Pusha T says upcoming album will help uphold the legacy of coke rap

Photo courtesy of David Cabrera | Complex

Pusha T‘s upcoming fourth studio album, tentatively titled It’s Almost Dry, is right around the corner. In a recent interview with Complex that took place on the day of the “Hear Me Clearly” music video shoot for Nigo’s new album, Push expanded upon what motivated him while making the project.

As well as reaffirming aspects of the album that we already knew, such as a JAY-Z feature, it including 12 songs, executive production from Kanye West and both halves of The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo) and it being “1,000 percent” better than his 2018 album DAYTONA, he shared how the 2020 COVID-19 quarantine helped the album come together.

After the birth of his first son Nigel Brixx Thornton in June 2020, Push moved in with Pharrell, as the two would lock in for 6 a.m. sessions to work on the album together. Pusha explained that he had a sense of focus and urgency when making the album because he valued his time much more now that he is a father, and wants to be with his son as much as possible.

“I’m really here to get it done,” he said. “I don’t play in the studio with people. If you tell me to come to the studio, let’s go in the studio and get it done. I don’t want to toy with you. I don’t want to sip Hennessy with you. Nine [times] out of 10, I don’t want to do your feature. I’m sure I don’t. I don’t want my time to be taken from him. I’m not playing about anything that could disrupt his comfort.”

Pusha T to Complex

Another driving force behind striving for the level of greatness he hopes to achieve with this album is his love for coke rp, which he agrees is synonymous with the term “street rap.” He has grown tired of the notion that “coke rap” is uninspired, repetitive and always about the same thing, and considered himself the second best coke rapper of all time behind JAY-Z.

“I don’t know when it became cool for people to slight the cornerstone of rap,” he said. “It’s funny, because I come under a lot of scrutiny for the term ‘coke rap.’ Either they’re knocking it or they’re finding ways to cheapen it. Like, I drop an album, I go through a cycle and by the time the album cycle is done, then it’s back to, ‘Oh, it’s only this, it’s only that.’ And then I watch the same people who shoot down the genre when I’m at it, they’ll sit back. Then, in my absence, it turns into, ‘Oh man, this is great lyricism.’”

Pusha T to Complex

This admiration for JAY-Z led to him listening to Hov’s Hard Knock Life Vol. 2, as well as Notorious B.I.G.‘s Life After Death, consistently while writing bars for the album, hoping it would elevate his lyricism and songwriting in the process. With this album, he takes it upon himself to re-strengthen the image of coke and street rap for the mainstream hip-hop audience.

“I’m always looking to heighten what it is I do in the rap game,” he said. “This is a legacy thing with me. This is all about being great. This is all about making sure that the subgenre of street rap is seen at the highest levels, and can compete with everything that’s popular. This is the realest real estate in hip-hop, and I’m the Martin Scorsese of it.”

Pusha T to Complex

Throughout the rest of the interview, Push talks about his close relationship and affinity for Kanye West, how he and Pharrell made this album the soundtrack to Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, why he feels Tyler, The Creator, J. Cole, or NBA YoungBoy are the best rappers alive and much more.

His album is reportedly set to drop in the coming weeks, and now knowing what helped fuel him to craft this record, fans are sure in for a treat whenever Pusha T decides to drop his first album in nearly four years.

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