Published Feb 04, 2016If there were ever any doubts as to whether Pusha T had relinquished the throne of his cocaine castle, the Virginia Beach, VA native swiftly put them to rest in the late stages of last year, effectively priming himself for a successful 2016. From taking on the prestigious role as president of Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music empire in November, to causing a number of hip-hop heads to rethink their year-end album rankings with the release of King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude, the self-appointed "last cocaine superhero" is set to rule once more with another forthcoming solo record and North American supporting tour. After rapping for over two decades with a tenacity and penchant for clever wordplay that few have matched, it's still business as usual for King Push.
What are you up to?
At this very second I'm putting the finishing touches on my new album, which is coming out this spring, entitled King Push.
What are your current fixations?
As far as things that are consuming me right now, I would have to say home interiors and interior design. Outside of that, I've been listening to a lot of music lately, and I've been on the biggest R&B wave just recently with the new Bryson Tiller album. I've also been planning and strategizing for my next Adidas collaboration.
Why do you live where you do?
I live where I live [Norfolk, Virginia] because where I am is home, and I think it's the fuel for all my creativity.
Name something you consider a mind-altering work of art.
Man, I would have to say The Purple Tape (aka Only Built 4 Cuban Linx) by Raekwon. That is a timeless piece of work. It's a colourful collage of lyricism and the production is still unmatched to this day.
What has been your most memorable or inspirational gig and why?
My most memorable show was at a place called the Knitting Factory in 2005. It was with the Clipse and the Re-Up Gang as a collective. We were in a very, very trying time in our career as the Clipse, and we had put out a mixtape series titled We Got It 4 Cheap, and we ended up doing shows from that. We had gotten a bunch of acclaim from blogs and so we had read all of that. But when we went to this particular show and saw how passionate the fans were about these tapes, I believe it re-energized us. It gave us faith in the music business and the rap community, and I think it also ignited a fire beneath us.
What have been your career highs and lows?
I would have to say my career low was being on hiatus for around four years, and not being able to put out music and going through label trouble with the Clipse. My career high would be embarking on my career as a solo artist. I think it's been a pretty good journey so far and I can see a mark being left every day.
What's the meanest thing ever said to you before, during or after a gig?
The meanest thing? "Fuck you, Pusha T." [laughs] I don't talk to people outside after shows, because I don't really feel comfortable doing that. So when I'm going out to my vehicle afterwards, I'm strictly in motion. I don't lollygag in foreign cities or play around in foreign places. I guess I was moving a little too fast for a potential fan and that's what they said to me, clear as day. I just ignored it and kept walking.
What should everyone shut up about?
Donald Trump! We should stop giving Donald Trump any sort of recognition. We should totally shut up about Donald Trump. We shouldn't say one word about him.
What traits do you most like and most dislike about yourself?
I like my organizational skills and my ability to rise to the occasion. One thing I dislike about myself is I feel like I harbour emotions and don't let things go. My forgiving quality is sort of fucked up.
What's your idea of a perfect Sunday?
Oh wow, a perfect Sunday? I'd have to say furniture shopping, looking at different pieces and things like that, and driving from store to store listening to reggae music.
What advice should you have taken, but did not?
Probably just not to trust certain people.
What has been your strangest celebrity encounter?
It's always weird to meet fans that have tattoos of your lyrics on them, or your logo. Oh man, I've met fans with my last album's barcode on them, fans with the Clipse logo, and all types of fans with lyrics on them as well. The weirdest one that I've seen would have to be the Clipse logo that someone had tattooed on the back of their neck.