Pusha T: The Rise and Reign of a Self-Made King

HIS STORY IS part of Rolling Stone’s third annual Grammy Preview issue, released ahead of the start of first-round Grammy voting on Oct. 13th. We spoke to some of the year’s biggest artists about the albums and singles that could earn them a statue come February, made our best predictions for the nominees in the top categories, and more, providing a full guide to what to watch for in the lead-up to the 2023 awards. Pusha T stars on the issue’s cover.

“…AT A BACHELOR party I didn’t even want to have!” If any of the thumb-faced dudes in expensive suits at Nobu Fifty Seven looked this way, they’d see someone on a whole other plane of style at the table in the corner: a casual king in a black-and-white-striped T-shirt from Marni, loose Balenciaga pants, and tight braids.

Pusha T flashes a wicked smile as he explains that the platinum Presidential Rolex watch on his left wrist is actually a replacement for one that had been stolen from his hotel room before his 2018 wedding. The party in Las Vegas was all Pharrell Williams’ idea, he says — one more caper in their lifelong friendship, like Ocean’s 11 for Virginia rap legends. But when he got back to his room late that night, the Rollie was nowhere to be found.

“It was an inside job,” he continues, dialing up the suspense. Suspecting a member of the staff, he sued the hotel and recouped the loss. Exactly how he did this is a long story, which he recounts with relish as a waiter at this high-end midtown Manhattan restaurant clears his plates. The big takeaway is that you should never, ever try to cross Pusha T on a matter of property law. “Bought it for $72 [thousand],” he concludes. “Bought it again for $80.”

Pusha has been a solo artist for more than a decade now, since Clipse’s career flamed out and his brother walked away, and he’s only gotten bolder with time. On his fourth album, It’s Almost Dry, the 45-year-old rap phenomenon reaches new heights of dazzling wordplay and devilish storytelling over an immaculate set of beats from Williams and Kanye West. Dubbing himself “cocaine’s Dr. Seuss” one minute, comparing himself to both Superman and Shakespeare the next, he’s never sounded sharper or hungrier. “It tells the story of what I’ve been able to do in the rap game,” Pusha says. “The ability to bring worlds together, the ability to make an event of my music. The ability to give my fans the best possible, highest grade of rap music in its purest form.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *