Pusha T's Best Songs

Jim Jones said he isn't a top 50 rapper but Pusha T's catalog suggests otherwise.

BYPaul Barnes
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2016 BET Awards - Backstage: All Access

Pusha T has delivered hit songs over the last two decades. Whether with his brother No Malice as a part of Clipse in the 2000s or his solo career post-2010, he impacted the charts and the streets alike. Though he doesn't drop often, he captivates hip-hop audiences whenever he comes out with new music. However, he's expanded beyond the studio as he focuses on Heir Wave Music Group, the label he founded in his home state of Virginia.

Despite his consistency and sharp cocaine-fueled wordplay, Jim Jones recently said Pusha was not a top 50 rapper. Naturally, fans countered this with evidence from his discography and advocated for his position on Billboard & Vibe's controversial list. Push's supporters cited two critical aspects to prove their point: lyricism and production. We’ve compiled 7 of Pusha T's biggest songs to showcase where they were coming from.

“Numbers On The Boards” (2013)

"Numbers On The Board" is a classic song in Pusha T’s discography, hailing from his 2013 solo album My Name Is My Name. With production from Don Cannon and Ye, Pusha T approaches the minimum sound with precision. The only real melody is the deep bass while the percussion is non-traditional. Pusha’s verses in the songs are bookended by a simple and short hook, allowing his sharp delivery and cadence to bask in the spotlight. Flowing on something as unconventional as the "Numbers On The Board" production is not easy but he makes it work. His delivery has a blend of grit and confidence with an abundance of quotables throughout the entire verse. This one shows why Pusha T is not just in his own lane -- he’s in his own league, entirely.

“Nosetalgia” feat. Kendrick Lamar (2013)

You can't discuss Pusha T's catalog without mentioning "Nosetalgia," another highlight from his debut studio album, My Name Is My Name. For one, the song has a Kendrick Lamar feature, which is arguably a career-best. Still, Pusha’s presence on the song is just as important. His intricate rhyme schemes and references carry the central theme and paint vivid images. It's a perfect set-up for Kendrick, whose internal rhyme schemes and subtle mathematical equations involved continue to receive well-deserved praise.

“Infrared” (2018)

This Pusha T song had the internet talking before the album even arrived in its entirety. Closing out the tracklist of the Ye-produced Daytona, the song marked a critical chapter in his feud with Drake. Push often thrives on minimalistic production, which Kanye provides. Ye loops a vocal sample and pairs it with muted drums and deep bass. It's an ideal soundscape for Pusha to address everything that's on his mind, including his issues with Drake and Lil Wayne. Push keeps his references direct, from names (i.e. Quentin Miller) to specific situations that make it a perfect closer for his magnum opus

“I Pray For You” feat. Labrinth & MALICE (2022)

"I Pray For You" carries a special place in the hearts of Clipse fans. Reuniting with his brother No Malice for the first time in years, the two marked the formal return of the Clipse. More importantly, Malice goes by his original rap name and drops the "No" in the tracklist's credits. Pusha reflects on his evolution, from the streets to boardrooms, and details his relationship with his family, including the birth of his son Brixx. Meanwhile, MALICE similarly looks at how hip-hop and the streets have evolved, while claiming credit for his contributions to the culture. Featuring Labrinth, who also has production credits, opens the song with an emotional intro whose perspective fits the two brothers.

“Diet Coke” (2022)

Four years after the release of the flawless Daytona, Pusha T kicked off the campaign for his fourth studio album with "Diet Coke." As the title suggests, the song centers around Pusha T's go-to topic: crack. However, he crafts a song so infectious, that it's easy for the references to go over people's heads. Pusha’s energetic flow is a huge draw for the song, as well as the hypnotizing piano loop. He’s not one to chase radio singles but this one certainly fits that lane and fits it well.   

“M.P.A.” feat. The-Dream, Kanye West & A$AP Rocky (2015)

"M.P.A" doesn’t have an eerie or menacing tone like other records on King Push -- Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude nor is it upbeat. The song's title stands for "Money, P**sy, Alcohol," which is quite fitting since the percussion sounds like coins being dropped on each other. To some, it sounds like chains shaking. The piano’s melody in the production gives it a very solemn feeling. Pusha reflects on the spoils of life and how they have affected him and others. The-Dream’s intro summarizes the sentiments of the song well. Across the three verses, Pusha addresses how navigates through both fame and the streets through cautionary tales of the downfall of others. The beat switch in the third verse provides a refreshing twist to the record and further enhances his wordplay.

“S.N.I.T.C.H” feat. Pharrell Williams (2013)

We’d be remiss if we omitted "S.N.I.T.C.H." The Neptunes and Clipse have a well-cemented legacy together, which Pusha T and Skateboard P have expanded further through the former's solo career. Pharrell handles the hook and production, naturally. His hook spells out the acronym in the song title (Sorry N***a I'm Tryna Come Home). Meanwhile, Pusha details his relationship with his former who cooperated with authorities for a reduced sentence. While the song is not a traditional “story”, it still tells a sequence of events that are a result of one decision.

What are some of your favorite Pusha T songs? Let us know in the comments section.


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