Larry King, meet King Push. The rapper gets real about his critically-acclaimed album, what it’s like to work with Kanye, why Pharrell is hard on him, & whether we’ll see another Clipse album. Plus, Pusha’s most embarrassing professional moment.
"I would love to rap with JayZ and Nas, those guys are huge inspirations."
Pusha T, the Grammy nominated multiplatinum selling artist, sits with Larry King to talk about his past and future.
His debut album "My Name is My Name" has been hailed as one of the best hip-hop albums of 2013, though that doesn't surprise the confident rapper. "I was already saying it was one of the best before they were," He tells Larry King.
The album is meant to be innovative and bring out the rebel in him. Unlike other popular rap music today which focuses on rhythm, melodies and parties, his music is lyric driven hip-hop over heavy drums. Despite his self-confessed talent, fame didn't come easy to the critically acclaimed rapper.
He started making contacts when he was in the two man band The Clipse alongside his brother. He became friends with people as big as Kanye West. The Clipse created a song that would become a classic despite Pharrell not singing the hook when he was in most of the popular songs at the time - he guesses that's where he got his drive to be rebellious and go against the grain with music. Despite the critical acclaim his band was met with, he didn't break through until he released "My Name is My Name" over a decade later.
The Clipse was described as crack rap. Pusha T says that the name annoys him because although the music references street life he never had a drug problem in real life. "That's the metaphor that runs through it, through the entire thing" He says. The Clipse has not broken up, he tells Larry King. His brother is now a Christian gospel artist who is doing very well, and though the rapper confesses he wasn't happy about it at first, he is now happy for him. He does hope that they make music together again.
When it comes to family, it's not straightforward. The popular rapper doesn't ever want his mother to hear his music. "I don't want to be questioned about my lyrics by her. It makes my skin crawl!" He reveals emphatically to Larry King.
Despite how close he is to his brother, he likes to be a solo artist. Pharrell always wants him to try new things. The rapper believes he is the best producer in music and deserves that respect, though he may not always want to do it.
According to Pusha T, he thinks that hip hop is a growing culture. He believes that rap is changing, and that even if there was a gay rapper, no one would really care. "It's about the music," He says. Though he uses the N word in his music, he doesn't want to hear it in a different context. "I'm using it amongst my peers and amongst the people that I'm speaking with."
In ten years, he sees himself building his own act and being the head of a record label. Pusha has two clothing stores where he sells high end clothes and streetwear. He also has his own clothing line.
His upcoming album King Push is about where he feels like he is in the rap game. He was in the studio with The Neptunes for one month.
Smiling, he says that his guilty pleasures is "Southern Food." He also says he is a huge Nirvana fan and the best advice he got ever was to stay consistent.
"I would love to rap with JayZ and Nas." He says. "Those guys are huge inspirations."