In a 2012 interview with Life + Times to celebrate the then tenth anniversary of Clipse‘s major label debut album Lord Willin’, which was produced entirely by the Neptunes, Pusha T discussed how the albums biggest single “Grindin'” almost never happened and could have been another smash hit for Jay-Z.
Pusha T and his brother Malice nearly lost the record to Hov.
“The way it was presented to me…I was actually home and Pharrell was in the studio and he called me and he was like, “Listen. Get up here right now. Get up here right now–I’ve got this record and if you’re not up here in 15 minutes I’m just giving it to Jay Z. I am. I’m giving it to him. If you’re not here in 15 minutes…I know you’re home. You’re home. You’re home. Your house is 10 minutes from here. That means you’ve got five minutes to get ready and get over here. If not, I’m giving it to Jay.” I couldn’t really deal with that. And I was there, needless to say, in 13 minutes (laughs).” (Life + Times)
Pusha also discusses working with The Neptunes
“Our first record out was “Grindin’.” This was at a time when Pharrell was hot, the Neptunes were hot. He was on every hook from Nelly to Mystikal, everybody. And we have a hook where he’s actually not on it. The intro…it basically set the tone for all of those maneuvers and moves. It was just like, “This is what we are, we’re different. This is the streets, this is Virginia, this is new, this is risk-taking.” Playas, we ain’t the same. You know.” (Life + Times)
Grindin’ is listed at No. 84 in Rolling Stone’s best songs of the 2000s.