"How many times, Pusha T, did producers say to you, "come to the studio right now or we're gonna give this beat to Jay Z?" Nardwuar The Human Serviette politely asked Pusha T during a 2013 post-Canadian show interview. "Well, one time.. and that was for the "Grindin'" beat and that was Pharrell Williams... and he's supposed to be my best friend. Right? But this guy actually threatened to give the "Grindin'" beat to Jay Z, if I did not come to the studio right then and right there. I actually came, and I'm glad he did because that record was groundbreakin' for me, Pusha T exuberantly quipped. One 1/2 of early 2000's Virginia Beach-bred Coke Rap phenoms, Clipse, Pusha T – otherwise known as the newly-elected President of Kanye's re-launched label, G.O.O.D. Music – is gearing up to unleash his long-rumored 2-part King Push album; part one, titled Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude features production work from a lengthy laundry list of hit-making beatsmiths, which includes the likes of Kanye, Frank Dukes, Puff Daddy, Metro Boomin, J. Cole, Boi-1da, Timbaland, Hudson Mohawke, and Q-Tip. "I've been recording so much. I didn't want to break up that [King Push] body of work, I feel like I had the producers doing things that weren't usually known for, and a little bit out of their wheelhouse," Pusha T recently elaborated to VICE's sister site, Noisey; attempting to best explain the underlying rather sparse, stripped down, and reportedly Yeezus-reminiscent body of work.
"Crutches, Crosses, Caskets" is merely the latest single lifted from Darkest Before Dawn, having been preceded by Biggie-sampling "Untouchable," "M.F.T.R." and a particularly hula dancer-rattling freestyle over Drake & Meek Mill's notorious feud-igniting "R.I.C.O." However, "Crutches, Crosses, Caskets" is likely our last neck-snapping leak ahead of Darkest Before Dawn's impending Friday, December 18th unveiling, which is accompanied by a companion 22-minute short film [added below]. Anchored by a surprisingly menacing beat produced by none other than Puff Daddy, "Crutches, Crosses, Caskets" is accompanied by an equally haunting Kid Art-directed video wherein Pusha T and a fleet of scantily-clad "sinful" nuns go for a ghoulish moon-lit ride on a dusty old carnival carousel. Late Tuesday night, King Push appeared on Comedy Central's newly-rebranded Daily Show with Trevor Noah to premier yet another previously unreleased Darkest Before Dawn album track, Jill Scott-assisted "Sunshine." Whether it's destined to end up at the bottom of one of your loved one's stockings or comfortably seated atop your year-end list (much like myself), King Push: Darkest Before Dawn is undoubtedly poised to become one of the best, or dare I say THEE best, album of 2015. Prez Pusha has announced that he'll head out on a border-sprawling North American tour next year in support of Darkest Before Dawn, which is set to encompass 21 dates in-between March 3rd and April 6th, although his opening acts, or maybe even G.O.O.D. Music label mates, have yet to be announced at press time.