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Meaning of ‘Dreamin Of The Past’ by ‘Pusha T’ feat. Kanye West

Released: 2022 • Features: Kanye West

“Dreamin Of The Past” by Pusha T, featuring Kanye West, encapsulates a narrative interweaving past struggles and present success, interlaced with critique and self-assertiveness. The song offers a streetwise perspective on achieving success and emphasizes the artists’ top-tier status in the world of hip-hop.

In the first verse, Pusha T crisply sketches his early life hustling, which he compares to “levels” and “layers” akin to a game. The reference to the “bodega” signifies a place where his hustling journey commenced. Also, the lyric ‘My niggas get money… like Ye samplin’ is a sharp reference to Kanye West’s artistry of sourcing and using samples in his music to create new beats, drawing a parallel to their hustle for money.

In the lines, ‘You hollerin’, “Top five,” I only see top me’, Pusha T challenges the common hip-hop trope of ‘Top 5’ debates, asserting his dominance and uniqueness. He acknowledges his past challenging situations where he had no option but to hustle (‘Be no Christmas, mistletoe, be no kisses’) to create a better future for himself.

The verse ‘Walk it down like Brady, gets better with time’ draws a parallel to football icon Tom Brady, known for his longevity and consistency in the game, showing Pusha T’s claim of having similar traits in his career and life. The line ‘Critics, he’s out of his mind, haters, he’s outta his prime (I began to lose control)’ portrays the artist’s indifference and disconnect with critics who think he is out of touch or past his prime.

‘Born in the manger, the son of a stranger, When daddy’s not home, the family’s in danger’ Pusha T uses powerful metaphorical imagery to talk about his past vulnerability and a transition to his present state, providing for his family and becoming a significant figure in hip-hop.

This song works as a testament to the importance of determination and self-belief in overcoming adversity. Pusha T and Kanye West offer personal experiences in an authentic and raw format, using their platform to inspire others navigating their journeys amidst struggle. It’s a reflection of the past, an assertion of the present, and a vision of a prosperous future – a true-to-its-core hip-hop number.

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