A Short Convo With... Pusha T: 'It Only Makes Sense For [Clipse] To Do Solo Projects'

A song featuring the Clipse and Young Jeezy probably should have been recorded a long time ago. Nearly five years after the rap world first coined the phrase “coke rap” to describe the powdery white subgenre of hip-hop music made popular by the Virginia Beach duo and the Atlanta rapper, it’s crazy to think they had never actually collaborated together on record—until now. On Jeezy’s long-awaited mixtape, Trap or Die II: By Any Means Necessary, they finally got their acts together on the Amadeus-produced “Ill’in.” The result? Something that’s pretty much as addictive as you’d expect. caught up with Pusha T, one-half of the Clipse, to talk about laying down a verse for Mr. 103’s mixtape, upcoming Clipse solo albums, and his surprising pick in VIBE’s Greatest Producer of All Time tournament. —Chris Yuscavage Despite all the comparisons between the Clipse and Young Jeezy over the years, you've never worked together before recording “Ill’in.” What made now the right time?
Pusha T: Jeezy actually reached out to us earlier this year to talk about getting it done. We both work out of South Beach Studios in Miami now. He had some studio time over there and wanted to get something done. He had the hook finished when he sent it over and he was like, 'Yo, the floodgates is open. Do what you want to do!' [Laughs] He works really late at night, from what I understand, so I went to the studio one day while he wasn't there and laid my verse and then Malice did the same.

Did you actually end up spending any time together in the studio—or did you basically just record the song and leave? 
After I laid my verse, he ended up coming to the studio and we talked. I heard a lot of what he was working on for the album and the mixtape. It was dope just sitting in there with him. At the end, he said, 'Yo, I want to make an impact up in your area and you should come down to Atlanta and make an impact in mine. I'll run through the city with you and then when I come up to VA, you run through the city with me.' You know, just to show people the connection.

"There's an emotional side of Pusha that people need to see"

Were you upset the song only landed on the TOD2 mixtape as opposed to the Thug Motivation 103 album? It’s a good look either way, but…
To me, it never really mattered what it was on because I knew people were gonna hear it and gravitate towards it either way. At the end of the day, if Jeezy drops a mixtape or an album, it doesn't really matter. Either way, the demographic and his fan base hears it.

Judging from the response on the Internet, the one line from the song that plenty of people heard is, "Tell Hova don't pass the crown so soon, Unless he got a crown for every writer in the room/There's too many spirits on these ghostwritten tunes, So you can't crown the heir until you séance the room." Can you clarify exactly what you meant by that? 
I actually wrote my verse [around the time] "D.O.A." dropped. I just feel like there are a lot of new artists in the game that still have to prove themselves. You hear so much talk about who's next and who's up next and who's the man and so on and so forth. In all fairness, I feel like Jay-Z is still relevant. He's still
the rapper. He's the crown-holder right now. But, you know, he cosigns plenty of artists all the time, so I just wanted to tell him not to pass the crown too soon because we don't know enough about these artists yet. We need to do checks on them first and see what they're all about. Obviously, ghostwriting is a very big thing going on, too. So we gotta see who the man is behind all of these joints if that's what's going on.

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Drake Debuts “Laugh Now Cry Later” Feat. Lil Durk

Champagne Papi hit fans with his second single in a matter of months.  “Laugh Now, Cry Later” arrived on Friday (Aug. 14) along with a cameo-heavy music video.

In the visual, Drake lives out his dream of being a professional athlete, complete with an oversized “draft day” suit (à la LeBron James in 2003). The 33-year-old rapper also shows off his range as both a dramatic actor (he sheds a tear, or two) and comedic actor.

Drizzy tapped director Dave Meyers for the music video, which features appearances from Kevin Durant, Marshawn Lynch, and Odell Beckham.

According to Drake's Instagram, “Laugh Now Cry Later” will appear on his forthcoming studio album, Certified Lover Boy.


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Laugh Now Cry Later off my next studio album CERTIFIED LOVER BOY 👌🏽 video link in bio

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Aug 13, 2020 at 9:02pm PDT

Drake’s last single, “Toosie Slide,” seemed tailored for the TikTok era and quickly shot to the top of the Billboard charts. “Laugh Now Cry Later” will likely make its way to the TikTok crowd, but the song offers a celebratory anthem perfect for the club, and other post-pandemic shenanigans.

Peep the music video below.

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NO I.D.’s Entire Music Catalog Acquired By Hipgnosis

Chicago super producer NO I.D.'s entire music catalog has been sold to Hipgnosis. The company acquired 100% of the Grammy winner’s global copyrights and publishing royalties, including writer’s income, Billboard reports.

Founded by music veteran and artist manager, Merck Mercuriadis, Hipgnosis is a British music IP investment and management company “established to offer investors a pure-play exposure to songs and associated musical intellectual property rights.”

“Not many have the best intentions for the artist and the creators,” No I.D. said in a statement. “Merck and the Hipgnosis team have shown that they are a safe home for the songs that score our lives.”

Born Earnest Dion Wilson, the Windy City native -- and longtime producer for Jay Z and Kanye West -- has worked with a long list of recording artists including Jhene Aiko, Common, Big Sean, Killer Mike, Drake, Young Jeezy, Vince Staples, Rihanna, Rick Ross, and more. His extensive catalog includes “Run This Town,” “I Used to Love HER,” and “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune).

“The words NO I.D. are a stamp of excellence on any album,” said Mercuriadis. “From Kanye West’s '808s & Heartbreak’, 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ and 'Yeezus’ to Jay-Z’s astonishing run from 'American Gangster’ through 'The Blueprint 3’, 'Magna Carta Holy Grail’ and '4:44’, Dion has been in the middle of everything that is great about Hip Hop for more than two decades. He is a special creator and everyone in the Hipgnosis Family is proud to have him standing next to us.”

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Watch Ciara Celebrate Black Excellence In “Rooted” Video

Ciara connects to her roots and celebrates Black excellence in the music video for “Rooted.” Released on Thursday (Aug. 13), the up-tempo track, featuring Ester Dean, plays as a love letter to Blackness and a reminder that “everything you need to survive and thrive is rooted in you.”

The music video was filmed just two days before Cici gave birth to son, Win Wilson, and is the latest release under her record label, Beauty Marks Entertainment. A portion of the song’s proceeds will go to support Grantmakers for Girls of Color, a philanthropic organization “dedicated to cultivating investments in support of girls of color (Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Pacific American) in the United States.”

The inspiring music video ends with a note of motivation from Ciara, “To all my Young Rosa’s and Young Luther’s keep marching. Don’t stop fighting for what you believe in. To all my Black Queens and Kings, continue to plant and spread seeds of love, hope and pride in your tribe. Everything you need to survive and thrive is rooted in you. Stay rooted.”

Watch the music video for  “Rooted” below.

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