Let's be honest. G.O.O.D Music's 2012 compilation album, Cruel Summer, was mediocre as an album, but it did produce two bona fide hit singles in "Mercy" and "Clique."
The latter consisted of Big Sean, JAY Z and Kanye trading verses over hypnotic production from Hit-Boy, but as we've known since Big Sean's interview with Tim Westwood, there were originally supposed to be additional verses from "Grade A" rappers on the record, which certainly made sense at the time. It was always a little odd for a song about cliques to only include a clique of three, and rumors swirled for years that Pusha T had recorded his own "Clique" verse but it was later cut because it didn't have enough commerical appeal.
Fortunately, thanks to the release of Hit-Boy's 5-track Zoomin' EP today, we have a better idea of what Pusha's lost "Clique" verse would have sounded like. Zoomin's second track, "Bussin' Moves," features both Pusha T and (infamous Drake ghostwriter) Quentin Miller, but King Push's gritty yet opulent verse is far from new. In fact, Hit-Boy revealed that Pusha's verse here is the one he originally recorded for "Clique" and that he hung onto it all this time.
This Pusha verse is actually from the original “Clique,”by Jay Z, Kanye and Big Sean that I produced. It was supposed to be on “Clique,” so this verse is three-years-old, but it’s fucking ridiculous, flawless bars. Jus the flow and the way he’s in the pocket and the attitude about it. I threw the Pusha verse on that motherfucka, then wrote the hook to it and then I did my verse. I felt like “Bussin’ Moves” was just a concept that made sense for how Pusha set it off.
For reference, take a listen to the original "Clique" and ponder what Pusha's bars might sound like had they been included. And if any of our DJ friends out there want to work their magic and create a "Clique (Remix)" featuring Push's verse, we'll forever be in your debt.
The Pusha-less version of "Clique" went on to go platinum twice over so it's hard to say Kanye and company made the wrong call, but just knowing that somewhere there's a hard drive full of Pusha-T verses we'll likely never hear makes me cry rap tears. Oh well, hopefully we'll be hearing much more music from the former Clipse member when his sophomore full-length, King Push, finally sees the light of day.
[By Brendan Varan. He would do terrible things to hear the original "Clique" with all these so-called "Grade-A" rappers. Follow him on Twitter.]