Pusha T Talks New Rick Ross Collaboration, Producers on Solo Album & No Malice’s Support
“Now that he’s onboard, everything else is perfect,” Pusha T tells The BoomBox.
The G.O.O.D. Music rapper’s brother, No Malice, is the man he’s referring to. Formerly known as Malice of the Clipse, he converted to Christianity last year, and ditched the drug trade raps that once permeated his rhymes. Pusha’s current lyrics, which will comprise his forthcoming solo album, are still fueled by much of the cocaine tales his sibling now renounces. However, they’ve recently come to a meeting point regardless of their respective beliefs.
“Me and him were just talking and he was like, ‘You know, like, I really support you and as long as your soul is with god I think everything else is gonna be fine. You’re gonna do all of the great things you want to do,’” the MC explains. “We talked for like two hours. He was like, I’m good now, I’m really good.”
Pusha, who is bringing his dog to the vet while simultaneously speaking on his new LP, delivers verses reminiscent of his early Clipse days on his latest single “Pain.” “Arm & Hammer for the breakup/ Turn one into two, watch the brick kiss and makeup,” he rhymes. Kanye West crafts the beat while Future lends a vocal assist. The latter’s addition to the effort came as a result of Pusha realizing he was a hot commodity.
“I came and collaborated with ‘Ye when we started making music for the album and we were just discussing who was hot and what was going on right now,” the Virginia native states. “I told him that I liked Future. I just came from home, there were seven songs in the club that Future was being played on. I felt out of wack cause these things were huge. I wasn’t familiar with all of his records.”
Listen to Pusha T’s “Pain” Feat. Future
He describes how Future’s haunting lyrics came into play in the studio. “I think I hear him a little bit differently,” says Pusha, born Terrence Thornton. “There’s something eerie about [his voice]. ‘Ye made this beat — it was pain, it was dark. I was like, ‘With this, we should see what [Future] comes up with.’ It was purely an effort to juxtapose how people usually hear him and try to pull out what we wanted from him.”
While “Pain” will likely sit on the tracklist for his upcoming untitled hip-hop opus, so will a Rick Ross track, which was recently recorded. Pusha has yet to name the song, also produced by Kanye, yet he promises both verses by him and the Maybach Music Group bawse will be a “rap fan favorite.”
“It’s hard and emotional; it’s what people wanna hear… as a rap purist,” he reveals. “It almost has the same qualities to me that ‘Sixteen’ with [Ross] and Andre 3000 [had]. Not that the song sounds anything like that, but just the fact that you want to hear rap. Like you just hear two guys blacking out over verses.
“My first lines on that record are, ‘I sold more dope than I sold records.’ It’s just a reality-based record. I think on it we both embrace the ills. We embrace the ills of the lifestyle of music, the ills of the street.”
Besides Ross and Future, Pusha has no other collaborations in the can. Right now, he’s solely focused on the soundscape. “My collaborations are just producer-based from Swizz [Beatz] to Rico Beats to [The-]Dream to Kanye to Pharrell to No I.D. to Young Chop,” the 35-year-old rhymer discloses. “As far as [artist] collaborations go, I’m not really focused on them quite, quite yet. Once I live with the body of work I can see or feel who’s gonna be good on this record and so on and so forth.”
As the full body of work comes together, ardent Clipse supporters and fans of Pusha’s solo artistry are patiently awaiting his album title reveal. He’s tight-lipped about what his Def Jam debut will officially be called but he assures rap enthusiasts that the first single paints a vivid picture of what’s to come. “‘Pain’ embodies the whole theme of the album,” he says. “Every aspect of the album.”