In a newly-published interview by Rolling Stone, the former Clipse member was asked about the central themes that were on his mind while he crafted his forthcoming album, King Push: Darkest Before Dawn.
Pusha's response included a conventional retort, "uncompromised hip-hop," as well as an answer that Chicago-based interviewer Corbin Reiff probably did not see coming.
"I feel like I'm the last rap superhero. I really do."
Interesting, Push. Please, tell us more.
When I was coming up, rappers were my heroes. I looked at them and I thought they were dope. I thought they were great artists; they were great fashion icons; they were everything all in one.
Now I look at rappers today, and I look at who the kids look to, and all you see is guys who don't have any real particular base or guys who are just crying in the media about shortcomings and so on and so forth, and it's a bit too much for me.
It appears the Virginia native, much like Vince Staples, is displeased with the climate of rap music and the culture that has been adversely effected by it's participants. Unlike Staples, however, Pusha T has seen success as both a member of a duo and as a solo artist during a career that has spanned 14 years, so he is more than qualified to make a grand declaration on the state of the game.
While Pusha isn't entirely wrong, the reality is that there are plenty of rap superheroes who are fighting the good fight in 2015, their missions going largely unpublicized. Jadakiss and Styles P opened juice bars in areas that are considered "food deserts" in New York, J. Cole made good on a promise to pay off a college student's tuition, and Chance The Rapper and his brother Taylor Bennett helped to raise $100k for the Chicago Public School System.
Reiff didn't follow-up his line of questioning and ask Pusha if rap heroism would be a reoccurring topic throughout the album, but we need not look any further than the title of the project for an answer, which plays on the quote "The night is darkest just before the dawn," made popular by Aaron Eckhart's Harvey Dent character in the 2008 film The Dark Knight.
More dynamic than a bullet train through Japan, more powerful than anyone not named Kanye West at G.O.O.D Music, able to leap sucker emcees in a single verse. The master of cocaine-fueled rhymes: Pusha T!
[by DJ Z, who dressed up as Batman for Halloween 8 times during his childhood. Image via Def Jam.]