This month marks the tenth anniversary of Clipse’s Lord Willin’. The Virginia duo dropped their major label debut in 2002, which was produced entirely by the Neptunes, and birthed huge singles—“Grindin’” and “When The Last Time.”
Ten years later, Pusha T catches up with Life + Times to talk about the differences between than and now. Here, Pusha discusses working with The Neptunes versus Kanye West, the impact of “Grindin’” in lunchrooms, and how he’s fitting in with his new family G.O.O.D. Music. Read some excerpts below and check out the full interview here.
"[I]t was a record that I knew was gonna be way too innovative. I think it was probably the first time I rewrote a record—and a record that me and my brother honestly rewrote a couple of times—just because it was unorthodox, it was new. We were like, “Wait a minute, where does the beat start? Where’s the verse? Where’s the hook at?” It really threw us for a loop.
"The way it was presented to me…I was actually home and Pharrell was in the studio and he called me and he was like, “Listen. Get up here right now. Get up here right now—I’ve got this record and if you’re not up here in 15 minutes I’m just giving it to JAY Z. I am. I’m giving it to him. If you’re not here in 15 minutes…I know you’re home. You’re home. You’re home. Your house is 10 minutes from here. That means you’ve got five minutes to get ready and get over here. If not, I’m giving it to Jay.” I couldn’t really deal with that. And I was there, needless to say, in 13 minutes [laughs]."
On Pharrell vs. Kanye West:
"Well, with Pharrell, a lot of times you walk in on a beat. There’s a beat and a concept. If he’s really, really super duper feeling what’s going on in his creative process, there will be a hook. If not, then you guys are gonna come up with the hook. But when you come there, basically the beat and the track is 100 percent finished. And the concept is probably there.
"Now with ‘Ye, you’re sort of there for the process. He’ll give you, like, skeletons of beats and then you latch on, and whatever you latch onto in that beat, he’ll take that part of it and give that to you in a writing sense. After that, I’ll bring back the verses to him. From there, he builds on the beat. Matter of fact, he builds on the beat, he builds on my verses—like, the first few bars of a verse might now be the back half of the song, or he may take out two bars from a verse. He just turns it into a real movie. And the thing about it is, it’s a surprise for me because I’m usually married to the beat and my verse in one way. And by the time it’s done, I have like this whole song with like 9 different sounds that weren’t in it when I was writing to it and it’s just a whole new experience. I get to fall in love with it twice."
On being with G.O.O.D. Music:
"It’s an easier situation. It’s just 100 percent easier. With me going solo, I found out how much I leaned on my brother. I’m talking about in a music sense. I’m talking about the press portion, too. Man, they might have told me that you were gonna call me at one o’clock and, like, since I was just picking up my dog , I wouldn’t have answered [laughs], because then I knew y’all would call my brother and he would answer and he would’ve done the interview. Those type of things don’t happen no more, dog. It’s all on my shoulders."
[via Life + Times]