Virginia’s Pusha T and his new album Daytona is a savagely brilliant rescue to an already miserable summer. Produced entirely by the erratic and perpetually provocative Kanye West, the album, which only clocks seven tracks with a run time of just over 20 minutes returns us to the world where it all began with Pusha in the early 2000s–look no further than his title track If You Know You Know to know why. Pusha, along with his brother, No Malice, were part of the incendiary duo known as The Clipse, which brought the world a stripped down and gritty sound directly from Hampton Roads. Anyone who knows the fabled history of No Malice and Pusha T, understands what is meant by the lyric, “A fraternity of drug dealers ringing off, I just happen to be alumni,” from If You Know You Know.
There is a reason “coke rap” as a genre did not exist prior to their involvement in mainstreaming the ol’ dusty show business.
Released in early May, the album is the first in a series of mini-releases from West’s G.O.O.D Music label. While his album (recorded in Wyoming in an $8,000 a night hotel suite) has been critically eulogized by most music critics, it is his most recent interview with The Guardian that is now getting people’s attention. In an exclusive profile, King Push addresses the controversy surrounding West’s public support of President Trump and his very bizarre interview with TMZ in which he said, “When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice.”
During the interview, TMZ’s Van Lathan fired back, saying, “I think what you’re doing right now is actually the absence of thought, and the reason why I feel like that is because Kanye, you’re entitled to your opinion. You’re entitled to believe whatever you want. There’s fact and real life consequence behind everything that you just said.”
In the interview with The Guardian, Pusha both condemned and defended West’s comments at the same time, saying he flew to Wyoming the next day to confront him. “We spoke about insensitivity. The actual messaging. Where I felt he went wrong. You can’t even paraphrase about situations and issues that are so personal to people. When it comes to death and real-life people and persecution and things where families have been divided, you have to be more careful.” He supported West by saying that people were quick to make assumptions and jump to conclusions. “I feel like the keywords in what he said were so strong and powerful, that it doesn’t let you get into the nuances, the underlying perspective. Or even wanna hear how he’s thinking.”
Yet some of Pusha’s most powerful words were reserved for the president, someone West has come out to support on multiple occasions and was photographed wearing the ghastly MAGA lid. “The Make America Great Again hat is this generation’s Ku Klux hood,” said Pusha. “When was America so great anyways? Name that time period?” In saying this, Pusha made Virginia great again, and showed everyone how one of the Commonwealth’s greatest cultural treasures is, indeed, king.
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