With Friday’s release of Pusha-T’s highly anticipated new album DAYTONA, King Push Day is officially upon us. The Kanye West-produced, seven-track album has already generated a lot of noise, between the controversial choice of album art, some targeted shots at Drake on “Infrared” and features from Rick Ross and Kanye. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Pusha-T broke down the process of making the album alongside Kanye.
The hype around this album has obviously been building for some time, when we all thought it would still be titled King Push. However, Push explained that he had made a “host of records with a lot of different producers” and presented it to Kanye, who woke up one morning and said: “’Hey man, I was thinking: I think I can produce all of these records better if I just do them myself. I think we can get the sound more in sync and in unison. Not just 12 or 14 hot records. An album that sounds like one full movie. Let’s go to Utah and do that.’”
Being isolated in Utah constructing the album created a “laser focus” crucial to the integrity of the album. “I honestly don’t think it could happen in California,” Push said. But more importantly, it helped Kanye tap into his creative genius. The two later went up to Wyoming to finish up the album, where Kanye has received guests like Drake, Mike Dean, and Travis Scott, among others, as well as worked on all the other G.O.O.D Music releases coming up, including his own solo project.
The process for DAYTONA took about a year and a half, according to Kanye’s recent tweet. Push said it started with Kanye going “to the record store” and returning with “thousands of dollars worth of old records.” The two then picked out their favorites, making lists of 25 to 50 records “that had a particular feeling” that Ye and Push were trying to chase. Ye would then “chop sample after sample after sample going for that sound,” Push explained.
“When [Kanye] speaks about [that process], he’s like, ‘Man, this is like therapy for me,’” Push says. “And within that therapy, he found my album. He found Teyana [Taylor’s] album. He found the sound that he has going for his album and Cudi’s album.”
But Push himself appreciated the process, and the compact nature of the end result in particular. “Seven songs is the easiest thing,” he said. “I may never make another album over seven songs again in my life.”
Push also spoke about the choice of cover art: an infamous photo of Whitney Houston’s bathroom. Kanye paid as much as $85,000 dollars for the photo, even though Pusha-T was already happy with another photo as the cover. “At 1 a.m. Kanye calls me and says, ‘Hey, I think we need to change the album cover. I don’t think it’s strong enough,” Push says, and eventually Kanye decided to purchase it himself. “I think that it definitely does match the energy of my album,” Push added. “I feel like the cover represents an organized chaos. The energy of the album is a bit chaotic, but it’s all in place. And looking at that cover, I’m sure whoever frequents that bathroom or that area knew exactly whatever they wanted to find and knew where it was.”
You can read the rest of this interview over at Entertainment Weekly.