From the seminal soundtrack recording Superfly, "Pusherman" is an apt portrayal of the neighborhood drug dealer, the "ghetto prince" lording over the streets of black urban America. With this song, Mayfield manages to simultaneously celebrate the pusher's semblance of cool while exposing the desperation that fuels his facade. The music is centered on a sleek, descending bass line played with simmering cool, spacing the notes for maximum funk effect, reinforced by a bending conga rhythm. The arrangement remains somewhat sparse, leaving room for Mayfield's silky falsetto as he delivers the opening lines: "I'm your momma/I'm your daddy/I'm that nigga' in the ally/I'm your doctor when you need/Have some coke, have some weed/You know me/I'm your friend/I'm your pusherman." Initially, Mayfield presents the pusher as a devilish Dr. Feelgood, praying on his own and offering escape by dangling enticements, as well as the purveyor of the pimping lifestyle to aspire to: "Ain't I clean/Bad machine/Super cool/Super mean/Feelin' good for the man/Superfly -- here I stand." But in the last chorus, the lyrics seem to turn inward, exposing the motivations and true desperation behind the "Superfly" exterior; the pusher is ultimately crippled by his circumstance and low self-esteem: "A man of odd circumstance/A victim of ghetto demands/Got a woman I love desperately/Want to give her something better than me/Be told I can't be nothin' else/Just a hustler in spite of myself/I know I can't make it/This life just don't make it/Lord, lord." In 1988, gangsta rapper Ice-T released "I'm Your Pusher," a song that heavily sampled Mayfield's "Pusherman," with an often misconstrued anti-drug message, linking Mayfield's pioneering influence to the gangsta rap world and continuing to shed light on inner-city life as it is lived with uncompromising realism.