By Pauline Hunt
Artist: Pusha T
Date / Venue: Saturday January 9th, 2016 - The Studio, Auckland
Pusha T aka Terence Thornton first came to the music spotlight as one half of hip hop duo 'Clipse' alongside his brother Gene ‘No Malice' Thornton. His career spans over 20 years and this was the first time that New Zealand were going to see him live. With the help of American record producer ‘Pharrell Williams', the duo were signed to Elektra Records in 1997 and release their only album under that label "Exclusive Audio Footage". In 2004, the duo launched their record label ‘Re-Up Records' and formed hip hop group ‘Re-Up Gang'. They released their third studio album and their most commercial "Hell Hath No Fury" in 2006 and were praised by critics. In 2009, after releasing one more album, the duo decided to take time off to concentrate on solo projects.
Pusha T announced in 2010 that he had signed to Kanye West's "GOOD Music" where he released his first solo project mixtape in 2011 "Fear Of God" & in 2013 released his debut album "My Name is My Name". In November 2015, Kanye West appointed Pusha T to take over his role as president of GOOD Music.
First on the stage was DJ Sirvere to warm up the crowd before the headliner came on stage. He was playing the hip hop of today and judging from the audience, they were loving it especially since they jumping and screaming all over the place. DJ Sirvere played for a good hour and a half, entertaining everybody and to get them all hyped up before Pusha T came on stage.
After what seemed like forever, it was time for the rapper that everybody came to see to start performing to a packed out Studio. His supporting DJ, Rick Geez would warm himself up first before bring the man himself out on stage.
Pusha T opened his show with his verse from ‘Don't Like' which is off Kanye West's album "Cruel Summer", bringing all the energy on stage with him. He went on to perfrom hits from his 2013 mixtape "Wrath Of Caine", ‘Blocka and ‘Millions'. With Pusha T working very closesly with Kanye West, of course we would be hearing more of his features in Kanye's records. His verse from ‘Mercy' by Kanye was next, and as soon as he dropped the hook, the crowd just went crazy. He then performed his verses from ‘So Appalled' and the well known record ‘Runaway' both from Kanye's album "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy".
‘Exodus 23:1' was to come next, followed along with Pusha T's verse from 'New God Flow' which is also on the compilation album "Cruel Summer". Continuing his show, he performed ‘Nosetalgia', ‘Sweet Serenade' (which features Chris Brown but brought another talented singer with him), ‘Numbers on the Boards', ‘Untouchable', ‘Crutches, Crosses, Caskets' and ‘M.F.T.R' which stands for More Famous Than Rich. After the last record, he left the stage thanking NZ for having him. What felt like not a proper goodbye, the crowd were chanting "King Push" wanting to him come back on to do an encore. His DJ, Rick Geez were telling us to chant louder that if we did, he would come back on. He was right. He performed his verse from rapper Future's hit ‘Move That Dope' before finishing the night off with a hit from his group 'Clipse Grindin'.
Pusha T has a lot of energy and he brought it with him to his Auckland show. He knows exactly what the crowd wants and he delivers each and every time and each record he performed, he put character into each lyric. Special mention to his DJ, Rick Geez as he also projected his energy to the crowd showing he was having as much fun as the crowd was. Pusha T deserves all the recognition he gets, as he definitely showed Auckland why Kanye gave him the role of president for label GOOD Music.