Kesselhaus, Kulturbrauerei, Berlin
Pusha T is a veteran of the rap game. Tonight’s packed crowd at Kesselhaus – his second of two Berlin shows – is testament to the Virginia rapper’s enduring impact on long-standing fans, and his ability to find new ones.
Having being inaugurated as the president of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. music imprint, Pusha T refuses to look down on new hip-hop, instead embracing each modern era and blending it with his own inimitable style, something reflected in the mix of ages going for it in tonight’s crowd.
Dressed in black, his hair in signature braids, he kicks off with a pounding rendition of the Intro from December´s Darkest Before Dawn LP, before launching into M.F.T.R. He’s been working hard – with his next album King Push due out this summer, this is still a show in support of last December’s Darkest Before Dawn “prelude”, and the songs from that album forming the spine of tonight’s set.
Amidst the adventurous beat selection, Pusha T is an intricate rapper, as he demonstrates impressively when performing the opening bars of F.I.F.A a cappella, before a slick rendition of 2013´s incredible Kendrick Lamar collaboration, Nosetalgia. Numbers on the Boards, during which he enthusiastically marauds from one side of the stage to the other, is definitely one of tonight´s highlights, as is Grindin´ by Clipse – the duo that originally shot Pusha T to notoriety in alongside his brother Malice. A true showman, he completes this short, powerful set with an encore that climaxes with Future’s Move That Dope. As he spits ferocious coke raps over Mike WiLL Made It’s mutated bassline, he draws the evening´s most boisterous crowd reaction. A class act.