Kanye Cut Pusha T’s “I Don’t Like” Verse From 16 Bars to 8 Bars

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Pusha T’s opening verse for the GOOD Music version of “I Don’t Like” had some of the hardest bars of 2012, but the original was 16 bars, cut down to 8.

In an interview with Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Frannie Kelley for NPR’s Microphone Check, Push revealed that Kanye had edited the verse to maximise the song’s impact.

Fraud ni**as, y'all ni**as, that's that shit I don't like
Your shit make-believe, rappin' about my own life
Real names kill things, that's that shit I won't write
'Cause my ni**as still sellin' dope
Like they ain't on their third strikes
Campin' out in that corridor, fuck you waitin' on Jordans for?
I middle-man it for twenty-three
Just meet me somewhere 'round Baltimore
(Woo!) That's rare, ni**a (Woo!) Ric Flair, ni**a
(Woo!) The power's in my hair, ni**a
(Woo!) I give this beat the chair, ni**a
SoHo or Tribeca, three hoes: trifecta
Dope money, hope money, Hublot, my watch better
My pen's better, you don't write, trendsetter, you clone-like
Pay homage or K's vomit, ungrateful ni**as I don't like—rrrah!

- Kanye West, Chief Keef, Pusha T, Big Sean & Jadakiss - "Don’t Like.1 (Extended Version)"

“Even with the “I Don’t Like” verse. That verse is really 16 bars long. I think he edited it down to maybe eight or 10 bars,” Pusha recalled, explaining that the process helped him become a better writer. “I’m like, ‘I gotta nail this because I don’t even want him to pick my rhymes apart. At all.’ It makes you a better writer.”

Pusha then explained how the original verse was lyrically dense with street metaphors, Jordan references, and a nod to Baltimore, but Kanye’s edit was what made the song as big as it was.

Ye — his edit is the one that everybody’s singing in the clubs for the whole summer. I look at him and I say, “You’re thinking for the betterment of the song.” And you gotta fall back as an artist. I didn’t come in as a writer that found producers, I came in under producers. So I’ve always respected the actual production process and producers in general.

Pusha T On Fronting, Responsibility And Kanye (Part 1) | Microphone Check
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