Pusha T Brings His New God Flow to NYC's Irving Plaza For the DAYTONA Tour
For the second night in a row, Pusha T took up residence at New York City’s Irving Plaza Monday (Nov. 26) to close out the second leg of The DAYTONA Tour.
After canceling a number of dates on the first leg this past summer, Pusha made up for the inconvenience with a 14-show trek across the country. Following an excellent outing the night before, fans were expecting another amazing showing on Monday, and Pusha did not disappoint.
The show got off to a great start with an opening set by newcomer Bernard Jabs. The 17-year old rapper out of Tifton, Georgia, served the audience a taste of his musical abilities with charismatic performances of “Move the Same” and “End Goal.” The young MC took some time during his set to have fun with the New York audience by engaging in a “Yerr” call and response chant. Jabs continued to bask in the New York vibes by bringing out Brooklyn native and GS9 affiliate Fetty Luciano on stage for a performance of his heat-seeking single “On the Wall.”
The alt-R&B quintet Phony Ppl took the stage shortly after to hit the audience with some neo-soul vibes. The group jammed through a list of their eclectic songs including tracks off their newly released album mō'zā-ik. Gushing vocals and funk-laced rhythms filled the spaces of Irving Plaza as “Before You Get a Boyfriend” and “Move Her Mind” had the audience moving along to the lush beats.
Hot 97’s Funkmaster Flex made a surprise guest appearance after Phony Ppl’s set to hold fans over until King Push made his entrance. “I [have] 30 minutes until showtime,” Flex explained to the raucous crowd before jumping into his set. A half hour was all Flex needed to bring the audience back into a hip-hop state of mind as he put his DJ skills on full display mixing the old generation with the new.
Flex took some time to stir the pot when he played some of Drake’s hit records. As soon as Flex cued “God’s Plan” loud boos filled the air, overpowering the large speakers stationed throughout the venue. “That n---a is trash,” Flex yelled to the crowd as he continued cutting Drake records, with the jeers getting louder and louder. “How many came here for real hip-hop shit?” Flex asked as numerous hands shot up in the air. After getting the response he was looking for, Flex closed his set and left the crowd buzzing for more real rap tunes.
After a brief intermission, King Push made his appearance rapping the opening lyrics to “If You Know You Know” a cappella. Wasting no time, Pusha went right into the deafening guitar chords of “The Games We Play” and the haunting keys of “Hard Piano.” Cell phone lights illuminated the dimly lit venue as Pusha triumphantly stood at center stage taking in the energy from the voracious crowd. “New York City, I’d like to welcome you to the DAYTONA experience,” Pusha said. “When I say DAYTONA, I’m talking rap album of the year!” The crowd bellowed with their approval of the statement as some held up merch with the title “Rap Album of The Year” emblazoned on them.
Feeling the electric spirit from the numerous die-hard Pusha fans, the G.O.O.D. Music CEO ran through a medley of songs off his previous solo projects My Name Is My Name and King Push-Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude. “Nosetalgia,” “F.I.F.A.,” M.F.T.R.” and “Numbers on the Boards” induced deep-head nods in the crowd while they rapped along to the words of “Pain” and “Move That Dope.”
Towards the end of the night, Pusha acknowledged his day one fans who’ve been with him since he first embarked on a solo career eight years ago. He proceeded to rap the number of guest verses he has with his G.O.O.D. Music brethren including his opening verses on “Runaway” and “New God Flow.”
“New York City, this is the last day of the DAYTONA Tour. I’m going right back to where it started for me,” Pusha said. “I don’t do fans, I do family. You’re all family!” Those who’ve been riding with Pusha since his days with the Clipse received a special treat in the form of a lively performance of Lord Willin' classic “Grindin’.”
Pusha closed the show with the second half of DAYTONA performing “Come Back Baby,” “Santeria” and more. Fans refused to let the night end as they cheered Pusha’s name in hopes of the Virginia Beach native quenching their thirst for more music. The crowd got their wish when the hard-hitting instrumental to “Drug Dealers Anonymous” blasted through the speakers in the venue. Following the encore performance, Pusha thanked New York and its rap purists for the amazing energy they gave him, before making his exit to JAY-Z’s closing verse.