Virginia Beach duo Clipse, comprised of brothers Pusha T and Malice, released their first album in 1997 and dropped their latest in 2009. But it wasn’t until this month that Push, typically the stronger rapper of the Thornton brothers and always the leading presence, delivered his first solo effort. My Name Is My Name debuted at number four on Billboard on the strength of singles like the Future collab “Pain” and the Kanye-produced monolith “Numbers on the Board”. In our review, staff writer Jon Hadusek said Name is hurt by “a few poor production choices” and “uneven sequencing,” but nonetheless boasts “flashes of real brilliance.” It’s one of the bigger releases of this fall, at any rate, and one of the best.
Name’s arrival – not to mention other recent solo releases, such as Hear Ye Him by the other Thornton, now known as No Malice – had us thinking about some of our other favorite solo efforts which explains this list. But before we digress, allow us some context: An album was eligible for inclusion here only if its creator was better known as a member of a group at the time of release. Inevitably, that left some grey area, as we reluctantly ruled Snoop’s Doggystyle ineligible, but decided Juicy J’s Stay Trippy was fair game, even though Juicy has been better known in the past couple years than he ever was with Three 6 Mafia.
CoS contributors put together the following Top 20, but we also tapped one of our favorite up-and-comers – Denzel Curry, the Florida rapper behind “Threatz” and the excellent new Nostalgic 64 – for a few words on his own favorite solo outing.