Since his temporary withdrawal from The Clipse, Pusha T has hustled hard to build his solo career over the last few years. Most recently we’ve seen him become full integrated into the G.O.O.D. Music family, helping propel tracks like “I Don’t Like (Remix)” and “Mercy”, into nightclub bottle-selling anthems, raising his profile in a heavily competitive rap circuit that also includes MMG and Young Money. With Wrath Of Caine, he gives us a glimpse of what to expect from his official G.O.O.D. Music solo debut, My Name Is My Name, due this year.
The title is obviously a biblical reference, a theme that has run through the course of his career on both of Clipse’s Lord Willin’ and Hell Hath No Fury, as well as his Fear Of God mixtape series. Older heads will also recognize this as an homage to Big Daddy Kane’s 1989 track, “The Wrath Of Kane”.
As Kane penned the blueprint for flossy, rich guy rap in the late 80′s, Pusha T carries on tradition with his own brand of music built around chasing the American dream, yet by more illicit means. At times, he completely nails it, like on the sinister “Millions”, which find him and Rick Ross going to Edgar Allen Poe lengths to hide weapons and drug money. “Revolution” also stands out, as Pusha rides a Neptunes-replayed jazz loop, while “Road Runner” details his years hustling, knocking it out of the park with a Harry Fraud beat, plus a hook from Troy Ave.
Yet the hooks both help and hinder this record. The French Montana helmed “Don’t Matter” hook grates on the ears, as he lazily croons each verse, while the Kevin Gates love rap sillily promises “I just might trust with my drugs / trust you with my money.” Yet the dancehall inspired hook of “Blocka” is kinda cool, so it ain’t all bad.
Relying heavily on his tales of the trap, Pusha T rarely steps outside the box, and he doesn’t have his brother to play the angel on his shoulder, this time around. On the album’s closing track, “I Am Forgiven”, he attempts to make peace with God for his wrongdoings, but admits that’s only so he can do them again. We’re not sure how sincere he really is.
While this brand of fantasy drug-dealer rap from guys like Pusha and Rick Ross is entertaining to listen to, T needs to show us something we haven’t heard from him before on his forthcoming LP, My Name Is My Name. While he reminds us that this is just an appetizer to the main course, in that respect, it’s more-or-less satisfying.
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