Image via DONDA / GOOD Music / Def Jam
Pusha T, a.k.a. King Push, aka master of ad-libs’ debut solo album “My Name Is My Name” has finally arrived after a mixtape, an EP, and numerous push-backs. It was worth the wait. The G.O.O.D. Music emcee brings to the table the purest, rawest, uncut rap album we’ve heard thus far in 2013, with superb lyricism and songwriting Pusha gives us the classic cocaine rap we’ve come to expect and love from him on tracks like the Kendrick Lamar assisted “Nosetalgia” and showcases his versatility in regards to simplicity on “Numbers on the Boards“. Pusha T definitely brought his a-game with MNIMN.
The album’s intro, the Sebastian Nielsen x Kanye West produced “King Push” sums up the rest of the 46 minute effort in three simple lines:
“I’m King Push, this King Push
I rap ni**a ’bout trap ni**as
I don’t sing hooks“
What you hear is what you get. The Clipse rapper doesn’t sing on the album at all and there are actually very few “hooks”. He’s known for making cocaine rap , throughout his career that’s been his prime subject matter, it’s what he knows. Pusha T stays true to his roots throughout the album, continuing into the album’s second single “Numbers on the Boards” there’s a perfect showcasing of that with the last line.
“I might sell a brick on my birthday
36 years of doing dirt like it’s earth day, god.“
Pusha T shows he’s able to be versatile through experimentation, this is shown on both the Chris Brown featuring “Sweet Serenade” and the Kelly Rowland assisted “Let Me Love You“, rarely (if ever) do we see the Virginia Beach native stepping into R&B territory while adopting a late 90’s Ma$e flow.
Pusha also showcases his lyrical abilities in the next two tracks, the Rick Ross and (uncredited) Kanye West assisted “Hold On“, where Push rhymes:
“Soaring from the heights but I wanted mine purer
Aryan, Blonde hair, blue-eyed like the Führer“
And also the Ab-Liva / Pharelle assisted “Suicide.” You would think someone would run out of original ways to incorporate cocaine into their lyrics, not Push.
Next up is the album’s crown jewel and centerpiece. “40 Acres“. A fantastic, heartfelt, breath taking rendition that captures Pusha’s entire career and puts it into one song. The song showcases a man who has finally taken his rightful place at the top yet remains haunted by his past and knows at any time he could go back to it, showcased in the lines:
“I heard the Devil’s new playground is boredom
The California top just falls back like Autumn
And they say I’m on the verge of winning
I’ll claim victory when Malice on the verge of sinning
Old habits die hard
That rainy day bag buried in the backyard“
A true masterpiece.
Following up “40 Acres” is the trap anthem “No Regrets“, produced by fellow G.O.O.D. Music label-mate Hudson Mohawke. Featuring [Young] Jeezy and Kevin Cossom we hear a track about true gangster living their lives to the fullest while they have the opportunity. The Trap-American dream.
For those looking for a more party-oriented Pusha, the album does offer up something for them. “Who I Am”, featuring 2 Chainz and Big Sean brings a banger to the table that doesn’t take away from the album’s overall raw feeling, with Pusha shouting some very menacing slang between verses. The only beef I have with this track is it doesn’t set up the next tracks very well, which have a much more serious and personal feel to them.
The closing tracks on MNIMN bring back the personal raw feeling that we’ve received throughout the entire album. Kendrick Lamar delivers a boastful and gritty verse on “Nosetalgia”, opening up with quite the question:
“You wanna see a dead body?“
Both emcees paint vivid pictures of what it’s like to grow up in the trap and then come out of it successfully, aspiring to be more than what they were. Well done.
Following up are the album’s first single “Pain”, where Future, as per usual, sings an auto-tuned mess of sentences strung together to make a chorus, but Pusha remains lyrically on point. And finally, the Pharrell assisted “S.N.I.T.C.H.”, an ode to all of the snitches out there and the harm they’ve caused. Pusha tells a memorable story to close out the album.
All in all, MNIMN may take a few listens to really understand. It is different from a lot of what we’ve heard in 2013. The entire G.O.O.D. Music roster has transcended the boundaries of hip-hop this year with Pusha, being the last rapper on the roster to release an album this year continuing the trend. Lyrically, Pusha T is matched by very few emcees, he’s a seasoned veteran who is just now releasing his solo debut. His work with Clipse is worthy of hall-of-fame status in itself, deserving of a lifetime achievement award, but now he is showing he can stand on his own two feet. MNIMN was hyped a LOT and it delivered in every aspect. Our only complaint is that it isn’t longer. Well done, King Push.
Stream “My Name Is My Name” on Complex’s website here and pre-order the album on iTunes for $7.99 here. Be sure to cop the album on October 8th, 2013.
Also be sure to follow Pusha T on twitter and like him on Facebook for updates.
written by Troy Womble.
Follow me on twitter for more cool news, reviews, and whatever else. @wvmble