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Nas, Pusha T, Teyana Taylor, Valee, more played the G.O.O.D. Music showcase in Chicago (pics)

…as became clear not only by the length of their performances but also by the ramped-up production, the four previous sets were really a precursor for G.O.O.D. label boss Pusha T and hip-hop icon, Nas. “I’d like to welcome you all to the Daytona experience,” King Push bellowed, his eyes bulging from their sockets as he stepped to the edge of the stage, gripped the mic and launched into the menacing Daytona opener “If You Know You Know.” The former Clipse emcee has long been a savage lyricist, but this past year — whether via the colossal Daytona or his verbal assaults on Drake — has seen him at the peak of his powers. Saturday was only a continuation: “When I’m talking Daytona I’m talking rap album of the motherf–king year,” he barked. It was hard to disagree.

And while Nas may have caught flack for what felt like a half-baked effort in this year’s Nasir, the rappers headlining set was a reminder of his undeniable legacy. Reminding the crowd how, years back, he’d shot music videos in the since-shuttered Cabrini Green and Robert Taylor Home housing projects, the New York City native used his show in “the most gangster city in the world” as a sign of respect for his Windy City brethren. It was a spectacle, to be sure: massive visuals hovered behind him and he bathed in serene lighting as he tore through a greatest-hits set including “Hate Me Now,” “If I Ruled The World” and Illmatic gem “One Love.” Even some of his newer fare, like the reflecting “Adam and Eve,” had a sharp bite. [Billboard]

The Chicago edition of the Red Bull Music Festival began on Saturday (11/3) with a G.O.O.D. Music showcase at Wintrust Arena featuring Nas, Pusha T, Teyana Taylor, Desiigner, 070 Shake, and Valee. (Sheck Wes was supposed to play too but had to drop off due to illness.) Nas, Pusha T, and Teyana Taylor all released seven-song, Kanye-produced albums this year (though Kanye himself was not there, nor was Kid Cudi, who put out the collaborative Kids See Ghosts album with Kanye as part of that same album series), Valee has been on the rise since releasing his debut EP for G.O.O.D. Music and especially his “Womp Womp” single, and 070 Shake played two of the songs from Kanye’s new album that she appears on. Pictures of the showcase are in the gallery above.

Meanwhile, Pusha T is about to begin his tour with Phony Ppl, which includes NYC shows at Irving Plaza on November 25 & 26 (night one sold out, night two on sale). After that tour, he also plays the BAPE 25th anniversary show at NYC’s Hulu Theatre at MSG on 12/6 with Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, and others (tickets).

photos by Christian Heinzel

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