Current Crack cover star Pusha T is a technical virtuoso with an uncanny ability to tackle complex beats.
With friends like The Neptunes, Timbaland and Kanye West eager to work with him, Pusha T’s never struggled to get his hands on an explosive instrumental. For those less familiar with the rapper’s back catalogue, here are five examples of him achieving perfection.
Grindin’ (prod. The Neptunes)2002
Here’s the Clipse track that introduced King Push to the masses. Built around a colossal drum beat and little else, with Grindin’ The Neptunes found a simple formula they’d later reuse for Snoop and Pharell’s 2004 hit Drop It Like It’s Hot.
Mr Me Too (prod. The Neptunes)2006
The first single from Clipse’s second studio album Hell Hath No Fury, here Pharrell and Chad Hugo created a sense of lazy-but-authoritative cool with ping-pong ball bass and purring synths.
Trouble on My Mind (prod. The Neptunes)2011
In 2011, Odd Future were at the height of their powers. Tyler’s constant Pharrell shout-outs paved the way for this cross-generational hook-up, which saw The Neptunes channel both Tyler’s sense of comic menace and Pusha T’s street swagger with threatening brass stabs and horror movie strings. Cool video too.
Numbers On The Boards (prod. Don Cannon, Kanye West, 88-Keys)2013
Here, Pusha T managed to spit elastic coke raps over hostile, off-beat percussion and pummelling bass that would terrify a weaker MC. The first single from his debut solo album My Name Is My Name, Numbers On The Boards further galvanised Pusha T’s career. It’s a classic.
M.P.A (prod. Kanye West, Che Pope, J Cole)2015
Pusha T is a rapper’s rapper, and on M.P.A from his excellent Darkest Before Dawn record, he reminds us why. Sure, Push relishes the intricacies of an eccentric Timbaland beat, but he can also spit over soulful production you might associate with the “old” Kanye. Sampling the 70s Norwegian Christian band the Good News, M.P.A’s heart-tickling piano loop and sunburst electric guitar bends make M.P.A. feel truly irresistible.
Words: Davy Reed + Jeff Ihaza