Pusha T explains how Pharrell threatened to give the "Grindin'" beat to Jay-Z, and how it took him 9 months of performing for drug dealers to break the song.
Pusha T is well known for his drug dealing metaphors. The Virgina rapper, whose latest mixtape title is a cocaine pun in itself, has probably made more punchlines out of the white powder than his rival Wayne has with female genitalia. In an interview with Nardwuar, Pusha Ton gave some insight into how the dealer's anthem "Grindin" became his very first hit with Clipse, and how the beat nearly went to Jay-Z.
When asked if drug dealers were the reason "Grindin" initially took off, Pusha replied with "Yeah, 100%", indicating that the song was not the overnight success it may have appeared to be. "People think that "Grindin'" was just like a phenomenon, it really took 9 months to break." he said. "Before it really got to the public, I feel like I did every $1500 to $3000 show for every drug dealer across the country."
The GOOD Music rapper also spoke of having to wear a bulletproof vest throughout the tour. "I would go to places like Milwaukee, Wisconsin. That was the first time I ever had to put on a bullet proof vest... and perform... or to walk in and walk out," he explained. "It was just the culture at the time, there was a lot of street money involved and a lot of tension, but at the same time people loved the music and the reality behind it." Though the touring was a grueling process, the rapper revealed that it did manage to pay off in the end. "It took 9 months for me to go all the way across the country and back, and by the time i got back "Grindin'" was a phenomenon, and that's who helped it so I owe them for everything."
Push then spoke of a phonecall from Pharrell in which the poroducer theatened to give Jay-Z the "Grindin'" instrumental if Pusha didn't come to the studio right away. "This guy actually threatened to give the "Grindin'" beat to Jay-Z if I did not come right then and right there." In the end, Push made the right decision to come through to the lab. "I actually came, and I'm glad I did because that record was groundbreaking for me"
In Pharell's latest Nardwuar interview he also talked about Push and Jay's similar taste in beats. "I feel like Pusha and Jay both do the same things. Jay always wants to hear what Pusha's not taking, and Pusha always wants to hear what Jay's not taking, to this day."
Watch the full interview below.