Pusha T does not hesitate to name his pick for the best rapper alive. And if you have any doubt you can just listen to the hypnotic “Neck & Wrist” from Push’s new album, It’s Almost Dry, for the proof.
“Hov, to me… he’s the best rapper, like just period,” Pusha told Swaggy Sie during a visit to SiriusXM’s Hip-Hop Nation on Tuesday (April 26). Which is why he said that when he reaches out to Jay-Z about appearing on a record, “he sort of knows that, like, you know I’m not reaching out to him about no bull—t… I must really think that this is like, a joint… something that’s gonna add to the great legacy that he has.”
Push said his M.O. when it comes to working with Hova is to write the verse, lay the hook and then do everything else and just “send it to him with a space open” and hope he hears back. “He’ll hit back, and this particular time he was like, ‘Man, what you want me to say to this man? You going crazy!'” he said of Jigga’s initial reaction to “Neck & Wrist,” which also features Pharrell on the hook.
“And I was like, ‘Man, just, you know, turn it up like…’ I only send records to him when I feel like there’s more needed to the record and there’s nothing else I can really say to it,” Pusha told Sie. “Where he’s made it in his career and in his life he can always add an uptick to the record. I can’t say what he says.”
On the song, Jay indeed does bring his unique flair, laconically rapping, “The phase I’m on, love, I wouldn’t believe it either/ I’d be like, ‘JAY-Z’s a cheater,’ I wouldn’t listen to reason either/ All I know is he’s a felon, how is he sellin’?/ Weed, the Caliva brothers, deep down, I believe you love us, huh/ Feast your eyes, the piece unique, it’s sapphire/ Rappers liars, I don’t do satire.”
Last week, OG Ice-T was equally strident in running down his hip-hop heavyweights list, telling Jimmy Fallon that the 1987 debut from Eric B. & Rakin, Paid in Full, is the greatest rap album of all time. “Because that was the most influential album to me when I was making my album,” he said of the sessions for his 1987 debut, the West Coast gangsta rap classic, Rhyme Pays. A close second, according to Ice, is Public Enemy’s 1990 Fear of a Black Planet, followed by N.W.A.’s 1988 debut, Straight Outta Compton.
Listen to “Neck & Wrist” and watch Pusha talk about working with Jay below.