With over a decade of cocaine based rap songs with Clipse under his own Re-Up Records, one would initially think that Pusha T’s debut solo studio album My Name is My Name would be a regurgitation of his past records. However, a lot has changed since Pusha T decided to split from his brother and pursue a solo career.
He was signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music collective, and Kanye’s influence is evident alongside Swizz Beatz throughout the tracks with a softer but still punctual sound to the album whilst still maintaining Pusha T’s harsh truths and tales which is prevalent in his music. A huge difference in this album is Pusha T’s successful transition from gangster rapper to a chart topper bad boy, with this transition being eased with collaborations from such pop stars as Chris Brown on Sweet Serenade and radio friendly Let Me Love You featuring Kelly Rowland. Radio ready songs coupled with collaborations from mainstream one verse rappers such as Rick Ross and 2Chainz have readied this album for chart success as it exposes Pusha T to a much larger audience than before. This does not mean Pusha T has sacrificed his style or quality to produce a more mainstream album.
Nosetalgia is a perfect example, as it is almost guaranteed to see minimal radio play yet is the best track on the album in my opinion. There’s no complex beat. There’s no chorus. Just a few guitar riffs, soft background drum and two of the most talented lyricists currently in rap depicting the struggles of their drug ravaged communities.
The final track on the album S.N.I.T.C.H. drives home the point that although this album is very different from Pusha T’s previous work, he is at the core the same rapper he was ten years ago. With Pharrell featuring on the track too, it’s deja vu of Clipse’s first hit GrindN where Pharrell was instrumental in their success.
With My Name is My Name already at number two on the urban billboard chart, the album’s success can only grow and will definitely be up there for nominations this year.
by Matthew Waterton