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Homecoming headliner and rapidly rising rap artist Pusha T released his debut album “My Name Is My Name” Oct. 8.
Since releasing his mixtape “Fear of God” in the spring of 2011, Pusha had remained relatively quiet.
“My Name Is My Name,” which features top artists with whom Pusha once collaborated, is embedded with numerous allusions to his involvement in the cocaine business and takes a heavy-hitting approach in vividly describing the highs and lows of his kingpin status as a dealer.
Throughout the album, Pusha’s minimalistic use of instrumentals, synthesizers, vocals and percussion parallels the way he delivers his story: truthful, to the point, no filler.
The album starts with the song “King Push.” Pusha refers to his time as a cocaine kingpin in the dope dealing game. This opener sets up the next 11 songs of the album.
In the third song on the album, titled “Sweet Serenade” and featuring Chris Brown, Pusha lets surface his dislike for people that pose to be thugs by writing or singing about things they haven’t lived.
The fourth track on this album, “Hold On,” featuring Rick Ross, features a slower beat over top of piano progressions as well as non-credited auto-tuned harmonies by Kanye West, which can best be described as nonsensical babble.
Further into the album, Pusha’s lyrics hit a definite high-point in “40 Acres,” featuring The Dream. While in other songs the focus is directed at the different lyrical verses of Pusha and other artists, this song benefits from an intermittent chorus which delivers a message equally as potent. The choruses help to accentuate this sad and gloomy part of Pusha’s story in which he talks about how he got roped into selling cocaine.
Songs seven through nine of this debut album are where Pusha starts to transition from talking about his life as a cocaine kingpin to his days as an aspiring rapper on the rise. He talks about how he struggled to leave his dope-selling days behind and to move forward as a rap artist.
In his next song “No Regrets,” which features Jeezy and Kevin Cossum, Pusha questions why people hated on him when he was trying to make something of himself that was more positive than selling dope. This song serves as a relapse in which Pusha revisits some of the aspects of the dope dealing game that helped shape him to who he is today.
“Nosetalgia,” the 10th track on the album and featuring Kendrick Lamar, contrasts the effect that cocaine had on the lives of both Pusha and Lamar. It primarily identifies the destructive nature of the drug and how, even though Pusha can look back to his days as a cocaine kingpin as ones of success and wealth, not everyone was as lucky. As Pusha and Lamar trade verses over a beat consisting of little more than a drum beat and guitar riff, the disparity in how the drug affected each of their lives is drastically magnified.
The last installment in this loaded album is the track “S.N.I.T.C.H.,” featuring Pharrell Williams. After taking much of the album to highlight how lucky he was to escape the dope game, Pusha finishes his album by headlining some of the other dangers the drug dealer lifestyle in general for those not as fortunate to walk away. Ironically, due to his timing and placement of the song in his album, this is one of the first times he chooses to do so.
However, just like the metaphorical language used throughout his album, this song’s placement gives way to something more than just a close to the album.
Pusha uses “S.N.I.T.C.H.” to pay homage to those that are in the position he was once in. In bringing to a close what could be the hip-hop album of the year, “My Name Is My Name” is more impactful and expressive than the title might suggest.
Regardless of what genre of music you affiliate with, just like a good book, this story is worth your time.