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I have been listening to Pusha T's My Name is My Name since it started streaming online a couple days ago. And, man is it good! It's top-shelf rapping from start to finish. Terrence "Pusha T" is about one thing, first and foremost: Lyrics. And his lyrics are about one thing, first and foremost: Cocaine.
"Write what you know" is an old age. It's one of the first things you hear in any creative writing course in college. Pusha's work is a great example of the wisdom of that phrase. He grew up in a drug dealing family. His grandmother was a kingpin in Virginia Beach, in the '70s and '80s. It's what he knows. And he focuses in on the details of the business and the culture—as he calls it—that has risen up around it with laser precision.
"Gem star razor and a dinner plate/Arm & Hammer and a mason jar/That's my dinner date," he raps on "Nosetalgia."
Pusha T knows his way around the meaning and sound of words. And he gets the most out of every word he uses. So I defend his single-mindedness. I think it goes into the quality of his rhymes. Establishing tight confines to work within helps an artist see the tiny nuances, the subtle differences that emerge as he or she repeats his or her process again and again.
My Name is My Name is one of the most single-minded rap albums that I've ever heard, I think. But! In my listening, I have discovered some variation! Never let it be said that Pusha doesn't rap about anything except cocaine. Because he does. Here are 10 Things Besides Cocaine That Pusha T Raps About On My Name Is My Name.