Pusha T Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs

Clipse “Keys Open Doors” (2006)

Produced by: The Neptunes

Pusha T: “‘I ain’t spend one rap dollar in three years?’ I was on hiatus for how long? So how many shows was I fucking doing? None! Goddamnit! [Laughs.] I was in Miami. Mark Pitts was there, Pharrell was there, and he had made this really eerie, airy sounding beat. And he was like, ‘I just gotta put one more thing in it.’ I was like, ‘Keys open doors.’ P was like, ‘Yo, say that.’ And he sampled it and the he just started freaking it through the hook.

“That was another B.I.G concoction. I wanted to be Biggie on Hell Hath No Fury. I knew the record wasn’t gonna sell, so my mind said I need to make as many records as comparable to ‘My Downfall’ and ‘What’s Beef.’ I needed to try take all the hardest moments on Life After Death and make that twelve times. That way I could live with myself and feel good because I knew I was in such a fucked-up label state. I was like, if I’m not gonna sell records anyway and they’re not gonna put anything behind me, then I might as well make the record that I really want to make.

“You’re never ever gonna hear me tell you I was trying to be somebody. But I was trying to be B.I.G. Whether I succeeded or not, hell no. I’ll bite B.I.G but nobody else. To hell with everybody else. You can’t ever be the man. I can’t ever be the man. People who love Hell Hath No Fury, I think that’s why they love it. I think it’s a great album, but if you love me on it then it’s because there’s something special about it. But people don’t know what I was trying to do.”

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