Pusha-T Used His New Album As A Verzuz Between Kanye & Pharrell

In the last week, one of the year’s biggest albums released. Pusha-T competes for his first #1 on the charts with the arrival of It’s Almost DryThe G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam Records collection follows up the veteran MC’s 2018 Grammy-nominated campaign for DAYTONA. That LP, the first of a Kanye West-produced five-album summer series, was widely considered one of that year’s best.

Nearly four years later, It’s Almost Dry has its own unique production concept. “In working with [Pharrell Williams and Kanye West] this time, I was like, ‘You know what? I’ma make a 12-song album—six from you, and six from you.’ I just sort of kept it in that 12 box and took the best six from each of them,” Pusha told The Breakfast Club last week. “Me, personally? Like what I was personally doing was like having my own Verzuz between both of them. Because I would go to Miami and work with Pharrell; I’d take that to L.A. like ‘Yo, look what me and P did.’ [Kanye West] would be like, ‘What? Aight, hold on.” Pusha mimics Kanye going through records to competitively retaliate against The Neptunes co-founder. “It was like a big back-and-forth.” Both superstar producers had some assistance, including West’s latest collaboration with 88-Keys. ‘Ye tallied six songs (including he shares with Pharrell), while Williams’ is credited on seven cuts.

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Days after the original release, Pusha-T has re-sequenced the album as a companion, It’s Almost Dry: Pharrell vs. Ye, to keep that Verzuz energy. Two of Hip-Hop’s greatest producers go head-to-head on wax, just as their peers—including DJ Premier and RZA—have done on the Verzuz stage. The spirit of competition is strong.

On the latest episode of the What’s The Headline podcast (embedded in video and audio below), the Ambrosia For Heads team weighs in on Pusha-T’s It’s Almost Dry, and the competition between Pharrell and Ye. The analysis examines the history of these two Hip-Hop heavyweights, in Pusha’s career and beyond, and goes track-by-track through one of the most anticipated albums of 2022.

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The time codes for episode #81 of the What’s The Headline podcast:

0:00 Intro
5:12 Rest in peace to DJ Kay Slay
8:24 Pusha-T explains the meaning of his album title, It’s Almost Dry
9:06 Pusha-T says he used It’s Almost Dry as his personal Verzuz between Kanye West and Pharrell Williams
9:40 Who is the better producer generally between Kanye West and Pharrell?
16:23 Who between Kanye and Pharrell has been the better producer for Pusha-T over the years?
24:15 Reviewing It’s Almost Dry song by song and scoring the Pharrell Verzuz Kanye battle
24:32 Brambleton (Pharrell)
31:00 Let The Smokers Shine The Coupes (Pharrell)
33:30 Dreamin’ Of The Past featuring Kanye West (Kanye West)
38:44 Neck & Wrist ft JAY-Z & Pharrell (Pharrell)
42:39 Just So You Remember (Kanye)
46:30 Diet Coke (Kanye)
52:25 Rock N Roll featuring Kid Cudi & Kanye West (Kanye)
57:01 Call My Bluff (Pharrell)
57:58 Pusha-T says he wishes he had J. Cole’s fan base. What does he mean?
1:02:16 Scrape It Off ft Lil Uzi Vert & Don Tolliver (Pharrell)
1:04:25 Hear Me Clearly featuring NIGO (Kanye)
1:06:05 Open Air (Pharrell)
1:06:45 I Pray For You featuring Malice and Labrinth (Kanye)
1:09:48 Who won the “Verzuz” between Kanye West and Pharrell
1:14:40 How we rank Pusha-T’s It’s Almost Dry on a scale of 1 to 10
1:15:45 Where It’s Almost Dry ranks in Pusha-T’s catalog
1:18:05 Does Pusha-T have a classic album in his solo catalog?
1:20:00 Is Pusha-T a great MC?
1:23:20 Where does Pusha-T’s It’s Almost Dry rank among the best Hip-Hop albums of 2022?
1:25:50 Kendrick Lamar is releasing his new album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers on May 13. Here’s what we know so far.
1:37:22 Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and A Tribe Called Quest’s Low End Theory will be in the Library of Congress

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AFH readers can catch regular discussions about the culture on our What’s The Headline. The podcast also has interviews with Joell Ortiz, AZ, Blu & Mickey Factz, Kurupt, Evidence, Skyzoo, Pharoahe Monch, Prince Paul & Don Newkirk, Statik Selektah, Lyric Jones, The LOX, MC Eiht, Havoc, Duckwrth, photographer T. Eric Monroe, and Lord Finesse. All episodes of the show are available to view or for listening wherever you stream your pods.

#BonusBeat: Curated selections from Pusha-T’s It’s Almost Dry are currently included on Ambrosia For Heads‘ playlist: