Pusha T‘s new album It’s Almost Dry officially hit streaming services at midnight on Friday (April 22), and what better way to celebrate than with a live performance on late night television?
As the four-year wait for a DAYTONA follow-up finally came to an end, King Push performed a brand new song from his latest project, “Dreamin of the Past,” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
With a little help from Fallon’s house band, The Roots, the Virginia Beach native brought the bluesy track to life for the very first time — sans Kanye West, who has a short guest verse on the studio version.
First previewed by Pusha T’s manager, Steven Victor, on Instagram in January, “Dreamin of the Past” borrows its name from a line from Donny Hathaway’s 1972 cover of John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy,” which it also samples.
As Pusha told Charlamagne Tha God in their recent sit-down, Kanye West originally made the beat while he was working on DONDA last year, but the Clipse MC was adamant he wanted it for his own album.
“I begged for the beat,” he said. “It was just one of those ones that I kept going back to and was like, ‘Listen, man, I need this. I need this record.’ And I was like, ‘You know what? You should be on the record too.’ That’s the compromise.”
Push also explained how he used The Notorious B.I.G.‘s brief cameos on records like Lil Kim’s “Queen Bitch” as the blueprint for Kanye’s six-bar verse toward the end of the song.
“I did my verses and he was like, ‘Man, I can’t rhyme behind this.’ And I was like, ‘Yes, you can. You gotta understand that everything for you isn’t heavy lifting. I’m the heavy lifter in this situation,'” he continued. I gave him the example of [Biggie] coming in for like three bars like, ‘You n-ggas got some audacity, you sold a million now you half of me/Get off my dick, kick it, bitch.’
“That was so poignant, monumental, crazy, and it was in three bars. ‘You already did the beat, you already maestro’d this shit. All you got to do is just, whatever.’ And that’s why he has, I don’t know, maybe it’s four bars at the end. Something that he wanted to get off and that was that.”
Hailed by Pusha T as “rap album of the year,” It’s Almost Dry boasts guest spots from JAY-Z, Kid Cudi, Lil Uzi Vert, Don Toliver and Labrinth, as well as Kanye West and Pharrell, who evenly share production duties on the 12-track project.
There’s also a rare appearance from Push’s older brother and fellow Clipse member Malice (a.k.a. No Malice), marking the duo’s second reunion this year following their “Punch Bowl” collaboration from Nigo’s I Know NIGO! album.
In a review published on Friday, HipHopDXgave It’s Almost Dry a 3.8 out of 5, praising Pusha T’s heightened lyricism and storytelling, but citing its lack of personal growth from the seasoned coke rap connoisseur.
Stream the album below.