Sysko On: Pusha T
#PushaTSucks the Hashtag that has Twitter buggin
*Disclaimer, everything I’m saying about Pusha-T is solely based on Pusha as a solo artist not the Clipse*
It was 2002, and I was a transfer student in my second year in SUNY Purchase, my friend comes into our living room and tells me, “Have you heard that new joint by Pharrell with Clipse?” I replied, “na, you got it, play that” he proceeds to roll up and pops in the bootleg CD and I hear BOOM BOOM CLAP BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP “IAM YOUR PUSHA” and immediately fell in love. That was my first introduction to the Clipse and Pusha-T.
From the first listen, I can tell Pusha-T was the leader; his cadence, flow and confidence came across on every song. Not to say Malice was trash but Pusha just popped out to me. It was evident that Pusha was being pushed as the front man; his verses on Grindin, When The Last Time, What Happened To That Boy and Hot Damn showcased that fact. The Clipse gave us hits, good album cuts and versatility; so naturally when Pusha-T announced he’s going solo in 2009/2010, we expected more of the same but better. Similar to Jadakiss going solo, Pusha-T was the best of the group, the Beyoncé, or the Prodigy (of Mobb Deep), we all had high hopes and felt like he was going to make amazing music. When he signed to GOOD Music, that anticipation grew because now he’s going to work side by side with Kanye West. The combination of his Clipse producer, Pharrell and then Kanye, this is a cant miss right?
Right off the bat, Pusha gives us a verse on Kanye’s ‘Runaway’ along with a great performance at the 2010 MTV Music Awards; the anticipation for his first project grows. Following Runaway, he releases ‘My God’ from his EP Fear of God II: Let Us Pray. ‘Trouble on My Mind’ with Tyler, The Creator, and ‘Amen’ feat Kanye and Young Jeezy followed up My God. FOG2LUP was received well but it lacked that banger, but nevertheless Pusha-T, the solo artist had arrived. Afterwards, Kanye announced the release of the GOOD Music compilation album Cruel Summer, which featured the hit ‘Mercy’. Mercy featured Pusha, Big Sean, Kanye and 2Chainz and set the summer on fire in 2012. It was widely accepted that 2Chainz had the best verse in the song, it was also the first time I thought, “how does someone like Pusha who’s supposed to be ‘Nice’ get outshined by 2 Chainz?” I thought nothing of it and chalked it up to having an off night. Although Pusha’s verse on Mercy was good, my stance is as the ‘lyrical one’ of the bunch how you have the second best verse (debatable)? Cool, lets move on…. In 2013 he releases the mixtape Wrath of Caine, which in my opinion was average at best, not bad but not great.
Pusha’s first LP My Name Is My Name, this was supposed to take Pusha to the next level. The album features producers Kanye West, 88-Keys, The-Dream, No I.D, Don Cannon and Swizz Beatz. Along with a bevy of producers, features included Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, 2 Chainz, Kanye West, Big Sean, Future, Pharrell Williams, Chris Brown and Kendrick Lamar, to name a few. Now remember, MNIMN is supposed to catapult Pusha to the next level, ok, so the album does 74k+ its first week and debuts at #4 on the US Billboard 200. MNIMN made every Most Anticipated albums list and was on every site’s top 10 lists for albums in 2013. Sounds great right? 2013 gave us Yeezus, Nothing Was the Same, MCHG and Born Sinner. That year gave us quality albums from major artists but Pusha’s competition when he dropped the album was Danny Brown, which are two different fan bases and shouldn’t cut into Pusha’s sales. When you combine the hype of the blogs, magazines plus what he did as a member of the Clipse, the anticipation and having Kanye as his hype man, along with the features, and producers; to sell 74k is a fail in my book. Now lets go into his singles, Pain with Future, "Numbers on the Boards", "Sweet Serenade" featuring Chris Brown, (the Mase borrowed flow) "Let Me Love You" featuring Kelly Rowland, and "Nosetalgia" featuring Kendrick Lamar. Numbers on the Boards, Sweet Sereande and Nosetalgia had amazing production, but again, where’s the banger? Now, you might say, “that’s not his thing, he’s a street rapper, not about that commercial shit” ok, explain those bangers with the Clipse? Grindin was a street anthem, it was hard and gritty, isn’t that Pusha? Plus Kanye is overseeing the project, a guy who made a song about Jesus a hit, don’t give me excuses. Another argument can be “Its not all about hits though” maybe for another rapper, but Pusha was engineered to be the best, he comes from a long line of hits with his brother and the Neptunes, that point of view is void because even in his own words he said “They keep telling me to go hard, number one spot you was made for.”