Now, if it was a few weeks ago and we had said "'My Name Is My Name' is about to drop," you would be wise to have ignored us. But the album is currently streaming in its entirety over at MySpace, so we are "pretty sure" this thing is really ready to see the light of day.
We have been listening to 'My Name Is My Name' since the stream arrived last evening. It is a solid album. Perhaps not as instantly gratifying as Clipse's 'Hell Hath No Fury,' but there are many standout tracks, hot verses, stunner productions (Kanye, Pharrell, Swizz Beats, Hudson Mohawke, uhhh Joaquin Phoenix) and strategic guest features (Rick Ross, Jeezy, Future, The-Dream, Kendrick Lamar, Kelly Rowland).
We predict that the more we listen to it, the more we will dig it. For now, what follows are our initial picks for the five best songs on Pusha T's 'My Name Is My Name.'
5. 'Let Me Love You'
This track featuring vocals by Kelly Rowland is the one "romantic" song on 'My Name Is My Name.' But it is Pusha T's conception of romance, which means he says things like this: "I know you think I'm the one, but who doesn't?" And Kelly says things like this: "Just say the words, I'll do anything you want." But, in the third verse, Pusha suggests they "push the shame behind us" and embrace the sin with no regrets. How romantic.
We heard this track featuring Kendrick Lamar a few weeks ago. We still think it is not the smoothest title for a song - or for anything, really - but it is great to hear these two link up on this memoir-y track after Kendrick playfully called Pusha out on that brutal verse from Big Sean's 'Control.'
3. '40 Acres'
The-Dream throws down some vocals on this slow-burning track, which he also co-produced with Rico Beats. This is the deepest song on 'My Name Is My Name,' as Pusha traverses his past and present and drifts far out into dream territory over a droning, piano-tickling beat. It is rare that we get to hear Pusha in late-night contemplative mode, so this is a refreshing jam.
2. 'Numbers On The Boards'
This Kanye West and Don Cannon co-produced track was one of the first we heard from 'My Name Is My Name.' The beat is clanky and weird and noisy, which is the type of beat Pusha perfected during his Clipse days (though, back then they were produced by Pharrell and the Neptunes). "The legend grows legs when it comes back to haunt us," raps Pusha in an interesting moment of mythico-ontological speculation. Think about it.
This is the sickest beat on 'My Name Is My Name.' It was produced by Pharrell; as mentioned above, his are the wacky, innovative beats Pusha T cut his teeth on in the Clipse days. And so it is no surprise that Pusha feels totally comfortable slipping syllables into the odd cracks and crevices Pharrell creates. Pusha and Pharrell are joined here by rapper Ab-Liva, an old friend from the Clipse and Re-Up Gang days. Pusha is truly at home here. His shoes are off. His feet are up. He is rapping.