Pusha T recently promised to deliver the best hip hop album of the year. With over a decade’s worth of d-boy/rap experience on his resume, Kanye West as the battery in his back, and My Name Is My Name cued up for release, can the gritty lyricist prove he’s cooked up something to join the elite ranks of his more mainstream peers? October 8th cometh: all eyes are on King Push.
Kanye recently told Zane Lowe and a studio full of onlookers that “we forget about that Clipse album that meant everything.” In case you missed the bite buried under the paparazzi-hunted star’s erratic-but-inspiring BBC commentary, Kanye took a moment during the interview to acknowledge the impact that Clipse records from 10 years ago had on the music industry. “I have to remind Pusha T that he’s Pusha T!”
This, coming from rap’s biggest rock star.
PUSHA-T: MY NAME IS MY NAME. COVER 1. OCT 8TH. pic.twitter.com/8KTBqca2WI
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) August 30, 2013
In those few sentences from Yeezy, we can not only sense where some of Pusha’s current confidence might stem from, but are also reminded of hip hop’s disposable nature. As a lane of music constantly moving forward and embracing innovative trends, the pop-leaning genre is sometimes guilty of too-quickly aging-out its past victors when newcomers command the spotlight.
But Pusha T never left. After debut Clipse album Lord Willin’ met solid sales and critical acclaim, he and his brother Malice continued to cultivate consistent relationships with their loyal fan base: the We Got It 4 Cheap mixtape series and Re-Up Gang studio album kept appetites whet until 2009 when the duo released ‘Til The Casket Drops. Despite suffering disappointing sales and getting dropped from Columbia Records shortly after that third project, early glory from their organic work with The Neptunes seemed to have birthed a sense of entitlement in Pusha that he, to this day, carries with him like a torch.
“I’m still just trying to beat people in the head that I’m a great rapper,” Pusha told VH1 Tuner during our sit-down last weekend, “and hopefully this album makes more people believe.”
Secure with his mic skills enough to make some very public wagers on My Name Is My Name, Pusha chose to recruit the game’s most noteworthy talent to touch gloves with. “Those three guys right there,” Pusha said of Rick Ross, Kendrick Lamar and Jeezy, “that’s who people debate.” Claiming that MNIMN will easily take down all the other hip hop releases of 2013 is just upping the ante.