Pusha T, My Name Is my Name

Pusha T is finally out of label limbo and at home with G.O.O.D. Music. And after listening to My Name Is my Name, I believe he’s found a good creative match. Pusha T made a name for himself in Clipse due to his witty lines and penchant for choosing ill beats. (He and his brother No Malice share the credit for finding dope collaborators like the Neptunes, for example.) Sans sibling, Pusha T proves he really is just as strong as a solo artist. He still got beats, caine rap, bars and one of hip-hop’s favorite adlibs: “ilk”!

The 36-year-old MC has some support on the 12-track LP, with guests like Big Sean, Chris Brown, Rick Ross, The-Dream, Young Jeezy, 2 Chainz, Kelly Rowland, Pharrell, Nottz and of course, Yeezy, who pushed this record back because he wanted to put his special touch on each song (which he did well). The beats are hardcore yet still musical, a nice tribute to boom bap without being dated.

P.S. Pusha does his best Mase impression on “Let Me Love You” (ft. Kelly Rowland), and it’s actually really cool.

Available at iTunes.

R. Kelly, “Cookie”

R. Kelly’s latest offering is a sexy, raunchy diddy from his forthcoming album, Black Panties, due out December 3. Given the title of the song, you’ve probably guessed it’s a euphemism. The beat is low-key, but the content is hot and heavy, as Kelly sings on the hook, “Mmmm like an Oreo/I love to lick the middle like an Oreo/I want to bite it and get inside it.”

Listen here.

Fela Kuti & Egypt 80, – “Original Sufferhead”

Fela Kuti’s birthday month has started with quite the memorial bang. Red Hot has just released their second tribute album to the late King of Afrobeat (discussed in last week’s Sonic Boom), but now we’ve got a hold of some previously unreleased music from Fela Kuti and Egypt 80. This joint is a never released version of “Original Sufferhead,” and it’s every bit of funky as Fela fans can imagine. It’s rife with xylophone, horns, keyboard and drums galore—everything you need to get people moving.

Listen here.

Leigh Bush (Sammie), “Dancer”

Do you remember Sammie? He’s the then cute kid sanging his heart out here. Anyway, he’s back, grown, and using a new name. Call him Leigh Bush. Not sure about that name, but his voice hasn’t changed. “Dancer” is a sensual offering seemingly inspired by Frank Ocean (“Pyramids” anyone?), where Leigh Bush positions himself as a patron at a strip club pondering the life of a stripper. Bush sings things like, “Do the shots ease your pain, do you ever get nervous?” and the hook goes something like, “You’re just a dancer searching for answers on how to love.” Nom de plume issues aside, it’s actually a solid song.

Listen here.

Starrene Rhett Rocque is a pop culture junky who often fantasizes about becoming a shotgun toting B-movie heroine, and aspires to save the world from the impending #ZombieApocolypse… In reality she’s a freelance entertainment journalist/blogger who muses about music, TV, movies and love. Follow her on Twitter @GangStarrGirl.