King Push ruled 2018.
The G.O.O.D. Music president dropped his third studio album Daytona in May, and won praise from critics and fans alike. The Kanye West-produced set went on to earn him a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album. Additionally, he faced off with Drake in an epic rap battle, which produced the explosive diss track “The Story of Adidon.”
In an interview with Variety, Pusha looks back on his banner year and explains the mindset behind his carefully-executed Drake diss.
The beef escalated following Pusha’s diss on “Infrared,” which Push says was inevitable. “I was always going to get off. ‘Infrared’ had to happen,” he said. “We were doing the back-and-forth. He had ‘Two Birds, One Stone.’ This is what rap is. He is… it is a machine in dealing with him. So we deal. But I had to do things at my own time. You can’t just jump out there. We’ve seen how that works when you just treat it like a street battle. It’s really not. You have to play chess.”
Drake fired back with “Duppy Freestyle,” which led to Pusha’s scathing diss “The Story of Adidon.” Pusha was expecting a response, but never got one. “I was in it for the long haul…for hip-hop,” he said. “I thought this was going to be a running thing, back-and-forth. I was sure he’d have a rebuttal. I did what I wanted to do. I only deal in truth, how I see things. When you’re dealing with words, it’s a way of dealing with truth and how the public process that, how they interpret that. And what touches them and what touches the person you’re going against. I actually thought we were going to keep on.”
Pusha was confident during recording that Daytona would be the “rap album of the year.” “I knew during mixing that this was going to be the rap album of the year. I truly felt that, in my heart of hearts, that no one was rhyming at that level. It hit the nail on the head for what it is.”
He felt validated when the album received a nomination for Best Rap Album at the Grammys last month. “That was it for me. It means a lot because I’ve watched the Grammys my whole life, and remember people I never thought should win or were worth it,” said Push. “There was a point then when rap boycotted the Grammys. Now, I’ve noticed that in the last year that the Grammys are making sure the Rap category is represented in a really great way. That’s awesome. I’m super interested in seeing at how it works out.”
He celebrated the nomination with his team. “I immediately got into a group chat with my manager and my team,” he said. “We confer every morning. I couldn’t believe it. I thanked them and praised them for all they have done for me always. I always knew this record was strong and they were there.”
And fans can expect even more music in 2019. “It’s always about recording, and music first,” he revealed. “Plus, I’m going to be expounding on the executive end of my career, trying to make my portfolio bigger.”