Kanye West’s record label G.O.O.D. Music is no longer headed by Pusha T. Founded in 2004, the label boasted an early roster that included West, Common, and John Legend, but the Clipse rapper’s recruitment in 2010 marked the start of a 12-year run with the label, including seven as label president, and a close bond with the founder himself. In a recent interview with XXL, Pusha T revealed that there’s no longer anything tying him to West personally or professionally.
“My relationship with him has never been like everybody else’s in regard to the filter,” the rapper explained, sharing that he hasn’t spoken to West in a while. “I never had a filter with him. I’ve always spoke my mind. People gotta remember, too. This isn’t new for me, when it comes to disagreeing with him politically and things like that.”
In November, Pusha T spoke about West’s recent downward spiral in the form of blatant antisemitism, racism, and more in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “It’s definitely affected me. It’s been disappointing,” he said. “As a Black man in America, there is no room for bigotry or hate speech.”
West appeared as a collaborator on It’s Almost Dry, the rapper’s sixth and final release under the G.O.O.D. Music label since 2010. Def Jam Recordings reportedly ended its partnership with the label in 2021, according to a statement from Universal Music Group. However, Pusha T’s latest release arrived in April 2022 under both the imprint and parent company. West’s contract with Def Jam reportedly individually expired in 2021 following the release of Donda.
“He’s not speaking to me now,” Pusha T shared of his current standing with West. “If you ain’t with it, you ain’t down. And I ain’t with it. I’m not budging on that. I’m not with it. I heard about this new stuff [on InfoWars]. I don’t know. It’s something that just sort of tells me he’s not well, at the same time. I will say that. It’s going to places where it’s no way to move around it.”
Prior to West’s actions this year, Pusha T was willing to tolerate political and personal disagreements for the sake of maintaining the artistic freedom he had under his watch. “Remember, I’m the one that said the MAGA hat is the new Klu Klux Klan hood while he’s making my album,” he said. “He beefing with [former President Barack] Obama. I met Obama. But it’s the same thing with him and the Drake thing. I’m going through this and that, he’s doing shows [with Drake].”
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But the rapper says he stops short of putting his own neck on the line for someone he fundamentally disagrees with. “He knows I will do everything I gotta do and wanna do. In regard to anything that jeopardizes my look, my pride, anything,” he added. “He knows there’s no talking me off any ledges. He just can’t do it. With him knowing that. I got too much pride to ask somebody to not move a certain way. I don’t do it. But I’m going to react as Coo Coo Cal as I fucking want to when I feel like something is not going in my favor. It is what it is, man.”
In October, Pusha T explained that his music has been a place for fans to seek refuge from West’s constant antics. While the well may have run dry by this point, it was once a lucrative flow of creativity between two artists. “Everybody’s like, ‘Oh, I love the old Kanye,’” Pusha T told Rolling Stone. “Well, when you hear Pusha T, you hear the old Kanye.”