“Dropping ‘Numbers on the Boards’ yesterday was like really spontaneous. I think it’s that inspiration,” Pusha T told MTV News on Friday (April 12) when he and Fabolous joined us to talk about their upcoming The Life Is So Exciting Tour.
On Thursday morning, Jay released “Open Letter,” a spur-of-the-moment vent session that had everyone from the streets to the White House reacting to the God MC’s bullish bars and political incorrectness. Hours later Pusha offered up “Numbers on the Boards,” a winding lyric-fest complete with expert wordplay, double-entendre galore and even a sampling from Hov’s 1997 cut “Rhyme No More.”
Shortly after Jigga dropped his record, Pusha got a call from Kanye West, who sent the Clipse lyricist a final mix on “Numbers,” recorded a week or two ago. “He was like, ‘Yeah I’m putting it out in 15 minutes,’ ” Pusha said, stressing the urgency of Yeezy’s call.
Like any smart artist who is getting set to release his debut album, Push wondered if Yeezy had gotten the proper clearance from their label Def Jam before leaking the record — of course, he hadn’t.
“He was like, ‘No, I didn’t call ‘em and I’m putting it out in 15 minutes,’ ” Push recalled. “It dropped. It was pandemonium for a few hours.”
Never one to relinquish his own rap crown, Pusha chalks it all up to his mission to be an undisputed rap king, while still being respectful of other greats. “I believe it’s that competitive spirit, at the same time it’s inspiration that you get from guys who are legends and who are great and super producers,” he said of Jay, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, who produced on “Open Letter.”
With enough inspiration to go around, Pusha’s new tourmate Fabolous is thinking about getting in on the lyrical action. “I love waking up to hearing a new Pusha T or a new Jay record the same way the fans do,” Loso chimed in. “I think I gotta release a record now. I’m left out now.”
What do you think of Pusha T’s “Numbers on the Board”? Let us know in the comments!