Album review: Pusha T, “My Name is My Name”By Matt Miller | October 8th, 2013 | 2 comments
There’s a certain amount of respect that comes with naming your album after a quote from “The Wire” — but it also creates a bar of entertainment and cultural value to live up to. And in a sense, Pusha T was already in that situation before even naming his debut solo album, “My Name is My Name.” As half of the critically-loved Clipse and a a part of Kanye West’s GOOD Music, Pusha T has the respect as a rapper, but needs to back up that status with an album of solo material.
Up there with J. Cole’s “Born Sinner,” much of Pusha T’s “My Name is My Name” feels like one of the most authentic mainstream hip-hop albums released this year. “Numbers on the Board,” “Suicide” and “Nosetalgia” bring back the empty coke-rap of Clipse — you get the sense that Pusha isn’t only shaped by his past, it also gives him a gritty insight. But then there’s Kanye West-influenced tracks which don’t always fit with Pusha’s grimy kitchen growl. Backed by the auto-tuned cooing, Pusha’s statement “I sold more dope than I sold records” on “Hold On” loses its punch.
This doesn’t mean that Pusha can only succeed when he’s recreating Clipse. In fact some of his most compelling music is what you wouldn’t expect in any Clipse track. The beat on “Pain” might be one of the most incendiary in hip-hop this year. On the track, Pusha drops lines like, “Coulda been Trayvon but instead I chose Avon,” spinning together the Florida shooting victim and the gangster kingpin from “The Wire.”
As both dirty and poetic, blunt and insightful, Pusha T’s “My Name is My Name” expands on the Clipse minimalism while showcasing the rapper’s masterful flow.
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