Artist of the week: Pusha T
Both as a recording artist and as an entrepreneur, Pusha T is one of the most gifted, respected and beloved hip-hop figures of his generation. First, as one half of Clipse, a rap duo that gained major recognition in the 00s thanks to his and his brother No Malice mean lyrics and flow over first-rate beats by The Neptunes, and then as a solo artist with the release of influential mixtapes and of a solo album, 2013’s My Name Is My Name, that remains to date a cult favorite amongst many rap fans.
The fact that Clipse career was permanently overshadowed by their conflict with Jive Records and BMG (that acquired the label in 2003), led Pusha T to sign, in September 2010, to Kanye West‘s GOOD Music imprint, under the aegis of Def Jam Recordings. The relationship may not have been as prolific as one might have expected, but nevertheless spawned several artistic collaborations up until Kanye announced in October that the rapper would replace him as the new CEO of his label.
In mid-December, T dropped King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude, a tight collection of tracks that is supposed to introduce the release of a new album (King Push) during this year. Where his previous solo record was overshadowed by too many guests star rappers, this one is powered up by a dream team of beat makers and producers such as Timbaland, Q-Tip, Baauer and Kanye West that deliver the perfect soundscape for some of T’s best lyrics and rapping to date.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.