Scenes From Pusha T's Album-Release Set at Monroe Lounge on Friday Night.

Pusha T's a known commodity..

Between his revered work alongside No Malice in the Virginia Beach duo Clipse and his more recent efforts as part of Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music collective, his name as a respected wordsmith has long been established. But, much as he's treasured in certain circles, a lyrical mercenary seemingly constantly on the brink of even greater acclaim, he remains largely under-appreciated and, worse, unknown in other ones.

So, yes, it's been abundantly clear for some time now that, with last week's release of Pusha's solo major label debut LP, the The Wire-referencing My Name Is My Name, the rapper seems intent on introducing a nice side of himself to the world. And, really, MNIMN does exactly what it sets out to do. It's a strong portrayal of an artist with something to prove — a surprisingly cohesive, unrelenting and sometimes even ballsy offering.

It bears noting, however, that Pusha had plenty of help with it.

Most every collaborator featured on the release — a roster that includes West, Kendrick Lamar, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Young Jeezy, Chris Brown, Big Sean and Kelly Rowland — is a more recognizable name than Pusha, save for a few exceptions.

So perhaps it was smart thinking, then, that Pusha's first Dallas appearance in the wake of his new album dropping would come as a strictly solo offering. Maybe even better was the fact that it came with little advance warning, with questioned murmurs of a possible club appearance and performance serving as the bulk of the promotion of the event that, in the end, delivered just what those whispers indicated.

No, Pusha's showcase at the earlier-this-summer-opened Monroe Lounge wasn't much of a traditional stage show (Pusha spent its entirety in the DJ booth). It wasn't super long (a half-dozen songs is all). And there wasn't much flair to it. The only lights on the performer came from the flashing cell-phone bulbs of the fans crowding around the booth, and DJ Feezy, the club's resident, piped in Pusha's backing tracks for him.

But it worked all the same, pulling off the trick it set out to do.

The club's regular attendees got the special, bold-faced-name-highlighted night they'd sought out. Curious area rap fans for the chance to see a respected performer in an an up-close-and-personal setting.

And Pusha? Well, he got the chance to show off that he's more than just a guy who gets featured on other rappers' tracks; he's the guy who gets them on his songs now.












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