Pusha T is one of hip-hop’s curious mainstays. A former member of the Virginia rap duo Clipse, the artist has steadily worked his way up the ranks over the past two decades and now remarkably sits at the forefront of the culture.
From his beef with Drake to his Lil Wayne feud, Pusha has undoubtedly received more than a bit of negative press. However, as a former member of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music label, there is no denying that the rapper (real name Terrence Thornton) is a competent and talented musician worthy of his place in the upper echelons of hip-hop.
Surfacing on the scene during the early 2000s, Clipse rose to fame alongside Virginia Beach natives The Neptunes and cemented their place in hip-hop with their 2002 hit ‘Grindin’. Ever since Pusha T has remained a relevant and potent figure. However, his brother (Gene Thornton) failed to maintain his dominance.
Pusha has retained his prestige within the culture to such a degree that last year he released a project to vast amounts of critical acclaim. In 2018, the Virginia rapper spoke with music publication Pitchfork about his influences and when asked what his favourite ever verse was Thornton revealed it was Biggie Smalls’ verse from ‘Young G’s’.
Speaking to the interviewer, the rapper explained, “I believe the Notorious B.I.G. was the greatest rapper who’s ever lived. I remember in ’94, when Ready to Die came out, I was in eleventh grade, living in my mother’s house in Virginia. There was a frenzy at my high school, arguing and talking about that album. We used to spend hours in the car, reciting his raps, trying to figure out what in the hell made him veer off in this way or that way.”
Thornton continued, “Some rappers just say a punchline, and it’s like, “OK, we get it.” But Big delved deep. He was a master painter with words. And his flow was just so effortless. I mean, I think I’m an awesome writer, but my bars still sound like bars. Big had all these intricacies, all these colours, all these witty things – and it didn’t sound like a rap. It was a conversation.” You can watch Pusha T passionately talk about his favourite verse with Pitchfork in the video below.