Pusha-T Shows The Danger Of Driving While Black In His Latest Video
UPDATE: Pusha-T has released the full version of the “If You Know You Know” music video. The visual accompaniment to the opening Daytona track began as a series of vertical shorts on streaming platforms. Now fully-produced, the first full visual from the Kanye West-produced G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam Records release raises the stakes and maintains the chilly tone.
“If You Know You Know” keeps the footage seen in the previous clips. Police officers stop Pusha-T in the desert. It is not clear if he was even speeding. The executive-artist provides two white law enforcers with his license and registration, visibly confused by the traffic stop. As they run his information and further assess the car, they draw weapons and order the driver from his vehicle. A third officer, a female, arrives on the scene in addition to a K9 police dog with infrared hate in its eyes. That hatred and anger appear on the faces of the three cops as they close in on Push’. The jarring beat from West intensifies the drama. At 2:36, lightning strikes in the sky as Pusha is asked to step out of his white Ferrari and put his hands on his head.
Pusha puts his hands over his face then behind his head. In the closing shot, it is just the car with its brake lights on. “If You Know You Know” takes on deeper meaning in this symbolic portrayal of those who have been pulled over for driving while Black.
Daytona (#3) is the highest-charting album of Pusha-T’s career.
ORIGINAL JUNE 13 STORY: Perhaps as much as at any point in his 20-year-career, Pusha-T is in the spotlight. However, a bulk of that conversation surrounding the MC has been tied to a recent non-album, vitriolic diss towards Rap nemesis Drake, or his producer and G.O.O.D. Music employer, Kanye West. While these discussions may ultimately send people to listen to the recently-released Daytona, the merits of Pusha’s third official solo album can get lost in all of the distractions.
The first release in a series of seven-song albums produced by West (ye and KIDS SEE GHOSTS have subsequently released ahead of this week’s Nas album), Daytona begins with “If You Know You Know.” The song is a highlight from the album, and a continuation of Pusha-T’s steps in new sonic directions, while bringing the exploits of his past along for the ride.
The just-released video is as potent as the song. Available on Spotify, the visual is based on police dash and body cameras and the footage that the public sees in the news all too often. In the setting, Pusha-T is out for a routine drive in his Ferrari sportscar. An officer stops him. The license and registration are exchanged. Pusha’s perspective reveals the white officer to be leaning over the driver. Taking the documents back to his patrol car and inspecting Pusha’s Italian ride, the officer suddenly draws his gun and orders the rapper out of the car. The video moves to Push’s perspective with a gun in his face set against the flashing blue and red lights in the night. Kanye’s angsty beat adds to the tensions in the unfolding drama. The police officers close in on the driver, who seemingly committed no offenses in the video.
Debuting at #3, Daytona marks the highest-charting position of Pusha’s career, including Clipse releases. As for the status of that conflict, Pusha-T recently told Vanity Fair‘s Dan Adler that he considers his Drake beef to be a wrap. “These conversations have been had and, to my knowledge, it’s all over. It’s all over with.” Pusha added, “I’m ready to be back to the music for real. Just feeding my base, that’s it. That’s the most important thing to me at all times.”
In his “If You Know You Know” video, Pusha-T succeeds in bringing it back to art. According to Def Jam Records, “an official” video is coming soon.
#BonusBeat: The song’s official lyric video: