"I never heard [Kendrick] talk like that," Pusha told MTV News last Thursday when we sat down to preview the G.O.O.D. Music M.C.'s forthcoming solo debut, My Name is My Name.
As a member of the Clipse, Pusha has mastered the art of what his fans dub "coke rap," and on "Nosetalgia" K-Dot tries his hand at it with a sinister verse.
"You wanna see a dead body/ Instrumentals from my mama's Christmas party," Lamar spits, making reference to a famous scene in 1991's "Boyz n the Hood."
From there, Kendrick rhymes about his missing Sega Genesis video games, which he assumes were stolen by his aunt to support her drug habit. He goes on to talk about his father's drug dealing and substance abuse over the Nottz-produced beat: "Broke his nails/ Misused his pinky to treat his nose."
The Compton MC finds a way to fit in on the deep and dark track, even as Pusha turns to talking about drug mules and Pyrex pots, which he uses to turn cocaine to crack. "I felt it was really dope that Kendrick hopped in my world — the street life — and [put] his perspective on it," Pusha said.
By the end of his rhyme, Kendrick has come full circle: He messages that his music is "dope," comparing the high quality of his rhymes to the drugs (dope) that plagued his family while he was growing up. "Go figure motherf---er, every verse is a brick/ Ya son dope, n---a, now reap what you sowed, n---a," he raps, addressing his father. "I was born in '87, my granddaddy a legend/ Now the same sh-- y'all smoking is my profession."
The collaboration is fascinating considering Kendrick called out Pusha T in his now-infamous verse on Big Sean's "Control." "I got love for you all but I'm tryna murder you n---as/ Tryna make sure your core fans never heard of you n---as/ They don't wanna hear not one more noun or verb from you n---as," Dot says, naming the likes of Pusha, Big Sean and Drake.
"I hear u loud and clear my n---a ... @kendricklamar," Pusha T tweeted right after "Control" was released on August 12.
And clearly Pusha didn't take Kendrick's call-out as a dis. In fact, he's a fan of the young rap star and this particular collaboration was in the works well before "Control" was released. "I asked Kendrick to get on 'Nosetalgia' so long ago and he did," Push revealed. "Kendrick [is a] young lyricist in regards to his time in the game and I appreciate it. I reached out to him ages ago."
The veteran MC went on to compare Lamar's performance on his album to Nas' 1999 track "Project Windows," where he details the perils of the ghetto through the eyes of an innocent child. "When I listen to it, I felt [Kendrick's] last bars where [he's] saying, 'I'm myself. I can dibble-dabble over here, but I can still show you this is myself, this is me, who I am,' " Pusha explained. "He really showed out."