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In 2013, Pusha T proved he was a force to be reckoned with when he released his debut album My Name is My Name. His acclaimed project garnered positive reviews, even from some iconic figures, like Dr. Dre. Now, he’s gearing up for his sophomore endeavor, King Push, which is slated for a release later this year as he hopes to eclipse expectations once again. Recently, he spoke to Billboard about his love for N.W.A., his desire to play MC Ren in Straight Outta Compton, and the producers involved for his new album.

On being listed as one of N.W.A.’s favorite current rappers:

It blew my mind, actually. I haven’t had any interaction with Dre, or Ren, ever. It’s ironic because I was super hyped when Dr. Dre’s Beats 1 [show] promo was [Pusha T song] “Numbers On The Board.” I was like, “Aw, Dre probably got some kid [to do the promo] — how else would Dr. Dre know about Pusha T?”

He’s such a huge figure, but to me, as far as my reach goes, he’s like a myth. You hear about him, you never see him — only on magazine covers. When something grandiose happens in the worlds of business or music, his name pops up. As far as me being a rapper, it just doesn’t happen, man. I was completely taken aback.

On why he wanted to play MC Ren in Straight Outta Compton:

To me, Ren and N.W.A — I believe Ren wanted to fight me. That was what he gave off. His verses, his demeanor. His demeanor was like, “Yo, Imma hurt you, and I’m not playing any games.” It wasn’t over-the-top loud. It was just one of a person who, I felt like, didn’t play any games. I felt like I could’ve done that.

On the status of his upcoming album, “King Push”:

I am feverishly — I love that word so much these days. I am feverishly trying to finish King Push, and get some music out this month. It’s a real easy thing — just a couple different pieces that I feel like need to be in place.

My fans like a certain quality and a certain level of music. Once I give it to them, they seem pretty happy. Anyone else, they can get down with the game if they want to. I’m definitely making this for [the fans] — no holds barred. Nothing to be compromised. I hope everybody stays down.

On the producers lined up for the album:

Timbaland, Kanye West, Pharrell, The-Dream, Sean Combs…and someone from my hometown who I’ve never, ever worked with before.


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