During an appearance on the celebrity-and-chicken-wings webshow Hot Ones, Pusha T explained why he doggedly sticks to his image as a world-weary drug dealer. “I am the Martin Scorsese of street raps. Even just creatively, Scorsese gives you The Departed, Goodfellas, and a host of other joints. You never say, ‘Hey, I want him to make a love story,’” he explained. (h/t Trapital) Ironically, his comparison betrays a misunderstanding of Scorsese’s career. The director may be famed for his Italian “blood and pasta” gangster epics, but he has also built a wildly diverse career that encompasses domestic dramedy such as Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Christian fables like Silence, and biopics such as The Aviator, in addition to numerous documentaries. Contrary to above, Scorsese’s adaptation of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence is a love story, albeit a twisted and ultimately tragic one. It’s debatable whether these works reach the same aesthetic heights as ultra-violent masterworks like Taxi Driver. Yet Scorsese has long exhibited a fearlessness and innovation in his artistic choices that Pusha T, for all of his well-deserved acclaim as a master lyricist, has sometimes lacked.
The yearlong #HipHop50 celebration has become a microcosm of the myths and reality that continue to define the culture.