SXSW 2016 by Chris P: Local Celebrity
I’m a hip-hop head, so my SXSW experience tends to lean toward hip-hop shows. I saw countless acts, and many times at festivals, these acts bleed into one another, at least in my not-what-it-used-to-be memory. I enjoy discovering new artists, while also seeing those I am already a fan of. COSIGN’s 2016 SXSW varied as the team was spread out across the festival, but below is a recap of my SXSW:
Highlights of my SXSW 2016 Experience:
Mick Jenkins – Having followed Mick Jenkins over the past couple of years, I had wanted to see him live. I missed his performances here in Dallas, once on the Smoker’s Club Tour and then at JMBLYA, and then once again at A3C in Atlanta. I finally caught up to him Thursday at the ChicagoMade showcase at The Main and he rocked it. I remember saying to myself, “For having such a dark musical demeanor and still being fairly young in the game, he really puts on a surprisingly energetic performance.” I actually was hoping to also catch his set on Saturday where he was on the same ticket as Erykah Badu, but I unfortunately missed it, because, well, Saturday night at Southby.
Starlito – Starlito is probably my favorite rapper right now. He has been consistently dropping quality projects for the past 5-7 years and I do my best to catch every show I can. This SXSW, I saw him perform live on Wednesday at Peckerheads (where I may have lost some functionality in my left ear from being too close to the speaker) and then again on Thursday at “Bric’s Block Party” at the Palm Door on Sixth Patio, where he was headlining. For the most part, he performed the same songs at both shows, with a few slight variances, but as a fan, it was fine. His “real rap” (that he reminds the crowd that that’s all he has) appeared to resonate with the crowd, and his giving away CDs of his “Black Sheep Don’t Grin” project should help solidify his already cult following. I took my free CD and gave it to a friend and turned her on to his music. As usual, good shows.
Yo Gotti – I have in the last two years come to appreciate Yo Gotti’s music, having slept on him for quite some time. Having left the Starlito show, at Palm Door on Thursday night, I did my best to get to 10th and Red River to get to the Mohawk Outdoor stage. I missed maybe the first 3 or 4 songs of the set, but did squeeze in to join a surprisingly large crowd. (Perhaps I shouldn’t have been that surprised, considering that “Down in the DM” is killing right now.) While I’m not really familiar with much of Gotti’s catalog, the crowd seemed to be. He brought out Trae The Truth for a verse as well and it’s always good to see our Texas hip-hop OGs get some shine. High energy show; a great time.
Rochelle Hot 16 – I met Rochelle Hot 16 in October 2015 at A3C. I didn’t get a chance to see her perform there, but I happened to be walking down 6th on Saturday and ran into her outside of The Chuggin’ Monkey, where she was slated to perform. A dope R&B singer named REZ went on before her (check her out), and then RH16 performed a pair of songs that come to find out impressed a REVOLT TV representative enough that they gave her a VIP pass to their remaining events of SXSW. Rochelle Hot 16 lives up to her name, definitely worth checking out.
Artists I discovered at SXSW 2016:
While at the “ChicagoMade” show to see Mick Jenkins, I discovered R&B (and then some) artist (Mike) Golden. With a live band behind him, he put on a hell of a show. I also caught Short Dawg at Palm Door (whose name I was familiar with, but not his music) and Taylor Bennett at the Swisher Sweet event at Vulcan Gas Company and also at The Main. I have added these acts to my “check out their music” list. I also spent some time at Fader Fort and walked in on performances at Maggie Mae’s and a few unique shows at Palm Door including the “Mandoo Entertainment / Hip-Hop From Asia” and the “MMA Sounds from Africa” sets.
Shows I hate I missed:
Okay, I’m a homer. I like seeing my Dallas artists perform, especially out of town. I reeeeeally wanted to see Erykah Badu perform, as I’ve only seen her DJ as DJ Lowdown Loretta Brown, but never seen an actual Badu performance. It looks like I missed her twice at SXSW. Her appearance at Austin Music Hall had originally supposed to have just been a DJ set, but as a friend that went told me that she did perform. Damnit! I also, as a homer, was hoping to catch dCc as well at Palm Door on Thursday, but I was at the “ChicagoMade” show that was running a bit behind schedule. The Roots with Big Grams was also on my to-see list, as it seemed that this would be a one-off that I’d very likely not have the chance to see ever again in my life. And finally, I hate I missed Roosh Williams show at Clive Bar. I met and interviewed him last year and he makes dope music, so I try to support whenever possible.