Yung Jake

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




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


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, 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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