Formerly of the dynamic rap duo “The Clipse,” Pusha T signed with Kanye West label G.O.O.D. Music in 2009 and has not looked back since. Pusha T, with the help of MySpace, decided to stream his album “My Name Is My Name” for his fans before its Oct. 8 release date.
The first song I listened to was “40 acres,” featuring The Dream. The song has Dreams’ smooth, soft vocals, but it was rare to hear him not singing something overtly sexual. Besides The Dream’s opening on the song, Pusha’s lyrics were menacing, raw and nothing short of honest. His version of success also pays homage to the drug culture that helped shape the Bronx-born rapper.
The subtlety of “Sweet Serenade,” featuring Chris Brown, caught my attention, but it sounded at times like there was too much of Kanye’s influence on it. The beat is simple and is coupled with thought-provoking verses, but the song did not stand out to me. One song that could take Pusha’s album to new heights is the one he recorded with Kendrick Lamar called “Nosetalgia.” The song was laced with metaphors used to paint the stark contrast of life on opposite sides of the track. The song spoke of the hardships they faced individually and made me realize that Kendrick is to the West coast what Pusha T could soon mean to the East coast.
“Hold On,” featuring Rick Ross, is another song reflecting Pusha’s dark style. It, too, has a bit of Kanye’s feel, because it sounds similar to his style on “808’s and Heartbreaks.” It is nothing short of a true hustler’s anthem, which accurately portrays the reality of thug life in urban America.
“Pain,” featuring Future, is another great song. With each verse, he touches on his own definition of pain. He questions his identity as a rapper and as a person on this track, capping it off with Future, who makes the track cool in his own futuristic way.
In “No Regrets,” it seems as if there are moments where he sees some light in his otherwise dark life and lines like “sell hope no longer sells dope” alludes to this positivity. He doesn’t regret the life he lives and again pays homage to the stories and experiences that helped him live out his dreams.
The one glimmer of hope on the track for Pusha’s life is the song called “Let Me Love You,” featuring Kelly Rowland. It is a little more relaxed for Pusha but it is a great break from the darkness on the album. He isn’t begging the woman of his affection for love, but was merely stating his case.
“King Push,” which was the last track on the album I listened to, restates Pusha’s dominance in the drug world and it reemphasizes Pusha’s burgeoning talent as a solo artist.
This album unfortunately did not showcase most of Pusha’s individual style because it had too many featured artists and in my opinion, it sounded too much like Kanye West. Hopefully his next album as a solo artist gives him more freedom to showcase his talent.