On the heels of the long-awaited release of his new album, It's Almost Dry, the legendary rapper Pusha T shared the 10 places in his home state of Virginia that are instrumental to who he is and the music he makes.Less
“The oceanfront has sentimental value to me because it was the place where my brother was discovered rapping, and it was the place where everybody who’s musically from the area sharpened their skills. My brother, Pharell, Timbaland—just everybody would be down there rhyming. It was a place that, back in the day, we used to congregate as young kids. When we got older, it was a place we would go down and drive our cars when we’d want to show off."
"I went to Norfolk State University! I went for one year, and man, it was a very, very good time. It was an amazingly good time. And also, it was the place where I used to buy my mix tapes from—there was one guy I would go and buy my tapes from, and he catered to all of us who were pulling up on him looking for the newest and freshest tapes.”
"Feather N Fin is the local fast-food staple. It’s like fast soul food. If you ask people locally, they will never tell you it’s fast, because you have to call, put an order in, and then walk through the door, and then tell them you’re here, and then they’ll start your order. But it's so good, that you're gonna do every one of those steps. I order a boneless breast combo with cheese. You put hot sauce, mayo, honey on it—if you ask me. Some people put ketchup on theirs; I'll pass.”
"The NorVa is an event space that holds maybe 1,500 people. I love it because when venues are intimate, it always makes for the best shows. And I’ve seen a lot of great talent there—tons of reggae artists, Capleton to Jeezy. Every time Jeezy shows up, it’s a sell-out. I don’t care what year, I don’t care what album he drops, it’s always selling out in Norfolk. And everybody knows it.”
"Granby Street in Norfolk is pretty historic. Throughout history, it’s just been a place where people who were into the nightlife or into the scene, they would all come there to congregate. Also, the best Italian food in Virginia—maybe on the East Coast—is a place called Luce on Granby Street. And it’s dope because the owner hires felons to work at his establishment—guys who are really trying to change their lives over. The food is so amazing. The spicy salmon rigatoni—oh man."
“Hampton University is a prestigious Black college in Hampton. We used to spend a lot of time going over there. There was always a party scene, and there was always a concert scene. It just made for a lot of great, great memories. My wife also graduated from there, too.”
“The Alley nightclub is the longest-standing running nightclub probably in the Seven Cities. Anytime I go there, it’s just a very ‘family’ vibe. It’s a staple club: Everybody knows everybody. It’s just very homey. It’s across the water, and that’s what we call it, because there’s a bridge separating Norfolk from Hampton and Newport News. And Newport News and Hampton side, that’s like Michael Vick and Allen Iverson territory."
"Culture Restaurant and Lounge is a small, very intimate place, but the energy is there musically. One of my favorite DJs locally does DJ there—his name is DJ Izzy—and nights when he’s there, it’s usually really good. His music selection goes from lightly ratchet to very ratchet—it’s so good. When you wanna be in the mix, and you wanna know what the streets is on and what the streets is feeling, you would go there.”
“The District Restaurant is my favorite soul food restaurant in Portsmouth, Virginia. It’s in Olde Towne Portsmouth. I get smothered turkey chops, or fried whiting. It is a soul food extravaganza! You can get fried chicken, mac and cheese—just depends on how much you don’t care about your cholesterol at the moment. It’s just all really good, quintessential soul food.”
“The Bee & The Biscuit is in Virginia Beach in a place called Pungo, which is super rural. And there’s this little restaurant— it’s sort of built like a home—but listen, I get up in the morning, and go at like seven in the morning, because the line will definitely be two hours if you think you’re gonna go at 9am. And it’s comfort food: It’s breakfast. They have really great omelettes, crab-stuffed omelettes, and things like that."