Just two days after Shad and Brother Ali tore the house down, Pusha T came to the same venue to promote his debut solo album, My Name Is My Name. This was my first time seeing him perform, as I never even saw him back when he was making music with The Clipse. I pretty much had no expectations going into this, as I’ve been a moderate fan of his music over the years but I’ve never even saw videos of or heard people talk about his live shows, solo or otherwise. I’m a fan of hip-hop though, and he’s put in enough work with The Clipse and as a solo artist to have a pretty good set list.
The venue wasn’t quite as packed as the Shad and Brother Ali show a couple nights ago, but the space eventually filled up as people realized the Super Bowl was a blowout and decided they could miss the end of the game. One thing I also noticed early on was the crowd was a lot younger than the Shad show, with a lot of people looking like they were still in high school. This was interesting because The Clipse were pretty big when I was in high school, and now Pusha T is becoming big as a solo artist all these years later. Before Pusha got on stage though, there was some buzz-kill to put up with.
It seemed like Pusha T was waiting for the Super Bowl to finish before coming on stage. Normally, I wouldn’t have a problem with this (Wu-Tang members make fans wait all the time), but there were no opening acts and the DJ was doing a terrible job at rocking the crowd. The first half hour had an alright mix, but then the DJ got caught up in some Future, Chief Keef, T-Pain, Young Thug and their sound-alikes with a bunch of sh***y parody-rap. One or two of these songs would’ve been okay if thrown in the mix, but for at least an hour this was the majority of what was played, with the only actual hip-hop songs being token Biggie, 2Pac, Eminem and Jay-Z picks (one from each). He played a little too much Drake too, and no Clipse songs, which would have been tasteful. Were there really no half-decent artists in the GTA that were willing to miss the Super Bowl to rock a crowd?
Anyway, when Pusha T finally made it to the stage, the crowd got hyped and I think we pretty much forgot about the hour of bullsh** we had just put up with. He came out to my favourite solo song of his, “King Push”, and proceeded to rock the crowd with a bunch of cuts off his mixtape and EP. After a few songs, he stopped to tell us the story of how he got signed to G.O.O.D. Music, and then got into some of the songs that led to his signing: his guest appearances on Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album. He then got into some Cruel Summer cuts like “Mercy”, “Don’t Like”, and “New God Flow” before continuing on with his My Name Is My Name album.
Along with more mixtape tracks, he kept the crowd moving with “Pain”, “Suicide”, “Nosetalgia” and “Sweet Serenade” off the new album before wrapping up his set with “Numbers on the Boards”. After leaving the stage, he came back out for an encore with “40 Acres”, a girly song I didn’t recognize, and finished with his first single ever with The Clipse: “Grindin'”. Overall it was a pretty average rap show; there were no visuals or anything extra other than the lighting, and no guest appearances other than a singer who did a good job covering Chris Brown and The Dream’s choruses. It was just the emcee, the DJ, and the hypeman, and they put on a good, traditional hip-hop show with a well thought-out set list. This past weekend was my first time going to the Danforth Music Hall, and it proved to be a good venue for hip-hop both times.
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