Q&A: Pusha T On Working With Tyler, The Creator, His Neptunes Bias, And The Virginia Melting Pot

Clipse, "Grindin'"

What has been your worst live experience?

I remember when I first started I was in Asbury Park, in New Jersey. Me, my brother and Pharrell had a record out called "I Got Caught Dealing," the first record I ever done, and one of my favorite groups, Smiff-N-Wessun, was performing at the same show. And I got on stage, me, Pharrell and my brother, and they immediately started throwing everything they could. And we made it through it.

How did it feel when the crowd reacted like that?

I felt like I was with my brother and my best friend in the world. It could not have happened to a better bunch of people!

So what's the strangest place you've performed then?

Weirdest place I've performed is... I went and performed the whole Hell Hath No Fury album in Wyoming one time and I just didn't understand it. People like flew us out to this place, it was really private, 50 people only, and they had an elaborate sound system in a log-cabin almost, no stage. It was like snow outside, like a ski-lodge, and everyone there wanted to hear the album. It was amazing, they were like totally into it, but it was just like some focus group!

What one hip-hop album would you most like to hear performed from start to finish yourself?

Main Source Breaking Atoms. That's one of my favorite albums. "Looking At The Front Door" is my favorite record; "Just A Friendly Game Of Baseball" is one of the best records ever made. I could just go on. I could sit down and watch that.

Have you ever worked with Large Professor, who produced that record?

No, I've never worked with Large Pro.

Would you want to?

I don't know, I don't know what he's doing. I appreciate the guys for what they did 'cause they were really inspirational to me, but I don't know if they got it any more, if they do got it or don't have it. But the music is so timeless I could care less—that's the only thing I want to hear.

So now the EP is done, what are you working on next?

I'm about to start working on my own mixtape, Long Live The 'Caine, as in cocaine.

Like the Big Daddy Kane album?

Yes, the play on Big Daddy Kane's Long Live The Kane.

There are lots of Big Daddy Kane titles that could be flipped: Wrath of Kane...

[Shouts to manager] Yo, what if I call the album the Wrath of 'Caine? It would be sort of hard. That was, like, my favorite Big Daddy Kane record.

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