Pusha T has revealed his rap name was inspired by Ice-T, and received high praise from the gangsta rap pioneer in response.
During an interview with REVOLT on the red carpet of the 2023 Grammy Awards last weekend, King Push spoke about Ice-T’s influence on his career and how his 1988 single “I’m Your Pusher” sparked the idea for his drug-slanging stage name.
The Virginia Beach lyricist explained that he actually had the chance to tell the West Coast rap legend this, and he returned the love.
“I seen him standing outside of a hotel one day and I actually did tell him,” Pusha said. “I actually gave him all his flowers, right then and there, I had to … He told me he was actually a fan of my work and that was enough for me.”
On Wednesday (February 8), Ice-T took to Twitter to share a clip of Pusha’s comments and crowned him one of the greatest rappers of all time.
“Absolutely nothing but Respect to @PUSHA_T Love is love,” he wrote. “Plus he’s one of the Best to ever do it.”
Absolutely nothing but Respect to @PUSHA_T Love is love 👊🏽 Plus he’s one of the Best to ever do it.. 💎 pic.twitter.com/RzwrIpFNks
— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) February 9, 2023
“I’m Your Pusher” was featured on Ice-T’s sophomore album Power, which was released in September 1988 and peaked at No. 6 and No. 35 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums and 200 charts, respectively.
The song famously contained a shot at LL COOL J on the bridge when an addict turned down taking a hit of drugs named after the Queens rapper. LL responded on the track “To Da Break of Dawn” where he subliminally dissed Ice-T and Kool Moe Dee.
In the book, Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies, Ice-T explained he dissed LL because “at that time [he was] on his ‘I’m the greatest rapper in the world’ thing. Me being from L.A., I was trying to rep our entire city alone, so had to step to him.”
Pusha T, on the other hand, has a new Gangsta Grillz mixtape with DJ Drama on the way. In a recent interview with XXL, Push called the tape a “special” project and something he wants to have fun on.
“I’m working on a special mixtape,” he said, before explaining why he wanted to drop a Gangsta Grillz mixtape at this point in his career.
“To have the fun I want to have,” he said. “What I’m trying to do is restore the feeling in every aspect of this subgenre of music. And just of this cloth, of this taste level.”
He added: “I’m just trying to make people realize how viable this is. To show people that I can’t do what you do, but you definitely can’t do what I do. I have to show those differences. That’s the whole premise behind the mixtape.”
Pusha also hinted that the upcoming tape could see him returning to the lyrical prowess of the Clipse’s acclaimed We Got It 4 Cheap Vol. 2 mixtape.
“If you can get Vol. 2 level out of me on that. Woah,” Pusha said.