in the 2000’s, and was reportedly paid “peanuts” for his work. No matter how significant Pusha’s work has been, or the amount of influence it carries, he always finds a way to fly under the radar.

On April 22, 2022, the Virginia-raised artist released his fourth studio album “It’s Almost Dry. Current projections are showing 55,000 units sold in the first week, and if these numbers hold up, this would be the first number one debut of his career. This marks a significant accomplishment for a man that has been grinding in the shadows for well over a decade. 

“It’s Almost Dry” features production from beat making powerhouses Pharrell and Kanye West. Both artists contributed equally to the album with Pharrell and Kanye credited with 6 tracks a piece. The dichotomy between production styles presents a unique environment that allows both to shine in a cohesive manner. In an interview with radio personality Charlamagne tha God, Pusha explained how this format came to be. 

“I was like, you know what, I’m gonna make a 12-song album. Six from you, and six from you. I just sort of kept it in that 12 box and took the best six from each of them.” 

The ultra-personal intro track, titled “Brambleton, kicks the record off in a heartfelt manner where Pusha touches on the strains in his relationship with former manager Anthony Gonzalez. In an interview with DJ Vlad from March 2020, Gonzalez talked about his falling out with Pusha T and accused him of snitching in some of his songs. On “Brambleton, Push doesn’t shy away from addressing these issues head on. 

When asked about further meaning behind these lyrics, Pusha T told Complex.

“I was hurt because I’m looking at somebody that I admired. I knew at that point like, oh, man. I don’t know who this person is anymore. I know that he’s not a good speaker. I personally think that he didn’t even mean to put it the way that he did.”

Pusha maintains this brash, uncensored and unapologetic delivery throughout the duration of this project. Track 2, titled “Let the Smokers Shine the Coupes” features the same sinister drug raps that fans have grown to love him for. Star studded features are scattered across the album, including Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, Nigo, Lil Uzi Vert and Don Toliver. One of the biggest mainstream stories from the album rollout centered around the collaboration between Kid Cudi and Ye on track 7 “Rock n’ Roll”. Recently, The “Kids See Ghosts” duo had a very public falling out. After the track was announced, fans were excited about the possibility of a reunion between the two. Kid Cudi took to Twitter to dispel any rumors of conciliation. 

The April 19 tweet reads; "Hey! So I know some of you heard about the song I got [with] Pusha, I did this song a year ago when I was still cool [with] Kanye. I am not cool [with] that man. He's not my friend, and I only cleared the song for Pusha [because] that's my guy. This is the last song u will hear me on [with] Kanye."

Pusha T is an artist that knows what works for him and operates on an all killer no filler mindset. He doesn’t need to produce hours worth of content to get his point across. In an age of 2 hour, deluxe version albums constructed to maximize streaming numbers, “It’s Almost Dry” features a mere 12 tracks, at a 36 minute run time. His 2018 grammy nominated album

“Daytona” was even more succinct, with only 7 tracks and 21 minutes total. While he has received much recognition within the music industry, Pusha recognizes that his mainstream appeal could be much larger if he took a different approach. 

Pusha told Complex, “Man, I think my biggest regret, outside of McDonald’s, would have to be the frequency of me engaging with my fans musically,” he said. “I came up in a time where I lived with albums for two or three years. I took that energy with me into the game.”

Pusha T may be more of a household name if he utilized the yearly release strategy; however, it’s this unpredictability that makes him so unique. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and the same goes for Pusha’s music. Fans will always be on the edge of their seats waiting for a new project, and with “It’s Almost Dry,” Push has delivered yet another instant classic. 

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