Originally posted on Pages Digital.
Halfway Crooks will be moving home as of tomorrow – taking over the excellent GoodGod Small Club. To celebrate this new chapter, we asked Andrew Levins from the crew to name his Top 10 tracks by Pusha T – seeing as Pusha T is the rapper to grace their very cool gig poster this month.
Pusha T has long been one of my favourite rappers. Well, that’s a lie kinda – Clipse were my favourite rap group 8 years ago. Lord Willin’ is one of the best albums of all time and Hell Hath No Fury is pretty great too. The mixtapes in between those albums are incredible. I love Clipse and was stoked to support them when they toured in 2010, with a set that garnered high praise such as “Levins showed little skill on the 1’s and 2’s.”
I’m not as crazy about Pusha T’s solo output these days. He can still put a great song together, he just hides them amongst a bunch of boring ones on his albums and tapes. Also his guest verses can sometimes be really out of place (like Kanye’s Runaway). Pusha is best rapping about selling drugs or having problems with women. These topics make up about 85% of rap songs anyway, so why does he keep getting featured on the other 15%? Anyway here’s my favourite Pusha/Clipse tracks. Franco put a few in there too.
Clipse – Gangsta Lean
I had to start with this one, you know how Pusha is best rapping about either drugs or girls? Why not both? This is five glorious minutes of Pharrell, Malice and Pusha rapping about having sex with weed. So romantic.
Clipse – Ma I Don’t Love Her (featuring Faith Evans)
This is a perfect Clipse song, a perfect Neptunes song and a perfect rap song with an r&b hook. It’s actually really sweet too, poor Pusha is just trying to prove to his girl that he’s been faithful. I love how he suggests that the only way he’s been unfaithful is by keeping a second gun. I’m sure my Dad can relate to that.
Clipse – I’m Not You (featuring Rosco P. Goldchain, Jadakiss & Styles P)
At this point you’re probably thinking “is this dude just gonna list every song off Lord Willin’? And I totally could. When I had a restaurant, I once left the kitchen for about 15 minutes during peak trade to go and argue with a table of friends who were saying that Hell Hath No Fury was the better album. Get the fuck outta here. ‘I’m Not You’ is the sleeper hit off Lord Willin’. Those steel drums are hypnotic and Pusha’s ‘rappin’ n tappin’ intro is probably my favourite ridiculous rap intro in the history of ridiculous rap intros. Shout out to Rosco P. Goldchain as well. I miss you.
Baby featuring Clipse – What Happened to that Boy?
Someone else who rules at ridiculous intros is Baby aka Birdman, the head honcho of Cash Money. He’s tame on the start of this though, presumably because of how hot the rest of the song is. This song is 12 years old now and still gets played out all the time.
Dre – Chevy Ridin’ High (Remix featuring Pusha T and a bunch of other rappers who cares)
Pusha’s verse is so good on this. I had no idea it was one of his own favourite verses as well. This remix came out in the hot summer of 2006 when it was illegal to not put at least 20 rappers on your remix. This would’ve been a hit if it was just Pusha’s verse, then the hook for three minutes.
Clipse – Definition of a Roller
My problem with Hell Hath No Fury when it came out was that it was nowhere near as good as the We Got it For Cheap mixtapes that came out a year or two before it. There was so much hype and excitement about these tapes when they came out and other random tracks would leak that were incredible and now they’re almost impossible to find. When you google ‘Definition of a Roller’ the first thing that comes up is the actual dictionary definition of what a roller is. The only version of this song on Youtube is this slowed down one from M.I.A.’s Piracy Funds Terrorism tape. Try and track down the actual version if you can, it’s so goddamn good.
Clipse – Zen
This might be my favourite Clipse song ever, and nobody knows it. It’s easily better than everything onHell Hath No Fury at the very least. The beat is so hot – more songs should begin with gunshots like that! This was the only original track on We Got it 4 Cheap Volume 1 and was later re-recorded with an inferior beat but nobody knows that version either anyway. Life sucks but go download that tape and feel me on this one.
Clipse – Eghck!
You know that “yeurck” noise Pusha T always makes? They made a whole song about it! This came out during a magical time when every week a hot new Clipse song would just appear on every blog once a week. The excitement for their new album was crazy and then none of the songs that I loved ended up on it and everyone forgot about them. How am I even still alive after that?
Clipse – Mr Me Too
I’ve been running my mouth off on Hell Hath No Fury but it actually doesn’t have one bad song on it. Maybe if they released an album of all the best mixtape cuts before they put it out I wouldn’t have been disapointed. When ‘Mr Me Too’ came out the whole internet went nuts, mostly for two things: Pusha T’s line about the crackers not playing fair Jive and that tambourine that comes in halfway through the song. This is one of those songs that people still proudly shout every word to.
I spent too long bragging about how cool I am with all my obsucre mixtape cuts and ran out of spaces for all the songs off Hell Hath No Fury that I actually love, so I’ll use this spot to mention that ‘Momma I’m So Sorry‘ still gets a massive cheer whenever I play it, ‘Nightmares‘ is the shit and ‘Wamp Wamp‘ is so good that Kato and I named a party after it in 2006. Hell Hath No Fury is a really good album. Don’t be mad at me for not putting more songs from it on this list – instead you should be mad at me for not putting one song off Till the Casket Drops on here lol suck shit.
Pusha T – Let Me Love You (featuring Kelly Rowland)
When My Name is My Name came out last year I had become that shitty dude who writes off anything new that a rapper does that doesn’t sound like their old stuff (it’ll happen to all of you, don’t judge me). So naturally I was attracted to the Neptunes-y guitar song with Kelly Rowland doing a cute lil 90s hook and Pusha doing his best Ma$e impression. This is a hot song. Stop not dancing to it when I play it.