GQ names rapper Pusha T hip hop’s Martin Scorsese. Pusha T dishes the details on his decade-long beef with Drake and his first album to go No. 1 on the Billboard 200, It’s Almost Dry. He shares intimate stories about the recent loss of his parents, his evolving sound and more in the latest GQ HYPE interview.
The talented rapper is getting the recognition many of his fans felt he deserved long ago. Pusha T released his album It’s Almost Dry last month on April 22. He sat down with senior associate editor Frazier Tharpe to discuss his journey in the music business so far.
Pusha T discusses the competitive edge he noticed working with Kanye and Pharrell on the production of the album. He talks about how Pharrell pushed him to go beyond his mixtape rapper persona and fully channel, what he affectionately calls, his Joker character.
“He wasn’t that impressed,” Pusha said about Pharrell. “’It’s cool but I don’t want you to be a mixtape rapper for the rest of your life’ was the feedback. Pharrell established a set of ‘criteria’ upfront, saying ‘I just want everything to be super sticky. I want hooks, b-hooks, refrains, choruses,cadences. And I want you to be in character the whole time. And I want you to stick and stay in that character. We got to check off everything on the whiteboard. And if we do that, and we love it, then it stays.’”
Pusha T notably raps about drugs, being crowned the king of “coke rap.” Fans expecting Pusha T to rap about his new life as a father or husband can cut their losses now. To that point, he says, ““you don’t go to Martin Scorsese for a romance movie.”
Pusha gave insight on his nearly ten-year old beef with Drake in the interview as well. The beef started when Drake said “nothing goes unseen,” in the song “Don’t F*** With Me.” The beef peaked when Pusha revealed the existence of Drake’s son back in 2018. Since then, Pusha has remained quiet on the matter while Drake has continued to sneak in subliminal shots into his music.
Most fans assumed Pusha T would use his latest album to respond, but it seems like the Virginia rapper is uninterested in stooping to Drake levels these days. Though there are rumors that a new Drake verse for Jack Harlow might be looking to stir up the pot again.
“I mean, my album is that good. I could never cheapen my album with [that],” he tells GQ. “I’m cool now. Have a good time. It [even] sounds so old to me. The flow sounds old, the shots don’t even—like what is that? That ain’t a warrior talk.”
Drake can’t get a rise out of this new evolution of Pusha T. He appears to have moved on completely.
“Never engaging. Never. I can’t. Bro, I’ve been here [before]. I’ve seen how it goes. It’s been too long, too many people been called,” Pusha notes. “I’m never engaging with anybody’s time. Everybody’s on my time. Everybody. And right now, I have the best rap album. I sound the freshest, I sound the newest, I sound the best of everybody.”
Pusha T also speaks to the publication about losing his parents. His father passed away in March, just four months after his mother. Sadly, Pusha received news of her death while en route to meet Kanye West on the anniversary of Kanye losing his own mother.
“Oh man, it feels just very heavy every day,” he shares. “There’s not a day that it hasn’t felt heavy. You wake up, and it’s right there.”
Through evolution and loss, Pusha T is discovering what is most important for him, which is even more transformation. Though he just released It’s Almost Dry last month, he’s already gearing up for his next project.
“This is a new era for me, for sure,” he excitedly reveals. “And by the time the transformation is done [my craft] will be mastered and ready. You’ll have a niche product.”
Read the full story “Pusha T Uncut” by Frazier Tharpe here.