Pusha T, Perfectionist

He's back from Wyoming with a clear perspective of his place in hip-hop.

Nearly two decades after he and his brother Malice electrified hip-hop heads and fellow rappers alike as Clipse, Pusha T is having the most productive year of his career. While overseeing label operations as the president of G.O.O.D. Music, he released his critically praised third solo album Daytona, a seven-track tour de force solely produced by close friend Kanye West, who chopped the album as if he had fallen in love with hip-hop production all over again. As the only other artist who stayed with West during his entire stint producing five albums while tucked away on a ranch in Wyoming, Pusha was hellbent on not merely working, but working efficiently, operating under the principle that releasing anything less than perfect is unacceptable.

On Daytona, Pusha and West have given listeners a rare hip-hop gem that is strikingly relevant for the moment our country is in, yet which feels appropriately in place in the larger picture of the genre’s history, a definitive instant classic. Even with the expected controversy with West’s very public team-Trump political platform — and his brutal, unexpected summer beef with Drake — Pusha’s demeanor has remained bold but composed in the face of newfound media scrutiny. He’s seemingly invincible to whatever’s hurled in his direction. On Daytona’s second track, “The Games We Play,” Pusha succinctly puts his place in hip-hop into perspective, exclaiming, “This ain’t a wave or phase / ’Cause all that shit fades / This lifestyle’s forever when you made.”

Pusha T, Saturday, Oct. 13, 7:35-8:25 p.m., on the City Stage.

See more from SF Weekly’s Treasure Island Music Festival issue:

A Decade of Postcoital Bliss, With Cigarettes After Sex
Years after it began, Cigarettes After Sex suddenly became a breakout YouTube sensation. Songwriter Greg Gonzalez got to the bottom of it.

Soccer Mommy Embraces ‘Chill but Kinda Sad’ Vibes
Clean follows the 21-year-old’s ‘very depressing and cool’ experience of moving to New York for college in indie heartbreak-style.

Serpentwithfeet Is No Performance Artist
Blended with soul and R&B, the traditions of the Black gospel churches that serpent grew up in flourish on his debut album, soil.

Courtney Barnett Is a Millennial Courtney Love
The Australian singer-songwriter speaks to the stereotype of the lazy, navel-gazing generation — and in doing so, sees rampant success.

George FitzGerald, Mr. Burns
An early-afternoon set rather suits a Londoner who finds himself at the center of the underground music scene.


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