Kanye West adds a druggy, psychedelic haze to Pusha T's recently released track "Lunch Money." The track finds the Clipse MC firing off at the government ("America is still abusing us / And 9/11 is the Ku-Klux") and taking direct aim at his hip hop competition ("If the crown ain't mine, tell me who am I behind?") in between random mentions of New Edition and the 1988 Nintendo game Contra.
"Party hard, like it's three of me," Pusha rhymes, and he manages to do just that, rising above the gurgling electronics and stoned synth-bass. West's beat switches gears toward the end, introducing a barely-there funk sample of oft-sampled French electronic music pioneer Jean-Jacques Perrey's "E.V.A."
Pusha and West have a rich collaborative history. In 2011, the Clipse rapper signed to West's record label GOOD Music and added verses to its 2012 compilation LP, Cruel Summer. Pusha also appeared on two tracks ("Runaway," "So Appalled") from West's epic 2012 solo album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. West then executive produced Pusha's acclaimed 2013 LP, My Name Is My Name, which made the cut for Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of that year.
Earlier this year, Pusha appeared on the Lorde-curated soundtrack to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1, with a verse on Stromae's "Meltdown." The rapper has been in the studio throughout 2014 working with West and a high-profile crew of producers (including the Neptunes) on his second solo album, King Push. In August, Pusha teased the wide-ranging LP in an interview with XXL.
"I’m going for album of the year, man, that’s it; straight up, lyric-driven of course," he said. "I feel like My Name Is My Name was very stripped down – on purpose – because I just felt like people weren’t rapping enough for my taste. I didn’t want to be in that category and I wanted to show people this is what I’m about. I want to infuse more elements of music into King Push; paint the pictures and smash them with the lyrics."