There's still a week to go before Pusha T officially drops his long-awaited solo debut, My Name Is My Name, but on Tuesday night the G.O.O.D. Music MC released a stream for his fans to preview his deep and dark LP.
One of the early standouts is "40 Acres," a gut-wrenching look into the dark recesses of Pusha's troubled past and conflicted present. When MTV News spoke to the VA rapper earlier this month, he broke down the poignant track.
" '40 Acres' is just an introspective view," he said. "This is my thoughts; this is the reason for everything. People always want to know where I'm coming from in these verses and it's like, 'Man, I'mma tell you my family life, I'mma tell you just how I view everything.' "
The calculated lyricist booked a room in the Redbury Hotel in Los Angeles, where he spent three days writing the song, which was produced by The-Dream and Rico Beats. "Three days without touching the studio. Everybody [was] beginning to think I'm wasting studio time, but sometimes it takes that long," he said of his writing and editing process. "That's writing it, not liking it, not liking the order of it, not liking the flow of it, ripping it up [and] going back at it again."
Pusha started his career as one half of the Clipse, a rapping duo with his brother Malice. From 2002 to 2009, the pair crafted masterful rhymes that typically recounted a drug dealer's exploits. The pair built a reputation as purveyors of hip-hop's "coke rap" sub-genre, putting out their last album, Til the Casket Drops, in '09.
Since then, they've focused on solo paths: Malice changed his name to No Malice and dropped his solo debut, Hear Ye Him, an LP that focuses on his renewed faith, in August. My Name Is My Name, however, finds Pusha unchanged, though his ability to tap into his innermost feelings has evolved.
On "40 Acres," Pusha addresses the difference between him and brother Malice when he rhymes, "My better half, chose the better path, applaud him/ Younger brother, me, a spoiled child, I fought him/ I heard that the Devil's new playground is boredom/ The California top just falls back like autumn/ And they say I'm on the verge of winning/ I claim victory with Malice, on the verge of sinning."
"When you're involving my brother, you're involving a whole other aspect of life, which is family, which is love, which is my heart, which is everything to me," Pusha explained, noting that he and Malice have no conflict over their different musical voices. "Any decision he makes, I ride with it. Any decision I make, he rides with it."