Pusha T Shares ‘Cruel Summer,’ Solo Album Details
Heineken Red Star Access Presents GOOD Music Event hosted by Rosa Acosta featuring Cyhi Da Prynce and Pusha T

Pusha T performs at the Heineken Red Star Access Presents GOOD Music event, July, 2011. Photo: Daniel Boczarski/WireImage

G.O.O.D. Music season is nearly upon is! On September 18th, Kanye West’s super-crew will drop the Cruel Summer collective effort, and then Pusha T plans to keep the momentum by hitting a November release date for his long-awaited full-length debut for the label. So as Pusha prepared to jet off to Hawaii to meet up with Kanye for a few days, Hive hit him up to get the inside scoop on the Cruel Summer recording process, the line-up for his solo set, and whether or not you can expect a new Clipse album any time soon.

You’re involved in quite a few upcoming releases, right?

Well I can think of two, the G.O.O.D. Music Cruel Summer album as well as my solo project. Those are the ones that are nearest in time.

Will Cruel Summer will be released first?

Yes, the Cruel Summer album comes first, then after that my solo project comes.

So is Cruel Summer 100% finished?

You know what? I’m on my way to Hawaii [where Kanye is recording] so I’m gonna get to lend an ear to it and later on today give my opinion on what I think. Maybe it may want some tweaking, or maybe I’ll love it in its entirety, but it’s in its final final final stages.

How many songs on Cruel Summer do you feature on?

I’m on somewhere around six or seven songs. Like I said though, who knows what the final cut will be when I hear it later, that still doesn’t mean it’s the final.

How does the recording process for a collective effort like Cruel Summer work?

Kanye finds a beat, he works on tracks, and he has his vision and he picks who belongs on what but sometimes the artist is made to feel a certain way about the track and they want to jump on it as well. A lot of times, for example, I’ll hear a record and I’ll like it a lot [as it is] and I’m not on it, but I really love it so I’ll add a verse and it either stays or it goes. There’s always the opportunity for someone to make their mark on the record.

So sometimes you don’t know who else will be on a song with you?

I don’t know who’s on any of the records right now! I have a list read to me by an A&R but the record might not end up like that.

What’s the vibe of Cruel Summer like? Are the singles “Mercy” and “New God Flow” representative of the rest of the album?

It’s like a melting pot of music. And I say that to say there are records that I rhymed on that Kid Cudi had like two verses of singing and I just come in, and still somebody else may have done a verse to it. There’s all singing records; there are records with Teyana Taylor. Matter of fact, her and 2 Chainz have like a love two-way and I don’t know if that made it … It’s a total unfinished Rubik’s Cube of a mixture of colors and attitudes of an album.

Kanye recently said that one of the songs on your solo album sounds like “hell.” Does that mean it’s a dark sounding project?

Um, you know, the funny thing is, the album is dark, and the album is dark in theme, but I think a lot of the darkness is camouflaged by the brightness of the music. I think Kanye means the truth of the album and the perspective of the album is just so dark and reality-based; it’s the unedited version of what a man in my position or many men out here in the street think, whether it deals with family, whether it deals with relationship, whether it deals with celebratory themes, it always ends up having a real perspective on it. It’s a little scary.

Is it in any way a continuation of the Fear of God mixtapes?

No, I think it’s way better than that. Fear of God mixtapes was just all me and me being a rapper’s rapper and just rapping over a soundbed. This album is a well produced body of work in which I worked with some of the best super-producers in the game.

Who are some of those super-producers?

As it stands right now, you have Kanye, you have Just Blaze, you have The-Dream, you have Rico Love, you have No ID. It’s pretty star-studded and eventful on the production end.

Do you have a title for the album yet?

Nope.

Do you know when you’re gonna decide on one?

Hmmm… I feel like I’m 90% done and I feel like [while recording] these next two records I’ll find that title.

So you’re gonna be making music in Hawaii?

I’m thinking so, yes. Of course, I don’t ever not try to be around [Kanye] without getting some sort of music from him.

Going back, it’s also ten years since the release of Clipse’s Lord Willin‘. How do you think that’s stood the test of time?

Ah, it’s a great album. Put it on, put it on right now and rock out! Put it on for any long drive.

Does that album mean the most to you?

Nope. Hell Hath No Fury means the most to me.

If you could go back, are there any songs or verses on Lord Willin’ you’d re-do?

No, not at all, I love Lord Willin’. I love Lord Willin’ for the time. The record “When the Last Time” is the one that I don’t perform; I don’t like to perform it ’cause I feel like I’m so far past that stage in my life. But that’s one of the records that’s not as timeless to me. Other people curse me out all the time for not doing it, but sorry, I just don’t like it.

Is it true that there’s gonna be another Clipse album soon?

Yeah. Yeah, sure.

Have you and Malice finished any songs for it?

No, no, no. I’ve been focused so much on Cruel Summer as well as my own solo project.

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