Pushing P (usually styled as pushin P or pushin’ P) is a slang term that’s most commonly used to roughly mean acting with integrity and style while maintaining and displaying one’s success (similar to the meaning of the slang terms keeping it player and keeping it real).
The phrase is also sometimes used more broadly to refer to any positive, self-affirming actions that someone takes. For example, if you’d working hard at your job and making strides in your career, you might say that you’re “pushing P” in reference to pushing yourself to achieve success.
Origins of the Term
It’s unclear exactly where the term originated, but it seems to have started being used in popular culture during the early 2000s. It likely arose out of African American Vernacular English (AAVE), though it’s difficult to pinpoint a specific region or dialect where it first became popular.
One theory is that the term could be derived from the character Pusha T from the hip-hop group Clipse. Pusha T is known for his unapologetic attitude and dedication to his hustle, which may have led to him becoming associated with this type of behavior.
Another possibility is that the term was created as a spin on the ridge”, which has been used in AAVE since at least the 1970s to refer to someone who’s doing well for themselves. It’s possible that pushing P is simply a more recent iteration of this older phrase.
Whatever its origins, pushing P has become a well-established part of AAVE and is used by people all over the country—not just those who speak AAVE. The term has also been adopted by people from other language backgrounds as well, furthering its spread beyond AAVE communities.
Pushing P in Pop Culture
Pushing P has been referenced in a variety of songs over the years, including hits like JAY-Z’s “Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright,” and Cardi B’s “Money.” In each of these tracks, pushing P is portrayed as a positive thing—a way to show that someone is living their best life and achieving their goals despite any obstacles they may face. This positive connotation is one of the reasons why the term has become so popular.
If you’re ever wondering what someone means when they say they’re “pushing P,” remember that it has everything to do with staying true to yourself, pursuing your goals, and enjoying your success along the way. While its origins are a bit murky, there’s no doubt that this catchy phrase isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.