Pusha T – My Name Is My Name

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1. ”I don’t sing hooks,” Pusha T says on “King Push.” No, he doesn’t, he gets other people to do that.

2. Was “All I’m missing is a dash / Difference between me and Hova” the reason why Jay-Z would became Jay Z that same year? (And I know, I know, he changed his name before the track came out.)

3. “New Slaves” was a great song. You know it, I know it, Kanye West sure as hell knows it, so he takes the sample that helped bring that one to its epic climax and retools it to push “King Push.” And what do you know, this song’s great too. 

4. Speaking of Jay-Z, random Jay-Z sample is random (at the 1:30 mark of “Numbers on the Boards”). 

5. The way the drums and choir are constantly cut in “Numbers on the Boards” is the most “Grindin'” shit you’ve done heard since “Grindin.'”

6. ”Sweet Serenade” is neither sweet because Chris Brown isn’t that, nor a serenade because Chris Brown’s chorus is completely devoid of melody (don’t believe me? Play the The-Dream track, Kelly Rowland track or Pharrell track right after). Elsewhere, Pusha T milks the words “triple double” for all they’re worth. He also yells “Woo!” a lot on this album, somewhat unconvincingly and sometimes distractingly.

7. It doesn’t help “Sweet Serenade”’s cause that the washed out choir used throughout is seen again on “Hold On,” the next track.

8. Obviously, Kanye West is the star of this show, but Pharrell hands in one of the album’s better beats on “Suicide” – dig the way Pharrell sometimes teases out the woman’s gasps and turns a gritty track even grittier.

9. I’ve written before that I never get any sort of emotion whenever The-Dream sings, mostly because I don’t think the guy has ever experienced an emotion besides sexual arousal, but the chorus he offers on “40 Acres” is actually sad – made even more so thanks to the piano line. Shame he ruins it by shoving the wordy “And I ain’t leaving without my 40 acres” at the end of each chorus.

10. Kelly Rowland absolutely dominates her track, and, as opposed to “40 Acres” or “S.N.I.T.C.H.”, Pusha T doesn’t disappear – his approximation of Mase on the second verse makes it easily one of the best on the album (best line: “Don’t listen to your best friend, she don’t mattah“).

11. ”I mean that shit like exclamation, exclamation, exclamation?” “I’m going ‘til I K.O. / Eyes closed, I’m O.K.?” “Bitch I’m feeling like a grown ass lil boy, nigga na na na na na / Bitch I’m feeling like a grown ass lil boy, cause I still love to get pampered?” Fuck off, Big Sean, fuck the fuck off.

12. I’m sure you’ve already heard and sung the praise for Kendrick Lamar’s feature on “Nosetalgia” (love the way he enters, love the way he manipulates his voice that he’s been toying with all year to match the grittiness of the guitar), so I’ll just say that Pusha T did just as good as he did.

13. Pharrell works a good acronym out of the letters “S.N.I.T.C.H.” and a good hook out of it too. If I have an qualms with this song, it’s that I saw a live version on Youtube which uses real strings instead of synthesized ones (or maybe just louder ones) and it sounded much better. 

14. This might only be just to these ears but I’m reminded of RZA’s beats on The W on some of these tracks – compare “Numbers of the Boards” to “Protect Ya Neck (Jump Off)” and “Pain” to “Careful (Click, Click),” which means My Name Is My Name wouldn’t be the first time that year that a mainstream hip-hop artist nodded back to the Wu-Tang Clan.

Anyway, this is a good album, one of the year’s best. If I have anything left to say, it’s that it’s unfortunately disjointed, something that you can see from the tracklist alone. From the first two tracks, and the patch of “Nosetalgia” and “Pain” on the other side of the album, Kanye West delivers on the minimalistic style he promised before the album’s release. Unfortunately, aside from those four songs, the album too often falls into a pop rap safety net with boring beats, big but boring hooks and nondescript verses.

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4 responses to “Pusha T – My Name Is My Name

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