What is there to say about Pusha T (a.k.a. “The Cocaine Cowboy,” a.k.a. “The Cocaine King,” a.k.a. “King Push.”)? If you don’t know shit about this guy but you want to sound knowledgeable come Spring Weekend, just refer to Pusha as “the guy who raps about cocaine.” That reference alone will get you pretty far.
Though everyone is most aware of his recent work with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music label, Pusha, born Terrence Thorton, has been making music for over two decades. Pusha started the hip-hop group Clipse with his brother Malice (now known as No Malice, but he’ll always be Malice to me) back in ’92. Hailing from Virginia Beach, Clipse got started with a deal from Elektra Records, which was secured for them by no other than Pharrell. “The Funeral,” their first single off Exclusive Audio Footage, bombed commercially, although the video and track are definitely worth peeping.
Then comes all their albums you’ve probably never heard of; if you do want to venture into some of the classic hip-hop tracks, it’s worth checking out “When The Last Time” and “Mr. Me Too,” both of which Pharrell makes awesome appearances on. But if there’s one song pre-2008 that you’ve gotta know from Pusha’s discography, it’s “What Happened to That Boy.” You’ve probably heard the clean version way back at your best friend’s bar mitzvah. This track is pretty close to a masterpiece, save for Birdman’s verse which, like any Birdman verse, is full of really dynamic raps like: “If I don’t go to jail, ni**a, birds gon’ flock / Ni**a sitting on the toilet: bitch, get off the pot!”