November 17, 2015

Spinning Singles: Pusha T, “Untouchable”

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Courtesy of G.O.O.D. Music

Courtesy of G.O.O.D. Music

“The president of G.O.O.D Music has been announced / A quarter million a year, and that don’t bounce,” raps Pusha T on his latest single, “Untouchable.” The song is the first taste of the 38-year old’s long-awaited sophomore album, King Push, but the rapper born as Terrence Thornton understands what the big news is here: G.O.O.D Music has changed management. Pusha T himself has taken over the position of president from Kanye West, who founded the label in 2004 after the release of The College Dropout, and built it into the star-studded roster it is today. That Kanye would trust his brainchild to Pusha T is no surprise — the two have worked together closely for more than five years now, and West played a big part in helping the former Clipse member find success as a solo artist. However, the announcement symbolically reaffirms every Kanye fan’s most cynical suspicions: that Yeezus himself has turned his back on music in favor of fashion and family. “Untouchable,” then, inevitably feels like a consolation prize — the teddy bear a nice carny gives you if you cry enough.

Thankfully, “Untouchable” is a great song, equipped with all of the gleeful menace and layered wordplay we’ve come to expect from Pusha. This time around, he goes one step beyond wearing his influences on his sleeve by repurposing an old Notorious B.I.G. lyric as the song’s hook. The omnipresent Timbaland provides a bizarre, anxiety-inducing instrumental straight out of a John Carpenter movie, which serves as the perfect backdrop for the self-proclaimed King to remind us why My Name Is My Name was one of the best albums of 2013. “Untouchable” is no “Numbers on the Boards,” but few things are. And as Swish looks less and less likely to materialize by year’s end, King Push provides us something more tangible to look forward to — with equal anticipation.

Chris Stanton is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at [email protected].