Yung Jake

The Playlist: Pusha T Spurns the Doubters and Kendrick Lamar Tempts the Critics

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The Playlist: Pusha T Spurns the Doubters and Kendrick Lamar Tempts the Critics

By JON PARELES, JON CARAMANICA and NATE CHINEN OCT. 14, 2016

Every Friday, pop critics for The New York Times weigh in on the week’s most notable new songs and videos — and anything else that strikes them as intriguing — in the Playlist. Like this format? Let us know at theplaylist@nytimes.com, and sign up for our Louder newsletter (coming soon!) here.

Pusha T, ‘H.G.T.V.’

Terse and tense is Pusha T’s sweet spot — he is a refined snarler, and thrives on production that’s slim and brutal. “H.G.T.V.” is one more razor-sharp recitation in a career full of them, in which he dubs himself “rap’s John Grisham” and takes a couple of sly shots at Drake. The video is directed by Yung Jake in cold black-and- white, and shot vertically, for optimal phone viewability. But the most surprising moment here is the warmest — Pusha is the president of G.O.O.D. Music, Kanye West’s imprint, and signed the Brooklyn rapper Desiigner, often derided by the sorts of lyrics-first rap fans who revere Pusha. But even though as a rapper, Pusha is a traditionalist, as an executive, he’s big-tent, welcoming all and spurning critics:

Oh mama, they question my starting lineup
You only find a diamond from digging like coal miners Don’t listen to ‘em, Desiigner
The same rappers talking next year will be Uber drivers

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