Pusha T has been hard at work on his upcoming full-length debut, slated for release on Def Jam in early 2013. Talking with Pitchfork, the G.O.O.D. Music rapper explained why he’s taking a bit of time dropping the project, stating that he wanted to build his name as a solo emcee first and that he feels like a “new” artist.

“All of this is about timing and prepping the public. I feel like when people first heard my sound on G.O.O.D. Music, they were like, ‘Oh man, you need to drop an album now!'” he said. “But I treated my progress like a totally new artist: I wanted to be on records, drop a mixtape, do virals, and go on the road for records that don’t really have a true body of work to attach themselves to. I want people to delve into what the hell I’m doing, the purity of the rap. I wasn’t going to be arrogant, like, “Man, y’all know me!” They don’t. I mean, some people do, but a lot don’t.”

He said that a new generation is discovering his music as a solo artist, and that collaborations with artists like Tyler, The Creator helped introduce him to a new audience.

“It’s funny, my godson is 12, and when ‘Trouble On My Mind’ came out, his friend said to him,  ‘Tyler’s with this new dude called Pusha-T– and he got busy on that record!’ It was the awakening of awakenings. Like, I am 10 years strong in this shit! But I am new. That’s exactly why you must respect the game and give so much: records, freestyles, collaborations. You have to.”

Read the full interview at Pitchfork.com.

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