The 2019 Grammys

Pusha T Performs 'Daytona' for First Time, Governors Ball Crowd Chants 'F--- Drake'

Jessica Xie
Pusha T performs onstage during Day 2 of 2018 Governors Ball Music Festival at Randall's Island on June 2, 2018 in New York City. 

Pusha T gazed intensely at a sprawling crowd on New York City's Randall's Island Saturday afternoon (June 2) and spoke the two words that have come to embody the arms race he knows the coming months will bring: "Surgical summer."   

This was all the crowd heard of "The Story of Adidon," the eviscerating Drake takedown many are already calling one of the millennium's greatest diss tracks. Pusha didn't address the beef directly, but he did debut his week-old album, Daytona, marking the first time its smoldering songs saw the stage. He saved "Infrared" for last.   

And while Pusha showed icy restraint, the crowd was more than happy to weigh in on recent events; Unprompted, the side stage audience -- largely less than half Pusha's age -- delved into fiendish "Fuck Drake!" chants whenever there was dead air.    

The 41-year-old rapper debuted Daytona over the course of his 45-minute set while weaving in older solo tracks, GOOD Music posse cuts and one glorious Clipse song ("Grindin'," of course). Mosh pits opened up as the crowd got its most raucous for Kanye-Pusha standards like "Runaway," "Mercy" and Cruel Summer's remix of Chief Keef's "I Don't Like." When Daytona tracks played, the crowd's mood was one of reverent admiration, taking in Pusha's 2018 bars while saving energy for the emotional catharsis it knew was always lurking around the corner. "Daytona, motherfuckin' masterpiece," Pusha proclaimed in one of the few moments he addressed the crowd directly. Air horns blaring, the place erupted.    

 

 

King Push. | --: @jesszxie

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For a footnote, a puzzling moment occurred at the set's conclusion, as Pusha abruptly walked offstage shortly after completing "Infrared" (15 minutes before the scheduled end time) while his DJ continued to play. The rapper said some sort of expletive into the mic (it sounded vaguely like, "Why the fuck would you do that?"), though out in the crowd, it was difficult to decipher.

Regardless, there's a good chance those on hand will be talking about the GOOD Music president's Gov Ball set long into the summer, just how surgical it gets notwithstanding. Hours before Pusha took the stage, Kanye declared the Drake beef over. While the kids chant on and GOOD's adversaries collect themselves, Pusha T appears ready to focus on Daytona and all its spoils.