Pusha T - S.N.I.T.C.H. (Feat. Pharrell)
I’m very averse to just saying “here’s a guy that used to rap primarily about drugs, now rapping about drugs but primarily the lifestyle afforded to him by rap … and maybe a past of selling drugs.” There has to be more to My Name Is My Name than that. But then again, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s just a very well orchestrated rap album in 2013, with beats that create a cohesive sound, and guest features that reinforce the good rapping the star of the show does throughout (Pardon the thinking out loud via writing).
It really isn’t a complicated album. I remember seeing about ten Vines on twitter from Pusha’s listening party where Kanye was half-intoxicated (off that Goose!) and ranting, and though I remember none of what was said, I can understand the intensity he displayed for it. There’s a lot to like here. So many major label rap albums complicate things. They try to make a song for everyone and end up running in place for 60 minutes. My Name Is My Name knows who it is (And that’s usually more than half the battle of making something good).
This is the music they would have been playing at the crib in Belly as they were watching Gummo. It’s sleek. Like the body of whatever foreign car that rappers are renting for their music videos these days. And the style of the sound reminds me a bit of one-time collaborator Dominic Lord and also a bit of Yeezus.
Pusha says “I don’t sing hooks” on the album’s intro. Kanye and autotune, and The-Dream, and Kelly Rowland, and Chris Brown, and a KRS-One sample handle all of that for him. And with trying to be something he’s not out of the way, Pusha T can do what he does. And that involves sprinkling in a little crack as needed, like a crooked cop. But these days there’s distance between him and the product. He doesn’t touch it anymore. And he’s a bit removed from talking about it at length in the form of similes and metaphors; so we get dated memories of selling narcotics through a Motorola Timeport. And little tidbits such as $3500 being the price of a Virginia hitman, that provide the same brand of interesting you can get from crawling through gang videos on youtube.
There’s other things we’ve come to expect from him as well: The occasional Ric Flair “whoo” and brags like telling you there’s a label deal under his Tempur-Pedic. And like he did on Clipse’s “I’m Not You” and for much of the rest of his catalog, he wants you to know he doesn’t really see most rappers as his peers:
"we ain’t the same color, clarity of diamond, ni**a, nah, I ain’t got nothin’ in common witchas"
"I sold more dope than I sold records, you ni**as sold records never sold dope"
Despite the requisite “ladies record,” “Let Me Love You” and the Ma$e impression that comes along with it, there’s not a lot to grimace at. If you were expecting a different kind of album, you’re not in the demo Pusha T has been aiming for and successfully reaching for a decade. If you can quote The Wire, this is for you. It’s simple.