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.

VIBE.com 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


VIBE.com: 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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Dr. Dre Released From Hospital, Will Receive 24-Hour Home Care

Dr. Dre was released from L.A. Cedars Sinai Medical Center on Friday (Jan. 15), nearly two weeks after he suffered a reported brain aneurysm. Ice T confirmed the news tweeting, “Just FaceTimed with @drdre. He just made it home. Safe and looking good.”

The 55-year-old music mogul will remain under 24-hour care for the next few weeks as medical professionals continue to monitor his progress. Doctors are still unclear on what caused the aneurysm.

Dre’s hospital release comes days after new details were revealed in his divorce from estranged wife, Nicole Young. According to court documents publicized this week, Nicole accuses Dre, birth name Andre Young, of putting a gun to her head in 2000 and 2001. She also details other alleged abuse incidents in 1995 (before they were married) and in 2016, when he allegedly punched her in the face and kicked down her door.

The Grammy winner has denied Nicole’s abuse claims.

Nicole and Dre tied the knot in 1996. The pair share two adult children, Truice and Truly. Nicole filed for divorce last summer.

In addition to demanding that Dre cover her legal fees, Nicole wants the court to take the abuse allegations into account when “awarding support and fees.” Dre has already agreed to pay $500,000 of Nicole’s legal bills and $2 million in temporary spousal support.

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Cardi B Lands Leading Role In Comedy ‘Assisted Living’

Cardi B is making her way back to the big screen. The Bronx native officially landed her first leading role in the upcoming Paramount comedy, Assisted Living.

According to Variety, Cardi will play a small time crook struggling to find a hiding place after her latest heist fails. Her character, “Amber,” disguises herself as an elderly woman and hides out at her grandmother's nursing home. The film is described as a “raucous comedy” similar to Mrs. Doubtfire and Sister Act.

Paramount acquired the rights to Assisted Living in 2019. The film’s script was penned by This Is Us writer, Kay Oyegun.

Cardi, 28, made her film debut in the 2019 celeb-heavy stripper flick, Hustlers. The “WAP” rapper appears to have hinted at her Assisted Living role in a recent interview with Billboard where she dished on filming scenes for Fast & Furious 9.

“After ‘Hustlers’ I filmed a little bit for 'Fast & Furious' so I felt like ‘I’m ready for this,’ I knew what to expect,” she explained. “But the characters were a little different so I was like ‘Oh wow, I’m going to need more acting classes.’ I’m planning on doing a movie this year and I’m going to be the lead role so I’m like ‘I need to execute this flawlessly.’”

Besides film, Cardi was a judge on the Netflix completion show, Rhythm & Flow, and landed her own Facebook Watch series, Cardi Tries.

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Wendy Williams Reveals She Was Date Raped By ‘80s R&B Singer

Wendy Williams revealed that she was date raped by  ‘80s R&B singer, Sherrick, early in her radio career. The talk show host shared the story with reporters while promoting her Lifetime biopic Wendy Williams: The Movie on Tuesday (Jan. 12).

“He mesmerized me with his twinkling eyes,” she recalled. “He flipped the interview around to where he was interviewing me — I was just gaga over this man and he asked me to go to an album release party with him that night.

“Before the party, I was date raped by him,” said Williams.

Sherrick, born Lamotte Smith, was a member of the group Kagny, whose song is featured on The Last Dragon soundtrack. He signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1987 and scored a marginal hit with the single “Just Call” off his debut self-titled album. Sherrick struggled with sobriety but declared himself “drug-free” before dying of unknown causes in 1999.

Williams says that she was raped in Sherrick’s Washington D.C. hotel room and it, unfortunately, wasn’t her first time being sexually assaulted. The New Jersey native had been date raped in college. “Those types of things happen to girls all the time and they’ve been happening a lot, to a lot of our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and their great-great-grandmothers too.”

From the sounds of it, Sherrick's widow doesn't exactly believe Williams' story. She not only questioned Williams' account but wondered why she waited so long to go public, and why she didn't call police at the time of the incident.

“As I will never minimize or dismiss the horrid actions of sexual assault, I am saddened that Ms. Williams feels the need to publicly make these allegations when the man she is accusing is no longer on this earth to defend himself,” Lynne Conner Smith said in a statement to Page Six.  “Our family does not know Ms. Williams and are not aware of any relationship or encounter they may have had.”

The sexual assault will be chronicled in the film, as well as other details from Williams' life -- like her rise to talk show fame, her battle with drug addiction, and marriage to ex-husband Kevin Hunter.

Wendy Williams: The Movie premieres on Lifetime on Jan. 30.

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