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Pusha T Asserts Drake, J. Cole and Lil Wayne Are Not The Subject Of "Don"

The Virginia Beach emcee details his upcoming EP, goes in-depth about his freestyle, as well as promising more work with Odd Future coming.

With the way things are going right now for Pusha T, people would be wise to take note from the title of his recent freestyle over Drake’s “Dreams Money Can Buy” , "Don't Fuck With Me" . It’s clear the Virginia Beach rapper also has things in artistic perspective; whereas his time with Clipse was spent building a lyrical repertoire that honed in on the P’s and Q’s of street life, Pusha T is expanding his brand of rap into different avenues.

This versatility is present on his upcoming project Fear Of God II: Let Us Pray, with Pusha’s collaborations ranging from Tyler, The Creator to Kevin Cossom to Juicy J, all the while bolstering a solo career that’s being aided by Hip Hop elites like Kanye West and Pharrell Williams. Hell hath no fury like a reinvigorated Thornton brother.

HipHopDX jumped on the phone with Pusha T last Thursday (October 20) to uncover the process behind Fear Of God II: Let Us Pray (Due November 8 on G.O.O.D. Music/Decon/Re-Up Gang Records) and its features, as well as what longtime fans can expect to hear on his solo debut due out early next year. Fully aware of the online aftermath caused by his freestyle “Don’t Fuck With Me,” Pusha Ton also clarifies the motivation behind the record and if in fact someone did catch his lyrical crosshairs.

Photo by Jason Goldwatch

HipHopDX: To start off, I think you’d agree with me in saying that Hip Hop in 2011 is not exactly what it was when you and Malice began in the late nineties and early 2000s. But with that said, how does Pusha T hook up with British Pop star Pixie Lott? I never saw that collaboration coming.

Pusha T: I think Pixie [Lott] was doing something a little edgier at the time for her new album, and they reached out. Pixie is large, like super-major, and it was just one of those things where I was like, damn, I’m definitely going to venture out and try my hand at it. I felt like we came up with something good and it was definitely fitting for her demographic.Pusha T Breaks Down Fear Of God II: Let Us Pray's Purpose In Retail

DX: Fear Of God II: Let Us Pray is close to a repackaged version of the mixtape that you put out earlier this year. I felt like with the first version, it had a few freestyles with you going in over different people’s beats, whereas Let Us Pray feels more complete with the tracks you included like “Changing Of The Guard” and “What Dreams Are Made Of.” So was that the original plan, to sort of switch it up and put it out in a retail format?

Pusha T: No, what really happened was I put out the original, but I kept making records. And I get a bit antsy, like me and the whole structural way of doing shit, I’m not with it. I get excited when I make records and I want to put them out and everyone was sort of fighting me on it. That’s why when shit leaks, everyone gets a little bit upset with me because they’re like, “Why did you do that?” But, in all honesty, to me it’s all about the fans and them getting the music. So this was really a chance to put everything together and make sure that we weren’t frivolously leaking records, where it’s like you can catch it on this website but not on that website. You could tangibly just go grab it, the whole body of work done in this little time period.

Fear Of God is sort of like my coming out party. People rarely see me collaborate or seen Clipse collaborate so much with different artists. I wanted to show people that I do have alliances in this game. Lyrically, it’s still street Hip Hop, but at the same time it’s something a little different than what people know me for.

DX: You were talking about it being a bit different, and aside from your dedicated fan base, I felt like there was more here for the casual fan to enjoy or get into. You have the club record “Feeling Myself” with Kevin Cossom, you have the introspective “Everything That Glitters,” and of course you got the street-laced tracks like “Amen,” “So Obvious” and “I Still Wanna.” So would you say this project was about expanding your fan base? Was that something you were conscious of in the booth at the time?

Pusha T: Not really, man. A lot of those records you see getting done are a product of me and just where I am in life right now. I’m always out. I’m always in the club now; I’m always seeing what’s going on. I’m such a fan of so many things that are going on in music, and then damn, a record like “Amen” presents itself. It’s like, how can I not take it? Or a record like “Feeling Myself” with Kevin Cossom, that’s one of the first times that I didn’t feel compromised in doing a "girl record."

For example, you have a record like “Ma, I Don’t Love Her” off Lord Willin’, and as much as I was into that record back then, I sort of attacked it as a "girl song." I know some people don’t like the record at all, and it’s a preference thing. Of course, a lot of girls do like it. But on this “Feeling Myself” record it was one of those things where I really honed in on making one of those records without treating it like ‘one of those records.’ There wasn’t anything cheap about it, lyrically it’s still cocky. Now, it’s like one of my favorite records to perform, and people wouldn’t think that with my background.

10/24/2011 9:07PM
Pusha T Asserts Drake, J. Cole & Lil Wayne Are Not The Subject Of "Don't Fuck With Me,
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