First, a little background on the Complex workspace: When a new song releases or leaks, it tends to get played a lot. Loudly. Ad-literal-nauseam. To the point where you can hear them even through the most sound-cancellingest headphones. (Currently we are all being aurally marinated in new Eminem.) Which means back in April we all listened to Pusha T's "Numbers on the Board." Over and over and over again, each time louder then the last, until that sparse Kanye/Don Cannon beat and King Push's ferocious delivery was burned into all of our respective brains. So by the time My Name is My Name hit and that track came on, we turned it...up.
Sick of it? Anything but. "Numbers on the Board" is even better presented in context, between the even sparser "King Push" intro and the far more lush, Chris Brown-ed "Sweet Serenade." The only concern on first listen was the sheer number of features—only "King Push" and "Numbers on the Boards" lack them—but most of those are just for hooks or added depth. And the guest verses are more or less universally welcome, from longtime collaborator Ab-Liva to an unusually fiscally conscious Rick Ross ("Fuck coppin' them Foams/When you coppin' the home?") to a languid-as-ever 2 Chainz. The best spots, however, come courtesy of a refreshingly ad-lib free Young Jeezy (only one "yeeeeeeah" slips through) and 2013 MVP candidate Kendrick Lamar, who flips the coked-up theme of "Nosestalgia" upside-down.
Well, the best outside of Pusha himself, who seamlessly blends the expected dealer braggadocio ("I just want to buy another Rollie/I just want to pop another band/I just want to sell dope forever/I just want to be who I am") with an unexpected ode to his parents ("We was born to mothers who couldn't deal with us/Left by fathers who wouldn't build with us/I had both mine home, let's keep it real, niggas") and delivers an amazing homage to Mase on "Let Me Love You." Even his few clunker lines ("Hines Ward of these crime lords"—you mean retired?—and "blonde hair, blue eyes like the Fuhrer"—you mean this guy?) don't take away from the overall experience. It's a never-hit-skip album made by a 36-year-old rapper with more hunger than most 15 years his junior.
But you probably don't need a full-on review here-because if you're anything like us, you've been bumping My Name is My Name all month. —Russ Bengtson