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Pusha T on Bringing Future to the Darkside, His Solo Album, and Cruel Winter

Don't ask Pusha T about pain. His woes bleed through Kanye's production like Scarface at the end of the movie. Like Tony's story, the VA native's life has been filled with guns, powder, heartache, and betrayal. However, to the untrained listener things may seem bright and peachy in Pusha's world. It takes a special kind of intellect to recognize the genius woven into his lyrics. Can your brain really feel P's pain?

Good. Now sit-back and read what G.O.O.D.'s music resident dealer has to say about his new track with Future, upcoming solo debut, and the possibility of a Cruel Winter album.

VIBE: Let’s talk about this “Pain” record you just cooked up with Future. Was it an “email me your verse” type of thing?
Pusha T: Nah, we cooked that up together, man. The beat was created early that morning, and he was there by 9pm that evening to lay the hook.

What made you grab Future for a record that deals with deeper subject matter than what we’re used to hearing from him?
I wanted to experiment in using Future for the hook ‘cause I felt everyone else is thinking to work with him in a club capacity. People needed a record that’s a little darker.

Right, and it worked so perfectly. I don’t think the fans were really expecting that.
Different levels, man, like I’m really open-minded… I think we nailed the chorus, like nailed it. When I figured it out the first time I was like ‘Damn, we’re only missing the Ouija Board.’


[Laughs] You said that the movie Devil’s Advocate really inspired you during the recording process of your upcoming solo album. Can you elaborate on that?

Lyrically, it felt like Devil’s Advocate would be the best representation because it’s like a beautiful sound whether Ye’ did it, whether Neako did it, or whoever. But lyrically, the words are so brash and really harsh. So I made the comparison simply because the Devil’s Advocate is a beautiful movie and really embraces who people are inside. At the same time, it was based around the dark side of life. You know what I’m saying? It’s very deceiving. I just felt like the album has that same undertone.

Honestly, I want to know how the Chris Brown record sounds. Did you step out of the box?
Oh yeah. I got a mean one with Chris Brown on there. I don’t know if I’m stepping out the box but I definitely think Chris is stepping in the box.

Are you still adding guest features?

I’m still working on features. I haven’t really spoken on all the features right now but I’m still working on stuff. Once I get to that point I’ll think about it more. But right now, it’s about making the perfect album.
The Clipse fans just want to hear Malice on there.

Does your brother still critique your music on the regular?
Yeah, Malice calls me periodically and tells me what he likes, and the records he dislikes. We just had a 2-hour conversation the other day. He was like ‘Man I want you to understand that I support everything you’re doing. He was the one who showed me this. He was the one who taught me this. He’s my brother for life.

That’s very evident. I have to also ask about that Cruel Winter album Q-Tip hinted at during the BET Hip-Hop Awards. You were standing right next to him when he said it…
I’m not privy to that information… You know, Tip and ‘Ye, they have their own communication in regards to projects, things like that. Those are different meetings. I don’t sit in on those meetings. There is music…Where and what? I don’t know. I know I’m working on my jawn. So who knows? I’m not privy to say right now.

I recently spoke to RZA who said he gave you like 8 beats, man.
Aw, man! You already know. He was so influential when I was coming up and was big to everyone and everything going on rap-wise around Virginia. I found myself looking for RZA but couldn’t ever find him back then. But now, I have some music from him. We definitely got some singles.

Have you had a chance to start working on Kanye’s solo album?
No, I haven’t. I haven’t at all. I don’t even know what direction it’s going to lead me in right now. We were so busy with Cruel Summer, and I was working on my solo at the same time.

One last thing, what happened to the Cruel Summer movie. I know it debuted at Cannes, but the New York screening never happened. Is it still coming out for the public?
I’m not sure when they’re gonna release it. They have their own plans for that. It was really, really expensive. They have to monetize, really monetize it, first.

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Pharrell's New Netflix Kids' Series Focuses On Importance Of STEAM Learning

Pharrell Williams is the executive producer of a new children’s show on Netflix that focuses on educating little ones on the importance of science, technology and current events.

“I got involved with ‘Brainchild’ because there is a desperate need to raise awareness about the importance of science with our youth, we must edu-tain,” Williams told Variety about his new series. The show is hosted by Indian-American actress and comedian Sahana Srinivasan.

Brainchild will use “interactive games, experiments and skits” to teach and highlight the “core concepts and principles of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math).” It was co-created by Atomic Entertainment, and is billed as a spinoff of the Emmy-nominated show “Brain Games,” which aired on National Geographic Channel for seven seasons.

Williams and his i am OTHER production partner Mimi Valdes also discussed the idea of the show’s accessibility for teachers and students. Per Variety, “The curriculum is available without having to sign up or register for any account, and can be used at home or in the classroom to supplement existing tools.”

“It’s especially important to me to get STEAM-focused programming in front of minority communities,” Pharrell says of attempting to reach viewers. “That’s because at the core of the plight of children of color in this country is a lack of access to actionable education.”

 

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Prepare to have your minds blown 🧠⚡🌊💖💡🔬 I worked with the masterminds of Brain Games on a show that will empower kids by approaching STEM topics in a cool, new way and to provide anOTHER way into science. Thank you to our host @Sahana.j.shree, @AlieWard, Atomic Entertainment, @i_am_other and the @Netflix team. Brainchild OUT NOW on Netflix. #brainchild

A post shared by Pharrell Williams (@pharrell) on Nov 2, 2018 at 2:01pm PDT

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Jacquees Blames 'Hater' DJ Mustard For The Removal Of His 'Trip' Remix

DJ Mustard, the producer of Ella Mai’s “Trip,” is responding to reports that he was “hating” on Jacquees, who famously deleted his “quemix” of the aforementioned song. Jacquees visited the L.A. radio show Big Boy’s Neighborhood, where he discussed the controversy behind deleting his version of the popular track from the Internet.

“Really, DJ Mustard hated on me, no cap, that was crazy,” he told the hosts about the issues at hand. “I wanna work with DJ Mustard too, but that was a hating move.” The release of his popular version sparked rumors that the “Boo’d Up” musician was jealous of the 4275 artist’s success with his version.

Mustard, who founded Mai’s label 10 Summers, commented on Instagram about his feelings on the R&B star’s latest comments. "That n***a Big Boy said ‘it was really goin’ too!'” he laughed in a video shared to his IG Story. “You stupid ni**a," he continued.

Last year, Mustard wrote on Twitter that if a song that the artist doesn’t own is monetized, it’s stealing and “no one steals from 10 Summers.”

“This is simply a press or marketing plan, or some strategy to deviate from the narrative that Ella is breaking records left and right because the music she’s making is cutting through straight to fans at a rate people haven’t seen in years,” he continued. “Ella’s career started by doing covers and we support all her fans and fellow artists doing the same.”

To whom it may concern . pic.twitter.com/w3lzuU5tqM

— Mustard (@mustard) September 26, 2018

I’m not going to blogs or any media outlets to address this Jacquees situation ima address it right here and after this we will never address anything like this again I’m just tired of people picking on @ellamai !

— Mustard (@mustard) September 26, 2018

 

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#PressPlay: #DJMustard responds after #Jacquees talks about his #Trip remix getting removed!! (SWIPE)—(📹: @bigboysneighborhood)

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Mar 25, 2019 at 10:40am PDT

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'Black Monday' Becomes A Dramedy As Its World Flips Upside Down: Episode 9 Recap

Blair was Mo’s mirror in episode “295.” In this week’s episode, he internalizes Mo’s qualities, and now the reflection wants to take over the original’s life, like a scene from Jordan Peele’s Us. Some of the most analytically rich parts of this episode revolve around all the allusions to Blair assuming Mo's role after agreeing to go along with the Georgina Play, two months after Mo informed him of the rouse.

Blair flirts with Dawn – the woman Mo still loves – while sitting in Mo's desk chair as Mo walks in and sees them. He gifts all of the Jammer Group inner circle with replicas of Mo's custom-made Rolex and calls them “Molexes” with "f**k em all" engraved on them. It’s the latter mantra that, in a surprising twist, leads to Blair potentially ending Mo as we know him.

An early criticism of Black Monday was Andrew Rannells’ inconsequential portrayal of Blair in the first few episodes. After carrying a large number of scenes in last week’s episode, this week’s showcases his shining moment. One of the funniest scenes s when Blair stops himself from saying "it's all good in the hood," after glancing at Mo, before replacing "hood" with "municipalities." That’s a very artful way to say if he wants to be Mo, he’ll have to do more than speak like him. Consequently, Blair does just that in order to get Tiffany Georgina to go along with the Georgina Play.

The Agency Of Tiffany Georgina

Casey Wilson, who plays Tiffany, needs to star in a spin-off show if for nothing else than to see her do another interpretive dance routine to a remixed version of the national anthem like she did at Tiffany’s wedding reception. We predicted in our review of episode “243” that Tiffany would have a bigger hand in the Black Monday collapse than we originally assumed, and this episode brings our prophecy to life.

Tiffany admits to Blair in the final scene of the episode that she’s a lot to handle but poignantly justifies it by stating everyone isn’t as sure of themselves as she is. It’s in that moment we realized out of all of the characters with considerable screen time, Tiffany may be the only one who never lied about herself. The comments about smart “orientals” are vacuous and her obsession with social status is asinine, but they’re also genuinely Tiffany; Everyone else adjusts their morals and personality to fit whatever gets them money.

Tiffany also reveals that when she was in sixth grade, her parents prevented her from legally emancipating herself from them by giving her a cartilage piercing and a new credit card. In episode “243,” when Blair innocuously says he’s staying late at work to do “compliance,” Tiffany instinctively knew that meant illegally shredding documents because her family is wealthy. Tiffany’s parents had their own daughter kidnapped in last week’s episode to boost the company’s value and now their daughter plans to steal that very company from them. The Black Monday writers used the Georgina family this season as a commentary on how money can make anything transactional, even love and loyalty.

Just like with Mo, the Georgina family may be undone by a monster they created.

The Dramedy

In today’s age of television, shows rarely fit perfectly in one genre. Orange Is The New Black’s second season was nominated in the drama category at the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards, a year after its first season was nominated in the comedy category. This blurring of the artistic lines has created a new type of show that is equal parts drama and comedy: a dramedy. After the last two episodes, Black Monday has become more dramedy than comedy.

In the first half of the season, Black Monday was roughly 90% hilarious debauchery with the 10% of deep introspection reserved for the final minutes of the episode. Over time, that ratio began to even out until last week’s episode, which delivered the highest concentration of drama acting of the season. In this week’s episode, the double and triple crossings in Blair and Mo’s heated rivalry are more central to the episode than Keith’s hysterical attempts at tricking the SEC and Tiffany’s ridiculous wedding. Aside from Dawn and Mo forming a secret alliance, the episode concludes with Blair’s most intimidating piece of dialogue as he breaks down the illusionary world Mo has constructed for himself.

While episode “7042” is the most compelling episode of the entire season, so far, the move into dramedy has its drawbacks. There are still gems like Mo’s double entendre of “I’ve unearthed secrets, got winded and fired,” a play on the name of legendary funk band Earth, Wind & Fire, who released their 1987 Billboard hit “System of Survival” a month before the events in this week’s episode. But, the hijinks and absurdist humor that Black Monday is predicated on are more separated than in any other episode.

As a result of this shift into dramedy, certain jokes not only fall flat but feel out of place and tonally different than the rest of the episode. Keith referring to the ability to know who is gay as “Navi-gay-tion” would be amusing in almost any other Black Monday episode. Him delivering it at the end of this week’s episode, after a dramatic exchange between Dawn and Mo, felt cringeworthy.

Hopefully, there’ll be plenty to laugh about when everything comes crashing down in the season finale next week.

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