Pusha T was a recent guest on NPR’s “Microphone Check” with Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Franni Kelley. The returning Ziplock P sat down with the duo for over and hour, where they would talk how he’s left some of the darker parts of King Push for Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude and eschewing any attempts a radio single for the project, how Puff Daddy surprised him when the two worked three songs on the album (“Crutches, Crosses, Caskets,” “Keep Dealing” with Beanie Sigel and the album’s intro), how the loss of his road manager De’Von “Day Day” Pickett affected him in ways he couldn’t imagine, and much more…
MUHAMMAD: Can you tell people and explain why that bothered you?
PUSHA T: Because DayDay wasn’t that kid. He wasn’t the kid who I can accept that from. It’s sort of like — he’s a church kid, number one. That’s how I know him. I know him from — during tour, he was a roadie, and I made him my tour manager. And he would get me band members from his church, and from his — just from what he was about.
And it was crazy because — I mean, he was just a good guy. And I find myself like getting mad at him when like the church people couldn’t come play drums for me. And I’m like, “What? What are you talking about?” Cause they had things to do.
But that was his real thing. That was his world. That what’s he was about. He brought that energy on my tour. And you don’t get that from young black kids in the music industry who have, now — who’ve — coming up from a roadie to a road manager, you know, he could have easily been the guy who, “Go get the girls.” That wasn’t it. He just brought a different energy.
And that ruined my whole thing. Whatever was good. Ruined it. Totally. So I had like — I was going through, you know, just issues of, like — anger. Just anger. It’s that — it’s that stuff you deal with when you hear about the kid getting killed. The 6-year-old. The 9-year-old. No apparent reason type of situation. I’d been on the road with him. We dealt with each other in a way that like — he was my road manager because he thought bright.
You know, we on the road, man. We in some of the — I make a certain type of music. That brings out a certain type of element. You mix that with drugs and alcohol, that evening can turn into something different. And I watched my road manager be like — somebody being belligerent, he’d say, “You know what, boss? You got it. I’m out of here. We don’t want no problems.” So for him to end up on the wrong end of that situation, I been a little bit out of my mind.
Listen to the entire thing below, and read its transcription over at NPR’s site.
As a bonus, here is another clip (no pun intended) of Pusha T speaking to Genius’ Rob Markman about “Sunshine.”