Curse of Genius
Born May 13, 1977 in pre-gentrified Boogie Down, Bronx Borough, Terrence LeVarr Thornton, Pusha T, Terrar, is a template background story of a mafioso rap artist. Mainly because Boogie Down is listed along with poorest Congressional Districts in the United States, the polar opposite to high income neighbourhoods like, Pelham Gardens, to name a few.
I dare say common, because the location is where minorities are conveniently bound to writhe in squalor and all the adverse impacts that come with being in the inner-city. This might help explain the rapper’s penchant for sampling BIG and Jay Z, both born in Brooklyn, sans social class, they share prodigious lyricism, and off the record drug dealings, selling crack cocaine.
I was sitting through a re-watch of The Gambler and started to ruminate on the distribution of genius, talent in general. How talent sticks to whoever’s sole, regardless of the path they choose to walk. Yes, I’m inferring Pusha T writes at the highest level amongst many within this generation. What stands out is his inimitable referencing; "...I’m the Jack Frost of selling that blast off...."
Yes, what do you expect from someone born in a borough that embodies a legacy of Italian mafia, exclude cocaine from his reference? Mafioso reverence is ominous throughout his sixteens, this brings into full circle his relationship with Jay Z -they went on and did a rap song together, Drug Dealers Anonymous, Jay Z admits to having sold crack cocaine on more than one record.
Pusha T writes a precision that comes with extensive knowledge of the black community dynamics and other immigrants in general -the Italian and Irish. This is apparent from his anti-everything gaze into life. From an assumptive perspective, Italian mafias sold crack cocaine and dabbled in illegal business of all sorts -money laundering, as hitmen, et cetera- as a result of how marginalised they are by the United States' socio-economic system. A constricted system which caters more for the general white American, a bottle-neck in terms of accomodation, with the immigrants and minorities slated for the ghettos -Boogie Down, Bronx and the white Americans in leafy and well manicured lawned surburbs -The Hamptons, education -with ghetto children in public schools where attention is barely paid to students, leading to a few qualifying for university, if they do not play sport.
Even though his family later moved to Virginia, he carried with him the Boogie Down, Bronx Borough aura, the one to always win regardless of the type of game being played at a Las Vegas table. Currently they were hustling, simply put, with his brother Gene Thornton. A former manager of the duo which also rapped under the moniker Clipse was arrested for running a drug ring in 2009, along with Pusha T’s friends, apparently, studio was not the only brothers hustle. Every flashy new car, accessory, and designer clothing came with an equally picturesque metaphor -"Optimus Prime in the Gullwing, feeling like I transform..." He is referencing his Gullwing Mercedes-Benz on Money On My Mind Freestyle off the 2011 Fear Of God. "I let you into my diary to admire me, make-up of this man I let you see the higher me, the self-righteous drug dealer dichotomy, I’m drawing from both sides I’m Siamese...." Sounds like an entry in Sartre’s The Nausea, existential, a vivid self-awareness, and it looks like there is still more of a higher level Terrence LeVarr Thornton off the latest project, King Push -Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude. I believed it when he tweeted he is going to have the best album of 2016. How can he not? If you are to Genius search any Pusha T song, you can easily mistake him to be a New College alumni based off how his verses conform to iamb and meter.
All this from a man who was born in the ghetto, never had to attend a lecture on creative writing, or hang-out at the local coffee shop, sipping some exotic strain whilst typing away on a Mac Book? All the lyrical high-definition expression from a man who was better off selling cocaine or, pretending to, but found redemption from the same game that has his friends locked up? It is as if talent manifests wherever it does to spite whoever chases it, as if it has Stockholm Syndrome that has it sticking around where it is not necessarily needed.
I wrote this for every time you’re trying to dodge the magic — whatever it may be, it will seek you out and you do it’s bidding.