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With nearly two decades in the game, Virginia’s own Pusha T hasn’t lost a step, seemingly getting sharper as time progresses. In a recent interview with Ebro Darden on Beats 1, the MC detailed that he’s working on a new LP that will be released before 2019 concludes. He also stated that as of right now, the project is solely produced by Kanye West. With all the critical acclaim that Pusha’s seven-track album Daytona received last year, it comes as no surprise that he and Ye are back in the studio crafting a follow-up.
Since he first linked up with the G.O.O.D Music collective back in 2010, there has been a clear musical chemistry between the two of them, as creatively they seem to bring the best out of one another. The rapper/producer relationship is a vital one and this is one of the strongest active duos in the game. In anticipation of his upcoming album, we’ve compiled a list of seven essential Pusha T joints that feature production from Kanye West. Take a look at them below!
“If You Know, You Know” (2018)
This record served as the tone-setting intro to one of 2018’s strongest releases, Daytona. Out the gate, Pusha wasted no time getting to his braggadocious, yet luxurious drug raps, as ticking hi-hats built up to an amazing instrumental from Kanye. The G.O.O.D Music president made it clear from track one what type of project listeners were about to hear — one that was unapologetic, and had menacing raps over gritty, sample-based instrumentals, which perfectly complements Push’s content. If you know, you know.
“New God Flow” with Kanye West, featuring Ghostface Killah (2012) — West produced with Boogz & Tapez, and Kilhoffer
“New God Flow” is one of the toughest records to come out of the G.O.O.D Music era. An OG version first hit the net with just Pusha and Ye, but when Cruel Summer was released in September of 2012, an amazing new verse from Ghostface Killah closed out the song. Push’s raps were as potent as ever and Ye also delivered a memorable verse, as he notably claimed that the Yeezys “jumped over the Jumpman.” It’s truly a classic song that has aged gracefully over the years.
“Nosetalgia” featuring Kendrick Lamar (2013) — West co-produced With Nottz
No doubt about it, “Nosetalgia” is one of the best songs of Pusha T’s solo career. “Coke Rap” is a lane he’s dominated and a style that Push has perfected, and this is one of his signature exhibitions. A menacing instrumental from Nottz and Ye set the stage for two top-tier lyricists to flex their skills. Kendrick made his way into Pusha’s world and both artists knocked it out of the park with intricately penned raps. At the time of the record’s release, Push was very pleased with what K. Dot contributed on the track, stating, “I never heard [Kendrick] talk like that.” Many times when fans get a collaboration like this — with two heavyweights — it doesn’t live up to its potential. This was definitely not one of those occasions.
“Santeria” takes on a more personal topic, as Push touches on the tragic murder of his road manager and great friend De’Von Picket. The energy on the record, although somber, is compellingly honest and the accompanying production from Ye effectively elevates it. The eerie instrumental and beat transitions, along with Push’s introspective rhymes, make for quite the experience. Pusha raps, “You listenin’, De’Von?/As I’m talkin’ to your spirit, for God’s sakes I’m dealin’ with heartbreak.” This is a track that obviously meant a lot to Push and you can hear it in the execution.
“Numbers On The Boards” (2013) — West produced with Don Cannon and 88 Keys
“Numbers On The Boards” was the second single off Pusha’s debut solo album, My Name Is My Name. This is a gritty, percussion-heavy rap joint that made hip hop purists everywhere rejoice when it hit the streets. The instrumental has a classically simplistic feel that made way for a bar-heavy Pusha T to steal the show. The anticipation for his album skyrocketed after this dropped.
“The Games We Play” (2018)
This joint gives listeners a peek into the lifestyle of a successful drug dealer. Yeezy — as only he can — delivers a filthy flip of Booker T. Averhart’s “Heart N’ Soul” from the ‘60s for the instrumental. Pusha does the beat justice by walking listeners through the nightlife, and detailing the culture of competition and showmanship that exists within the drug dealer lifestyle.
“Coming Home” (featuring Lauryn Hill) (2019) — West produced with Charlie Heat and Mike Dean
“Coming Home” is the latest track released by King Push, deviating from the sound fans have come to expect from the MC. With a feature from the legendary Lauryn Hill and a vintage, uplifting instrumental from Mr. West, Push attacks a serious topic. “Released with the launch of the Third Strike Coming Home Campaign,” he stated, “We’re just giving hope to those who are coming home and telling people we waitin’ on ‘em, and we gon’ be out here as a support system when they do get home.” Great record with an important message.