This year has seen a remarkable saturation of amazing hip hop albums. Some are genre busting, experimental powerhouses like Yeezus (more on that another day), but there are also a large number of straightforward hip hop albums that push the genre forward, but in a way that’s more accessible than Mr. West’s most recent outing. Case in point: My Name is My Name by Pusha T.
I’d been looking forward to this album for a while. The 36 year old rapper, who makes up half of Clipse, has been active for some time (over two decades), but since I’m not the hip hop head I wish I was, he didn’t come to my attention until he started showing up on Kanye tracks a few years ago.
While I was anticipating Pusha’s first solo studio LP, this album is far, far better than I could have hoped. It’s amazing from end to end. The production is fantastic, and delivery-wise he has the street cred, awareness, and subject matter of a young Jay-Z, but with hunger, energy, and intensity that Jay-Z never had even at the peak of his lyrical abilities, which is saying something since Pusha is nearing his 40’s, not exactly prime time for most emcees.
Pusha T’s flow is dynamic, sharp, aggressive, and engaging. In a lot of ways I feel like he is an East Coast companion to Kendrick Lamar, who fittingly shows up on this album with a great verse of his own.
As much as I love this year’s outings by Run the Jewels, Chance the Rapper, Ye, Gambino and others, I think if I was only allowed to keep one hip hop album from 2013, this would be it.
The one downside I have to mention is that Chris Brown appears on the album, who I think is the worst person in music.