Pusha T is the latest artist to participate in Pitchfork’s 5-10-15-20 interview series, which probes musicians about the tunes they were blasting at certain five year intervals in their lives.
For his first pick, Pusha cites U.T.F.O.’s hit “Roxanne, Roxanne” which brought back childhood memories of visiting his grandmother in the Bronx. “U.T.F.O. was one of my first brushes with rap that I could comprehend,” he said. “Me and my brother used to break dance to ‘Roxanne, Roxanne’ in Virginia.”
Eric B. and Rakim’s “Paid in Full” made the cut—“When you get into Rakim and MCM jackets and Air Force Ones and Kangols and drug dealers on the back of the album, that was exposing a whole different world”—along with Mobb Deep’s infamous “Shook Ones Pt. II.”
One of the Clipse’s earliest hits “Grindin” also appeared on the list, accompanied by an admission that Jay-Z almost swiped the beat from Pharrell. “When he made the ‘Grindin” beat, he called me and said, ‘If you don’t come over and take this beat, I’m going to give it to Jay-Z.’ I didn’t know where to come in on the beat. But I wrote three raps for ‘Grindin’,’ and the last one stuck. We totally knew it was going to be the song we put out first; we believed it was the gospel.”
The group’s third album, 2006’s Hell Hath No Fury, made the list in its entirety. “I made the best album of my life with Hell Hath No Fury,” Pusha said. “It was so perfect. I don’t know if I’ll ever make an album as good.”