Pusha T Juxtaposes Drug Game and Civil Rights in Future-istic ‘Pain’ Video
Virginia's hustler lays out the historical context of his 'My Name Is My Name' ethos
In his second visual of the week, Pusha T pulls far back from the strippers and sandy beaches of “Sweet Serenade.” The clip for “Pain” features him rapping in front of projected footage of civil rights protests, while the song itself is about a drug dealer whose numbness to society has left him enjoying his riches without remorse. “I don’t ever feel pain, cuz I done felt too much pain,” sings Future on the hook, and the song’s video — along with a key lyric — argues that America’s long history of racism is what turns young men into cynics and, eventually, criminals.
“In the kitchen with a cape on / Apron / Trey-eight on, could’ve been Trayvon / But instead I chose Avon,” Pusha raps, referring in the latter line to both the seminal character in The Wire and the compact powder of the make-up brand. In another life he might have been a dead black teenager like Trayvon Martin, but instead he hacked his way out to a future by cooking and selling drugs. The song — which along with “Nosetalgia” is one of the best off of Pusha’s new LP My Name is My Name — is unrepentant, though colored by an underlying sadness which the video brings to the surface.