5.
Pusha T/Clipse

King Push/As God As My Witness
Last Project: My Name Is My Name/Til The Casket Drops, 2013/2010
G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam/N/A

clipse ant

This may not have been on everyone’s radar at the end of 2012, and maybe deservedly so. Pusha T had already been signed to Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music label for over two years, and had but a mixtape and a few guest verses—some very stellar guest verses but nonetheless, guest verses—to show for it. It appeared that Def Jam was prioritizing Big Sean’s campaign entering 2013, and even after Push received a release date for My Name Is My Name, other than a 6 month old collaboration with Future (“Pain”), it appeared his debut album campaign had finally, visibly, hit a wall. Then came “Numbers On The Board”, widely touted as the best rappity rap single to come out all year, and literally, nothing was the same. Pusha’s new release date held firm and true, he went on to debut in the top 5 on Billboard, and top our year-end list of the year’s 25 Best Rap Albums, in a year when there were 25 other rap albums that could’ve taken number 1 in a less cutthroat year. So, when Pusha announced that he would be going on a 3-week studio binge with the Neptunes to get started on King Push (or the new independent Clipse album, depending on which report you read), this automatically catapulted itself to our top 5. If King Push or whatever Pusha is cooking up with his brother is anything like My Name Is My Name, next year’s year-end list may look startlingly familiar.