Pusha T is an American rapper and record executive who is mainly known for his work as one half of the duo Clipse, which was mainly active from 1994 to 2010, alongside his older brother No Malice. However, even outside of Clipse, he’s come out with solo work that has made quite the splash, including his most recent effort from just this year, It’s Almost Dry.
Recently, though, he revealed his top 25 favourite albums of all time, giving an in-depth run down of his music taste on an intimite level. Even for those who know his music well, learning one’s taste is a bit of a different story.
One of the first things one might notice about Pusha T’s taste is that he has a hankering for the old school. Big Daddy Kane’s It’s A Big Daddy Thing, Boogie Down Productions’ By All Means Necessary, and Eric B & Rakim’s Paid In Full all make their way onto the list.
Of Paid In Full, he says, “That was the changing of the guard. That’s when hip hop couldn’t get any louder or more rambunctious than Run. These guys were just as loud, but the style was different. Rakim was just that motherfucker. Rakim embodied the seriousness.”
He also mentions A Tribe Called Quest’s 1991 album, The Low End Theory, about which he says, “The Low End Theory was the coolest, hippiest album. It gave the alternative guy a face a little bit. The Low End Theory gave the non-thug, the not Chuck-D-esque rapper, the woven-belt guy, the twisted-hair guy, the railroad-pants guy, the house-shirt off-the-shoulder guy an identity. The soundtrack was just fucking phenomenal for it.”
Pusha T seems to be a big Quest fan, considering that they show up on the list again with their 1993 album Midnight Marauders. “Midnight Marauders brought in everybody. When The Low End Theory came out, there was still guys saying, ‘Get that shit out of here. I’m cool. I can’t really relate.’ They polished it on Marauders and it was digestible for everybody. Q-Tip was cute to bitches on Marauders. On The Low End Theory they were weirdos but if you had the eclectic taste to get it, you’d love it. If you were just hardcore like, ‘Fuck it. I can’t do it if it’s not straight-forward,’ you couldn’t get it. Marauders brought everybody in. Cohesively, Marauders is definitely in the higher end of my Top 25,” he said.
Another 1993 favourite of his is Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers. He says, “Wu-Tang was so great, because they provided a whole world for you to come in. They created a whole world through slang, styles, multi-styles throughout the artists, and made a mesh that people can’t make. Everybody can’t be fly. Everybody can’t be the man. There’s so many groups out here, and how can everybody in the group be solo-worthy in some form or fashion? There’s never been a group that could break themselves down like that. All of those guys shined in their own particular way.”
He’s not immune to newer selections, too, though. He has a couple Jay Z albums on the more recent side, ending off with a little bit of a personal favourite—2006’s Hell Hath No Fury by Clipse.
If you want the full rundown of Pusha T’s favourite albums of all time, here’s the complete list.
Pusha T’s 25 favourite albums of all time:
- Eric B & Rakim Paid In Full
- Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
- Boogie Down Productions – By All Means Necessary
- Eric B & Rakim – Follow The Leader
- Big Daddy Kane – It’s A Big Daddy Thing
- Public Enemy – Fear Of A Black Planet
- Ice Cube – Amerikkka’s Most Wanted
- A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory
- Dr. Dre – The Chronic
- Black Moon – Enta Da Stage
- A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders
- Wu-Tang Clan – Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers
- Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggystyle
- Nas – Illmatic
- Mobb Deep – The Infamous
- Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
- GZA – Liquid Swords
- Tupac – All Eyez On Me
- Jay-Z – Reasonable Doubt
- Makaveli – The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
- The Notorious B.I.G. – Life After Death
- Outkast – Aquemini
- Jay-Z – The Blueprint
- Jay-Z – The Black Album
- The Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury