Much of the Pusha T coverage of late has focused primarily on his ongoing feud with Canadian rapper Drake, despite Push having just released an album, Daytona. It seems the braided Virginian rapper wants to remind people that Daytona was one of the best hip-hop releases of the last six months, bringing the album’s devastating opening track, “If You Know You Know,” to the late night stage for Jimmy Kimmel Live!
The set is all mood and menace, with a pitch black stage brutally interrupted by flashing blue and red lights on either side of Pusha’s face. The effect is spooky and unnerving, especially when combined with his distorted facial expressions. His aggression feels heightened by the sinister lighting and the surge of anxiety that always comes from catching those lights in the rearview. When the hook comes in, the light resolve to a simple, white strobe, highlighting Pusha T posted up solo with a mic stand in front of a giant closeup of an eye on the screen behind him. Images of religion, commerce, and conflict flash against the enlarged iris behind him, highlighting the harrowing content of his rhymes and underlining the paranoia of his former profession.
With Daytona currently climbing the charts and his “Story Of Adidon” Drake diss dominating the hip-hop conversation, all eyes are on Push in an entirely different light, but it seems the veteran rapper is more than prepared. Daytona is out now via GOOD Music/Def Jam Recordings.