When I first heard that Jay Z would be on Pusha T's new single, "Drug Dealers Anonymous," I was worried we'd get expensive watch talk instead of black t-shirts and drugs rap. This isn't about that. This also isn't about whether or not Jay Z's still staying relevant as he pushes 50-years-old, Pusha T's upcoming album or the publishing check B.G. is going to get for that "bling bling" line.
This isn't about any of that. This is about something far more important - Pusha T's ad-lib.
Pusha's "Yechk!" is a hip-hop institution, the rap ad-lib version of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, and even though he brought in the Ric Flair "Woo!" for a brief period circa the "Don't Like (Remix)," it's been his signature for years. Jadakiss has his weird baby laugh thing, Chance the Rapper has his "igh," but sitting above them all, is "Yechk!" I think so highly of it that I once interviewed Pusha and we spent the first ten minutes on nothing but the ad-lib: the first time he used it was in "What Happened to That Boy" and he never plans to use it, it's always an in-the-moment inspiration.
So at the end of a stellar verse - "I can baptize a brick, as I wash away my sins like a Catholic" - I was frankly expecting a "Yechk!" A "Yechk!" would have felt both natural and necessary. But instead, we got....
"Yeh"? "Yeh"? What...in the name...of all that is holy...is that "Yeh" doing there? It's exactly like "Yehck," except without the best part, the snarling consonant sound at the end issuing forth from a man who just said something so dope it disgusts even him. It's the non-alcoholic version, the O'Doul's, of "Yechk!"
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the first "Yeh!" ad-lib we've ever heard from Pusha, and the more negative part of my brain recoils at the idea that it's going to be a staple on his King Push album. Lord help us all if we get an entire album of "Yeh"s with nary a single "Yechk!"
But I'm trying not to panic here. Maybe this new ad-lib was just a one time thing, a fling; it meant nothing, and he was thinking of "Yechk!" the whole time. In the absence of more evidence I'm choosing to believe that we didn't just witness the birth of a new Pusha ad-lib tonight and focus on the overwhelming positive that is Push and Hova both rapping like the DEA is powerless to stop them.
Still though, I'm worried...