Monday, 14 October 2013

Nosetalgia (My Name is My Name, Track #10), Pusha T ft. Kendrick Lamar - The Review

...this is timeless, simply 'cos it's honest

Two dope emcees illustrate the dope game from the perspectives of a dealer and a washed up dealer's son.

The Concept
Cocaine, coke, crack, dope.

It's a fact of life in the hood.

Who better to speak on it than Pusha T, a former dope boy who still celebrates (and always has since appearing on the hip hop scene) his association with the dope game, and Kendrick Lamar, a young man grown up around the dope (in his very house it seems) but doing his best to take the other road (a personal anti-drug use stance).

Oh and a dope beat from Nottz.

The Characters, The Cast, and their Craft
Pusha T delivers an honest verse as a successful drug dealer, both as a happy go lucky young kid at school and a happy living, stressed out unrepentant adult, faced at any moment with impending death.

Lamar takes up the role of a washed up drug dealer's son, with an auntie who's hooked on the dope.He also briefly switches into the character of his washed up drug dealer dad.

As for the craft, suffice it to say, they both spit pure honest fire!

The Story
Pusha T uses the imagery of baby powder and nappy rash to clue us in on how early in his life he was introduced to the dope game. He goes on to detail his life as the big man pushing dope at school, getting girls, and generally just living it up. A doctor easing the pain of the hood with his drugs. 
And then as a grown man the stakes are far higher, with death such a frequent occurrence that the only response it evokes is a tattoo of the dead man's name, a bigger chain?, and a redistribution of the dead man's assets - including his girl.

Kendrick Lamar enters the scene with a continuation of the death theme, asking; "you wanna see a dead body?" He then proceeds to detail how the crime and stress involved in the dope game affects a dealer's family. With his auntie hooked, his younger brother crying and he himself having nothing but trouble on his mind all the time. He goes on to speak on how, his dad starts every now and then to get high off his own supply, and resorts to underhand tactics to keep himself in the game but eventually loses it all.

Enter Kendrick as a young man to console his dad with promises of getting him a kilogramme of cocaine and thus making him a rich man however he decides to sell it. His dad is having no talk of his son doing cocaine though and wants to know the meaning of Kendrick's talking out the ass.

Kendrick then tells his dad that he raised him right and the dope he's talking about is himself.

The Resolution
It is easy for a good ear listening to the song as one story, to envision the young drug pushing Pusha T, from the first verse growing up into Kendrick's dad from the second verse.

And then the song becomes a powerful message of how, people in the hood should focus on improving themselves, or their children, and then their professions would become the new dope/cocaine that gets them rich.

The Verdict
The best example of how you can speak about the truth of your life, in a bad or good situation, and use it to inspire (subliminally or directly) your community.

Best song I've heard this year.

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