2018 has been a great year for hip-hop, both locally and internationally. One record on the bigger scale that I haven’t been able to stop bumping is Pusha T’s DAYTONA.
With this being said, the rapper’s Nov. 18 appearance at the Vogue was a must for me, despite it being a Sunday night. It turns out I wasn’t the only one with this mindset either, as the storied Broad Ripple club was packed by the time King Push took the stage around 11 p.m.
The Sunday night show lived up to all expectations, ranking high on the list of concerts I’ve been to in Indy this year. To kick off the night, Indianapolis rapper Flaco brought the heat with a short-but-sweet set of bangers. A highlight from Flaco’s set included his electric rendition of “Sadderday”—a song that appears on his excellent 2017 project WRKFRMHME.
After Flaco, two rather odd openers made appearances, with the first being Los Angeles’ Bernard Jabs. Not long after taking the stage, Jabs’ admitted his lack of performance experience, which was clear throughout the SoundCloud rapper’s set. Jabs was then followed by Brooklyn soul band Phony Ppl. The group certainly brought the groove, which paired nicely with Pusha T’s audacious DAYTONA tracks. Their placement on the overall lineup order just had me scratching my head a bit, especially considering the mass of hip-hop heads in attendance (I would have preferred to hear Flaco before Pusha T personally).
Upon taking the stage, Pusha T got straight into the DAYTONA goodness, rattling off the album’s opening tracks in smooth succession. King Push then proceeded to take fans on a tour of his many hits and features, performing verses from songs like “Runaway” by Kanye West and “Grindin’” by Clipse to raucous approval.
Pusha T kept the stage banter to a minimum, instead delivering songs in rapid-fire succession. The one time he did take an extended period to talk was when he addressed Victor Oladipo, who was in the building with fellow Pacers teammates that night (fingers crossed for a future collaboration between Vic and Push).
After performing the remaining four songs from DAYTONA, Pusha T sent Indianapolis fans home with another string of flaming-hot features. This included his verses on “Mercy” by Kanye West, “Move That Dope” by Future, and “I Don’t Like” by Chief Keef.
Following the show, I was invited by a friend to hang out with some graffiti artist buds of his, who planned to go out on a run later that night. Despite the rainy conditions, the crew proceeded with the paint job, doing some beautiful work on an Indy wall that I hope you stumble upon someday.
As I laid down for bed early Monday morning, I reflected on the summation of things I’d experienced throughout the night, with hair still damp from the late-night drizzle. Before nodding off to sleep, I couldn’t help but smile, despite my tiredness.
Damn, I love hip-hop culture y’all.