Hip-hop fans have been downright spoiled this calendar year. Artists like Future and Young Thug have completely done away with traditional music distribution models, throwing out a staggering eight projects between them. While it could be argued that the shitstorm of free Atlanta mixtapes has in a way devalued contemporary rap music, Pusha T returned last week with a song that demands your attention for its entire duration.
By this, I mean that upon its initial release you literally couldn’t play the song without holding and sustaining a “click” on the animated artwork on the label website; relax your trigger finger and the song starts over. It’s the details that make this single feel special, like the birds that fly around while the song plays (“flying a bird” translates to moving a brick of cocaine in Rapper Talk™). For those of you unfamiliar with Push and his long history with cocaine, it’s his raison d’etre. What weed is for Wiz Khalifa, money is for Jay Z, sex is for Lil Wayne, cocaine is for Push-A-Ton.
While Push has been “the coke dealer in Balmain jeans” of rap for the last six years, he somehow never has to repeat himself. Every song in his repertoire is about freebase, but he consistently outdoes himself with the poetry he conjures; “Untouchable” is no exception. He uses “Cross-Fit” as a verb for lifting bricks of nose candy into his convertible.
Given that he’s been dead silent since the fall of 2013 (No, I haven’t forgotten that “Move That Dope” feature), it should surprise no one that he has a lot to say. What makes “Untouchable” one of the best hip-hop singles this year is the grandiosity with which he’s approached his return. There’s the obligatory flex of his new position at the helm of G.O.O.D. Music, and like any street hustler, he of course had to disclose his exact salary. In less than four minutes he manages to throw serious shade at Donald Trump, compare himself to Pablo Escobar and evoke the mental image of a Rolls Royce with a trunk full of blow. Ah, he’s well and truly back.