King Push is on a major promo run as he promotes his new project Darkest Before Dawn. The Virginia native is in good spirits after being appointed President of G.O.O.D. Music. The former Clipse member recently sat down with popular hip-hop site, HotNewHipHop to discuss many things that have been bubbling around about the kingpin rapper.
HNHH: What’s up?
Pusha T: Hey, how you guys doing?
I’m good how’re you?
I’m good, I’m chilling.
Where are you up to these days, now that the album’s out are you relaxing a little, or still back to work?
Yeah, I’m in the studio right now.
Ohh k, so is everything for “King Push” finished, or you’re still putting the finishing touches on it?
I’m still toying around with a couple of ideas, as well as just writing things in the meantime
Keeping busy. Well, congrats on the new album, it’s really dope, I’ve had it on repeat. And also your presidency at G.O.O.D. Music. Was there any sort of interview process before Kanye gave you the presidency, did you have to jump through any hoops, or was it just like, you have enough cred?
It definitely wasn’t any legit interview; Kanye really just called me and asked me what I felt it about.
Did you have to think about it at all?
Nah, I mean anything he ask me to do in regards to the team, I’m a team player. I was gunna give it my best shot either way. But um, as far as like… I have a good rapport with all the GOOD artists, and I have my hand on the pulse of what’s going on, online and in the streets, and even as far as finding new talent. We’re always talking about what’s hot, what’s not, and I bring a lot of that things to the table. And he just knows I’m pretty meticulous.
Do you have to do any office work? Menial tasks or shit now? Or it’s really not up to you to do that kinda stuff? Like do you ever go into an office.
We have an office, but my manager was appointed A&R, so a lot of the administrative stuff gets handled on that end.
Do you already have ideas for shit you wanna change within the label, or innovate?
Yeah, for sure. I just wanna make sure the brand caters to the fan, and carries on a tradition of creating innovative ways to engage the fan. I feel like people bought into the creative cultural aesthetic of GOOD Music, and I feel like our fans should see that a lot more, with us as a collective. We should do that in regards to GOOD Music tours, festival. Those are my type of mood board type of situations.
A GOOD Music festival would be crazy.
Just getting into the album. You might have made this comparison, maybe not, I know you’ve talked about how “Darkest Before Dawn” is darker content in general; do you feel that it’s more in the Clipse lane than some of the other stuff you’ve done? “Got Em Covered” specifically reminded me of something that maybe the Neptunes might have done— I know Timbaland did it—but was that anything you thought about, just going back to your roots a little, cause you said it was for the core fans?
Yeah, I do feel like some of the soundbeds were more on the unorthodox side, that would remind someone of the Clipse era of music. I feel like even when we – you mentioned “Got Em Covered”— that was great because that was a record in which I had to figure out to how to rhyme on it.
And you had Ab on it so it was totally in that line.
Yeah and it was sorta figuring out the puzzle of how to flow on that joint, and that comes with those unorthodox soundbeds.
Yeah I heard in the RapRadar podcast how you were talking about just taking beats that might scare other MCs off—were there any beats that you tried and it didn’t work out, or were you always able to conquer it?
Nah, there was never anything that was too weird, ’cause I picked beats that would give me a certain groove. The thing about these beats is that you can’t rhyme the same way to each beat. I was looking to conquer that, because it’s about growth, and switching the flow up. ‘Cause sometimes as a writer, you can get locked in to having the strongest bars, but it’s 50,000 bars of monotony. You can be saying the most clever things, and what helps you get out of that rut is different flow patterns and different beat patterns, it makes you do that.
Just speaking of that— monotony and having the flow stay the same, a lot of the shit that’s coming out these days, the melodic rap, it is a similar flow and style, do you listen to any of that melodic rap that’s becoming really trendy these days?
I listen to a lot of it in it’s proper place. That’s not necessarily what I’m listening to in my house, but man, in my car, on the way to something festive, at the club, I got to the club to hear that. Sometimes I go to the club, and because I’m there, I always go to holla at the DJs, they wanna put on all these hard ass records I did, and I’m like no, I’m not here for that right now. I’m here to party and do what I wanna do and keep the energy of the club going. Right now, the records that you speak of, they are that energy.
You mentioned how Future is the GOAT in your Pitchfork Over/Under, and that entire segment is really hilarious, what’s been your favorite Future release from all the stuff he’s dropped recently?
Oh man, well 56 Nights is probably my favorite Future release. And “Never Gon Lose” is probably one of my favorite records but I also like “Digital Dash” from What A Time To Be Alive.
On the album, and in general, the collaborations you’ve done with The-Dream are some of my favorite. The-Dream is just one of my favorite artists. Would you ever consider doing a joint album with him?
Man, that’d be so crazy.
I just feel like you guys have the best balance and chemistry, I think you guys should discuss that.
Thank you. The-Dream is one of my favorite as well, that’d definitely be something I’m looking forward to doing. I think we have very dope chemistry, and I feel like the taste level of our fan is really high.
Yeah because the average person doesn’t even talk about him [The-Dream].
[As I began to ask my next question, we were cut off. When Pusha T came back on the line, I decided to return to The-Dream questioning, because.]
Hey- I was gunna talk about the Beanie Sigel song— but for The-Dream, so you think a joint project isn’t out of the question?
No way, never out of the question, I’d love to do it.
But have you guys ever discussed it?
I mean we have a host of records, and we need a project to put it on, so you know.
That’d be crazy.
Yeah we have a lot of records.
Okay so I was talking about the Beanie Sigel song, “Keep Dealing.” I mean it might have been inadvertent, but did you think about how that song was connected to “Millions”? It instantly reminded me of “Millions.”
“Keeping Dealing”? Wow. Yeah I guess some of the similarities, the millions in the ceilings, or whatever, similarities. I feel like the moods of both of the records are different, and that’s really like street slang, for you know, having a stash of money, Virginia-wise, even if it’s not in the ceilings. Everybody say, ‘I got 50 in the ceiling,’ you know what I’m saying. So I wasn’t even thinking that like, oh man I said that before, cause it’s just like common talk.
Oh yeah, like it’s just slang.
My ceiling empty, like man I gotta run my ceiling back up, meaning, damn, my money low.
And why did you decide to get Beanie Sigel on it, how’d that come about?
I feel like Beanie Sigel is one of the best writers in hip-hop, to date. Just writing-wise, as a writer. As a writer on that type of music bed, there’s not many people who can rhyme better than him.
Yeah and he kinda keeps up with you. I see that.
Hell yeah he keeps up with me, man I’ve been hearing people saying, damn, you got washed by Sigel. And it’s so funny cause they don’t understand, that’s OKAY WITH ME! ‘Cause that means I got one of hell of a song. Cause that’s what I was looking to get, I’m sorta tryna make those moments, tryna recreate those superhero moments of rap. And if that’s means, Sigel get up there on something that I feel like— I feel like I need Sigel cause he really matches the aesthetic. And in a competitive sense, it would be a bit unfair if we were competing— because to me, how I see him and how I’m a fan of him, I feel like that beat was really a Sigel beat to me, more than a Pusha T beat. But because I liked it so much, I was like I gotta get someone on it who’s gunna outdo me, even, to kill the beat, to make sure the song is what it’s supposed to be. Nobody’s gunna paint…
His verse is just like…you guys both have really good enunciation; I find that’s the one of the most entertaining things about listening to you and Beanie both, not just the flow but the way you guys enunciate your words, it makes it hit that much harder.
Ah man thank you.
His verse was really dope. Are you planning on doing another short film with the “King Push” album or was this a one-off thing that you did?
This was just the marriage of the mood and the music, and finding the director with that of energy, that synergy was A1. I can’t say that King Push is gunna have…well it’s definitely not that same mood, so to me, I dunno, I only like certain type of movies, I only like dark movies.
So there wouldn’t be a follow-up film or anything that would continue the story
No, no. My acting was too bad.
[Laughs] But Rotimi, do you watch “Power” is that how come you thought he’d fit the role?
Yeah that’s my favorite shows.
Yeah it’s one of my favorite shows too, it’s really good. Are there any other TV shows that you’re into? I know you worked with Timbaland a lot on this album, have you been watching the stuff that he does on ‘Empire’?
Yeah I’ve checked it out. It’s a little bit..they’re just two different type of sitcoms.
Yeah, for sure. So you’re not a fan of your acting, so we’re not expecting you to act in any movies in the future?
No, not until I got to school.
There was one last thing I wanted to discuss, it’s from, “Alone in Vegas,” you had this line about ‘drug dealer dichotomy.’ I’ve just always loved that phrase and I think it really works well with your music. Did you see that dichotomy playing out again on this album, and if you could just elaborate on what that dichotomy is?
Definitely that dichotomy is on his album. And it’s really for the people who try to pigeonhole me as ‘cocaine rap.’ “Oh well, all it is, is cocaine rap.” And they hear that word, and it’s such a strong drug, devastating drug. So people try to like, they tune everything out, they tune out the principles that lie within the verses. And that’s what the dichotomy is, it’s okay you have something that’s so ugly and then so horrible in my community, and then you have the principled mentality of someone who’s raised within that community and how they balance their morals versus their greed, that’s what it is. So, first of all with the Clipse, that was the beauty of the Clipse to me, one hundred percent. I might have been younger and brasher, my brother was more of the voice of reasoning, more introspective, that’s what it was. I feel like now, that’s my job, and that’s when I really dialed on it, when I went solo. I was like wait a minute, I gotta cater to that fan, and I’m already gunna have to deal with that fan not wanting to hear just one of us, so I have to do my best Malice impersonation, in regards to adding those nuances to my music.
Mac Miller is one of the most successful rappers of the internet age. The 23 year old Pittsburgh native was one of the first, along with Wiz & Curren$y to have a cult following all from the internet. Since his success hit, Mac has been living life and releasing music randomly for his eager fans. With the release of a new album, it’s protocol that an artist does a tour to touch the fans and press. However it seems due to exhaustion, the GO:OD rapper has to cancel a couple days on his tour. Luckily it’s not in the states. Unfortunately, his international fans will be missing out, mostly New Zealand and Australia. Mac took to twitter, of course, to inform his fans.
Without a doubt, Young Thug is one of the most hardworking artists out at the moment. The Atlanta rapper blew to fame with his single “Stoner” & followed up with “Danny Glover” which was remixed by Nicki Minaj. Although his antics tend to make others question him, Thugger is really on top of his game. The 24 year old rapper has dropped numerous projects and random singles. Probably more than the average artist who popped a year prior. After announcing the MigoThuggin mixtape, which releases Christmas Day, Thug’s close friend Be El Be took to twitter to let the fans know there’s more in store; including another Rich Gang album.
New York hip-hop is strong although many people don’t know. East Harlem’s own Dave East is one of the front runners of the new hip-hop wave in New York City. Recently being signed to rap legend, Nas, Dave East has been making a lot of noise on the scene and in the streets. Here he drops his own rendition of The Weeknd’s popular “Tell Your Friends”. This ‘eastmix’ has the Harlem rep spitting some aggressive bars with that storyteller approach to gain your attention. Listen up.
If you know me, then you know this guy Tory Lanez is my favorite artist for the last 3 years, the least. Hailing from Toronto, Canada with a sound he describes as “swavey“, the 23 year old rapper/singer is finally breaking into the mainstream world. After dropping his first single, “Say It” with a fresh deal from Mad Love/Interscope, Tory is on the path to show the world he is “one of the best, if the not the best, artists in the world” (as he’s stated many times). And I’m a firm believer that he may be onto something.
Tory Lanez has been an active underground internet sensation for some years now. He was signed to Sean Kingston‘s Time Is Money imprint, gained an international cult following & had his lyrics stolen by Justin Bieber. Lanez’ only dilemma (to the people) is that he is ‘another drake‘. But I personally feel, the people will learn what Tory Lanez has to offer as he broadens his catalog.
“TrapHouse” is a filler to keep fans content after releasing such a banger like “Say It” for a intro single. The record continues to groom the grimey r&b/hip-hop sound Tory has been molding for the last couple years. It’s shot by Zac Facts & features One Umbrella compadre, Nyce.
With the decline in album sales, it’s amazing how many still pay attention to album sales. Nowadays, if an artist reaches 100k that’s look at as good. Compared to in the 90’s when albums were flying off the shelf at 500k the first week. Times have really changed. This time around, its time for Virginia’s popular living legends to release new bodies of work to the world.
Chris Brown has released his 7th studio album, Royalty, which is named after his beautiful daughter. The album in my opinion is definitely worth the $10 (imo) as it shows Chris’ diversity with his musical ability. Meanwhile former Clipse member & Re-Up Gang frontman, Pusha T pops back up to drop off the prequel to his King Push album which is stated to drop in April (via Pusha on The Breakfast Club). Pusha T’s Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude is now available & is definitely what hip-hop needed. Being it’s executive produced by P Diddy, how could you not expect greatness?
Darkest Before Dawn: 38k-43k
Its not news that DJ Mustard is the hottest producer on the radio right now. With 8 hits on the billboard charts and a successful rack of beats on his best friend, YG’s debut album, the California native isn’t looking to let up. Roc Nation’s DJ Mustard is currently working on his debut album, 10 Summers. Here is the first cut, Pushaz Ink/Taylor Gang’s Ty$ & 2 Chainz team up on a new Mustard beat. A LITTLE different than what we’re used to. But still containing that signature sound. #TheSuiteLife
Performing is a major tool when an artist is building their name. Shows puts YOU, the artist, in front of new faces. Every show is a chance to gain potential fans of your music. Many artists don’t understand the importance of being out in the streets. Your street grind has to be just as strong as your internet grind. This goes for all genres. Every city has events and it is your duty to attend as many of these events as possible, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT INVOLVED. If there is a showcase coming up and you know one of the acts, ATTEND. Even if you don’t know any of the acts performing, GOOGLE them and check their music out. The more you show your face at events, the more people can start matching up your face with the name.
A showcase is an event set up as a platform for upcoming artists to bring out their “fans” and network with other artists. Showcases are good and bad for unsigned artists.
GOOD: Every showcase is different, but most likely its the same rundown. There is a host and a DJ who are in charge. The DJ usually warms the crowd up before the show starts and keeps the crowd going in between acts. Before the show, in between acts and at the end of the show, artists should be networking amongst each other. The key is talking to: the artists performing, the host, the people at the venue (staff included) & the DJ. The host can plug you in on the next event if you get in good with them. The DJ will let you know his upcoming events, which may beneficial for you. General convo with the staff is great. Your goal with the staff should be to befriend them, that way they will remember your face next time you attend an event there. I haven’t paid to get in a venue in NYC in the longest being the staff at many venues know my face for attending so many events. Lastly, talk to the artists, whether general convo or about their upcoming shows. Show interest. Some artists will help plug you in the right direction. Once the show starts, STAND IN THE FRONT. Once the show starts and somebody hits the stage, DO NOT SIT DOWN. Stand up and NOD YA HEAD, VIBE OUT, ACT LIKE YOU’RE INTO THE PERFORMANCE, even if its bad. Artists/Hosts performing will notice this. They’ll respect you for this action. Make sure to exchange info with the artists and hosts. Also grab the DJ info. All of this gets noticed, whether you believe it or not. The key to showcases is networking. All you have to do is talk to people and show interest when its time. Honestly. You can’t be anti-social. If a person is anti-social, the music business is not for you.
BAD: Although showcases are good ways to practice your stage presence and good ways to gain fans, they also scams. NOT ALL, BUT MANY. If you do everything I said earlier, you will get some kind of positive outlook on showcases. However, showcases have a negative side as well. Many promoters are out to make money. The music industry is an easy come-up being that its over saturated. Promoters are charging artists to perform in a showcase to be judged by “industry execs.” If you have to pay to be in a showcase, DON’T DO IT. If money isn’t an issue then, hey go for it and blow the cash. But I know majority of unsigned artists are on strict budgets. Many artists all over the world pay promoters to be in a showcase to perform 2-3 songs in front of people that ONCE were in the industry or never really been in the industry. Either way, those “execs” don’t care about you or your music once yall leave that venue. The other scam promoters are pulling is making you sell tickets. Selling tickets is supposed to show how big an artists fanbase is, in the words of your average promoter. However, its common sense that most artists are starting from the bottom. Fanbases aren’t easy to build. It’s tough getting 5 loyal fans/supporters. Then if you don’t sell the tickets, either you cant perform or they try to penalize you by making you pay for the minimum tickets.
Overall showcases can be beneficial to an artist or keep their pockets low. Play it smart. NETWORK with those worth networking with. Talk with the right people and be put in the right places. Prepare for Part 2: Where I will discuss promo tools around the city, social networking & sites such as craiglist.
If you keep up with football, I’m 100% sure you’re aware of what’s going on in the NFL. It’s draft time. Time for the college athletes to make that transition to the pros after leading their colleges to success in some fashion. This year’s draft was very interesting and historical being the FIRST openly gay athlete was drafted into the NFL. Meet Michael Sam, a 24 year old Defensive End from Galveston, Texas who played for University of Missouri aka Mizzou. Sam took it upon himself to let the world know about his sexual orientation BEFORE the NFL Draft. Now to most people this may have been a bad idea. In my opinion, I think it was bad. I believe Michael should have waited till after he was drafted, therefore his preference wouldn’t mess up his rank. But he clearly saw it different and now I understand why. Michael Sam wanted to go to a team where he would be accepted. A team where he would be judged by his skills on the field and not the person he’s dating. I totally understand this. However, we live in a judgmental society. So once, Sam issued the statement about his sexual orientation, his list of teams to where he was seen as a prospect, lowered drastically. The Mizzou DE was drafted as pick 249 in round 7 of the 2014 NFL Draft, almost not getting drafted.
Interesting backstory isn’t it..? I woke up this morning to a segment on ESPN. I didn’t catch the name, but they were talking about this young man, Michael Sam. For the hour, that I laid in my bed watching, all the analysts talked about was Sam’s “reaction” upon finding out he was being drafted. If you check the clip above, it shows Sam breaking down crying. He then kisses and hugs his boyfriend. Honestly, there is nothing wrong here. This man has made history becoming the FIRST OPENLY gay athlete to get DRAFTED. Just when he thought he wasn’t going to make it to the pros and do what he loves, everything changed at the last minute.
The analysts on the segment continued to run the clip OVER and OVER and OVER again as they talked about the Missouri DE. Despite this man’s sexual preference, which really is none of the public’s business, he has achievements under his belt and worked hard to get to where he is. Instead of focusing on what Michael Sam did to receive the honor of getting drafted and why he broke down, ESPN focused on what happens after he got himself together. Do we really live in a homophobic world? The world is different from what it was 100 years ago. By now, I honestly would expect people to be used to it. No reason to be surprised of same sex relationships whether in the limelight or not.
The segment I was watching went off and SportsCenter came on shortly after. The first thing to pop up on my TV is Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend. Not Michael Sam tackling quarterbacks, but him kissing his boyfriend. Why is this the main focus…? Even when Stephen A Smith said his piece about not judging Michael Sam, he seemed uncomfortable talking about it. It’s a new world compared to the one we lived in 10 years ago. By now, nobody should be scared of the “Gays.”
This ties in with the music industry perfectly. If you keep up with hip-hop, there is an artist known as Young Thug. Young Thug has been caught in many odd outfits including: a little girl cheetah dress, a leather skirt and a leather belly shirt. VERY different. Along with that, he calls his friends “BAE.” However, Young Thug has 2 of the HOTTEST songs in the streets, “Danny Glover” and “Stoner.” The way I see it, he can be as gay as he want, long as he keeps producing hot music. Its the same with Michael Sam, that man can be as gay as he wants, long as he keeps playing football like any other dedicated player. America has to learn to not be so judgmental. Which will never happen. #TheSuiteLife
Everybody knows Thugga Thugga better known as Young Thug. The Atlanta rising star is one of the most the most talked about artists this year. With his feminine antics and crazy fashion sense, Young Thug is becoming a weird yet interesting favorite to many, including myself. According to Waka Flocka Flame, “Dont sleep on Young Thug. If that man wanna wear dresses that’s him, but he official in the streets.” Young Thug released his new video for “Stoner” produced by rising producer, Dun Deal. If you hit the Nae Nae before, you’ve heard this song. #TheSuiteLife