I don’t like the new Pusha T album My Name Is My Name for a few reasons. Wait. Stop. Before you say I don’t appreciate “real Hip-Hop” please hear me out. There is a recurring theme in Pusha’s music that is both monotone and morbid. Braggadocios stories of cocaine trafficking and themes of his endless tug of war with good and evil make for a typical Pusha album. Only this time the “cut” down product that was delivered isn’t quite the fish scale that we think we’re ingesting.
MNIMN is Pusha’s first solo effort apart from his brother Gene “No Malice” Thornton of the duo the Clipse. Staying true to his cocaine cowboy persona and his name Pusha details his life, once again, as a dope pusher. Pusha probably dreams of skiing down Alps of coke-capped mountains and making snow angels in mounds of blow. His marriage to the game is unashamedly evident in songs like Who I Am where he raps “They say be all you can be…I just wanna sell dope forever/I just wanna be who I am.” This unquenchable lust for street life separates him from other MCs in his class. He raps in Suicide “I’m still a snow mover, blow harder than tubas…Holy Father to em/I ain’t Jesus neither.” These songs are pretty much the tone of the album with a few exceptions. Let Me Love You featuring Kelly Rowland is a little more light-hearted with Pusha giving us a nice ode to Mason “Mase” Betha in verse two. S.N.I.T.C.H. featuring Pharrell is probably one of the most creative songs that I’ve heard about criminals turning into government witnesses.
Since Pusha signed to GOOD Music in 2010 fans have been anticipating a solo release. Executive produced by Kanye West along with a great roster of producers from Bangladesh, Pharrell Williams, 88 Keys, and No I.D. the production is very simple. Mostly beat driven it lacks a lot of musicality that you hear in other artists’ music of his caliber. This was probably done on purpose so the listener can pay more attention to the lyrics but coupled with his monotonous tone it’s hard to listen to MNIMN without getting bored.
So here’s why I don’t like MNIMN. When you get down to it Pusha T hasn’t evolved lyrically as an artist. His content consist of the same coke stories that have been told over and over again since the Clipse’s first album Lord Willin’ in 2001. This is not to say that Pusha can’t rap because he’s extremely gifted but the “coke by the boat loads” flow is tiring. I am 12 years older than I was when Lord Willin’ dropped and I have since overdosed on the Nosetalgia of the crack-cocaine ridden 80’s and early 90’s theme that is pervasive throughout Hip-Hop music. Furthermore, MNIMN is immaturity masqueraded as street-conscious intellect. At 36 how much longer can Terrence “Pusha T” Thornton talk about being a cocaine cowboy? I guess as long as people buy his albums.
© Copyright Eddie Savoy Bailey III, 2013
Written by: Eddie Bailey of The Savoy Media Group
Twitter @BttleRapHistory & @SavoyMediaGroup