They say you should hustle until you no longer have to introduce yourself. In the case of Pusha T, we can safely conclude that he has made it; after all, anyone who can get Kim Kardashian and her husband to attend his wedding must be playing in the big leagues. All the same, it was not an overnight success for this musician who would easily be mistaken for Akon.
After years of consistent effort and establishing a solo career, Pusha T’s net worth has grown to $15 million. Let’s take you through his journey as a musician and how he came to be the owner of a record label.
Going gold thanks to a brotherly collaboration
Pusha T’s love for rap music developed as a child as he watched his older brother, No Malice, getting absorbed in the industry. The two brothers are among four siblings who were born in the Bronx, but the family moved to Virginia when Pusha T was only two years old.
The parents encouraged them to attend church and focus on their schoolwork, but the brothers were not interested in studies or religion. As teenagers, the brothers were drug dealers, and as for education, Pusha T told the Virginian-Pilot, that he only went to school for the sake of pleasing his mum.
Besides, the regular visits to their grandmother who lived in New York allowed the brothers a lot of freedom since the woman was a bit laid-back compared to Pusha T’s mother. It is, therefore, no wonder that furthering his studies after high school was not in his plans.
Pusha T’s brother became a rapper in middle school, and like most musicians in those days, the go-to person was Timbaland. Timbaland, better known as DJ Timmy Tim back in the day, was Malice’s DJ throughout middle school and high school. By 1993, Malice was teaming up with Pharrell and Chad Hugo to make music at Chad’s house.
Interest in Rap
Of course, Pusha T, became so engrossed by what his brother was doing, that he accompanied them on his bike. Before long, his interest in rap was sparked. He must have been gifted even at his young age because Pharrell urged Malice to team up with Pusha T.
In 1997, the brothers, under the name “Clipse” signed up their first record deal with Elektra Records and recorded their first album. It was shelved by the record label leading Clipse to produce another album with Arista, which was gold-certified a month after its release. According to Rap Rehab, the artists signed to major record labels make between $150,000 and $500,000 depending on where they lie on the royalty scale.
Becoming the best rapper alive
While going gold is no mean feat for a debut album, the success was short-lived because Arista shut down, and Clipse had to look for an alternative. The signed with Jive Records, which led to a stalemate when the record label refused to release Clipse from their contract, and the brothers refused to record.
After four years of the back and forth, Clipse recorded two mixtapes, but this time it was to keep their name relevant in the market; hence they gave out the 40,000 copies they had made. However, after having a good run as Clipse, Malice told Pusha T that he would not be rapping anymore and urged Pusha T to pursue a solo career.
Although he was not sure about going solo, Kanye West’s call asking Pusha T to work on an album with him become the start of a new beginning. Since Kanye was impressed with Clipse’s work, it was natural for him to want to work with the rapper. Pusha T found things a bit different; while he was used to the noise in the studio when he worked with Pharrell and Chad, he reveals that Kanye is laser-focused.
Kanye West Influence
As Pusha T told Redbull Music Academy Kanye helped him find his sound, musically. Therefore he praised Kanye for being the genius behind the success of songs like “Numbers of The Boards. “
That much confidence was especially evident when he said that his debut studio album was the best CD in 2013. It may have seemed arrogant, but he explained that after listening to other CDs, his was far much better. He confessed to being competitive, so no matter how good he is, he will always strive for better.
His hard work and dedication paid off through a Grammy nomination for “DAYTONA” which was a surprise to the rapper whom despite giving it his all, did not think the album would gain such recognition
Exercising his entrepreneurial spirit
That belief that the sky is the limit has seen the rapper go beyond music to venture into business. Despite having a lucrative salary after Kanye offered Pusha T the position of president for G.O.O.D. Music, the rapper still wanted to do more than music. Pusha T saw an opportunity to engage in business when he observed Brock Frederick trying his hand in street-wear stores, thus asked him to be partners.
They opened their first store, Cream, in Norfork, and in 2016, they launched a second shop, Crème, which deals in high-end street-wear brands, accessories, and sneakers. The shoes are quite a hit, and his limited edition of the “Ozweego” sneaker sold out within three hours.
As proof of his ambition Pusha T also recently announced he has his own record label, Heir Wave Group, which he described as one for the authentic artists who have a story to tell. He hopes to develop artists within Virginia, but it will still include those from other regions.
Great Work Ethic
His first signee was Kahri, whose music impressed Pusha T because it is authentic and has a Virginian vibe to it. The two developed a great working relationship leading to the artist being signed to the new record label.
His thirst for making money will soon see the rapper raking in profits through royalties because even in the wee hours of the night, he is usually online looking for talent. With such a work ethic, Push T’s $15 million net worth is bound to grow in the next few years as he adds more investments to his portfolio.
You can also read:
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee