Pusha T is having a year to remember. Fresh from getting married to his childhood sweetheart at an “absolutely fire” ceremony, Pusha still holds the title for 2018’s best rap album, which fuses meticulously brilliant production courtesy of Kanye West and some of the most incisive, potent and brilliantly braggadocios bars we’ve heard from the GOOD Music honcho since the Clipse era.
Nowadays, King Push isn’t only setting the bar sonically. Stylistically, The DAYTONA don has reinvigorated himself of late. He's now regularly seen mixing the usual high-end haute couture worn by his affiliates alongside lesser-known, high-quality brands from around the globe. From being dripped down in Dior by Kim Jones at his wedding through to copping more low-key offerings from Bianca Chandon and Bode, Push has his finger firmly on the pulse of all things fashion.
He owes this to the “luxury of time” he’s had on his hands, which has seen him carve out partnerships and content of such a high ilk this year. One such partnership is fronting JD’s campaign for their exclusive colourways of adidas’ forward-thinking POD silhouette, which fits into his mantra of staying as innovative and original as he’s ever been in his status as a scene veteran.
We caught up with Pusha to talk through his past and future inspirations in both sound and style, the influence of Pharrell and Kanye on his personal style and what his new partnership with adidas and JD is all about.
COMPLEX: What are your thoughts on the new P.O.D silhouette?
Pusha T: The new P.O.D silhouette speaks to everything I love adidas for. Fresh and functional – they’re super comfortable and still came out looking super fresh. The silhouette is ill. These exclusive JD colourways in blue and clay are fire, too.
You’ve linked up with JD for this event – what’s the feel for it?
We're gonna get into a big DAYTONA mood man. Doing what we do…I got a little bit of a discography so I might have to run through some of that.
Your personal style has changed a lot down the years. How would you describe it now?
I’m always trying to take my personal style to the next level. I don’t even know if I’ve found it for this season. I ain’t trying to look like anybody else – I’m trying to wear brands that other people aren’t on top of right now and find those unique pieces. Trying to be the first to cop them, with whatever it is.
You know nothing stays exclusive these days, so I’m trying to keep it as original as possible.
Who would you say you looked up to style-wise?
Oh man, style-wise, I’m Run DMC, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim – those guys were mad inspiring to me boy musically and stylistically growing up.
How much have 'Ye and Pharrell influenced your style down the years?
Pharrell has always told me to take risks, which you can see that he does in his style. As for ‘Ye, he’s given me some extensive high-end fashion classes before (laughs).
And in between them both, you mix and match both their advice and add your own opinion and everything you love as an individual and add your own sauce to it, and it works out pretty good.
You’ve also been known to rock a lot of football jerseys down the years. Do you follow the sport closely?
I don’t at all... I just felt that soccer jerseys were low-key luxe. And the different clubs gave each shirt a different edge to it. I remember at the time I’d put different cartel names on the back of the shirts and respective cities. That didn’t go over too well (laughs) but that was the thought process behind it.
How often are you here in London?
I feel like I’m in London a lot. I love being here – Tape London is my favourite spot.
Did you know you’d created a classic when you made DAYTONA with Kanye?
Oh 100% man. I knew DAYTONA is a classic rap album as soon as I stepped out the studio. There hasn’t been better production on an album, or a better-rapped album than DAYTONA this year.
What are your thoughts on the current state of hip-hop?
I love it man. You get your lyricists, you get your turn-up guys, you get variations of street hip-hop through both of those different genres and yeah I’m happy with the current state of it for sure.
And would you say there’s a particular flag-bearer for the new generation, other than the likes of Valee over at GOOD Music?
Ahh man, Valee is FIRE! John Monopoly bought him to the fold. But yeah I love what's going on in the scene at the minute. The Quality Control guys are killing it too – Gunna and Lil Baby – they’re dope.
I know you must get asked this a lot, but who would you say is your top 5?
Easy – Pusha T, Pusha T, Pusha T, Pusha T, Pusha T!
What have you got planned for the rest of the year?
We’ve got the tour coming up, and a couple slots for some studio time too - so expect some more music by the end of the year. I linked with Alt-J recently, and it’s opportunities like that - people wanting to reach out to me - which I’m really appreciative for.
The P.O.D. SYSTEM is available to purchase now in exclusive blue and khaki green colourways from JD online and nationwide, RRP £100.00 JDSPORTS.COM