Words by David D., Beware and Chan-Lo
We’ve finally had a few moments to reflect on SXSW ’12 and all of the insanity that happened last week. Honestly, it’s been a grind and it seems like the event gets more tiring and rewarding every year. In all the picture-gathering and recapping, a few moments really stood out to us. From performances we couldn’t forget all the way down to midnight meals we’re still digesting, here are 10 moments from our latest 6th Street campaign that have stayed with us a week later.
1. Taylor Gang Knows Exactly What They’re Doing — Much of Wiz Khalifa’s buzz came off of his monster SXSW in 2010 so he knows the importance of having a good showing. That’s why he made sure he was at every Chevy Woods performance. Wiz received a superstar reaction everywhere he went and Peckerheads went crazy just to see him on stage with Chevy. The whole Taylor Gang came out and pushed Woods to the forefront to make his sets memorable. They totally understood what it means to rock out in Austin and they did everything they could to get Chevy buzzing.
2. The Worst Businessman Ever Lives In Austin — At about 4am on Friday night we were stopped by a rapper who wanted to pass us his demo – in tattered white CD slips. When I reached for it, he said “I’m only asking for $5 for it”. I stopped and tried to help: “You know everyone is giving their CDs for free literally a block away…nobody’s going to hear your music.” His response? “I haven’t seen anyone give their CD for free here.” And with that, we kept it moving.
3. Trae The Truth Has Clout — At one point, amidst the madhouse that was the Vibehouse, a stampede started to close in on me as I attempted to make my way out of the press room (aka the blunt factory) and up into the stage area. Just as I scurried back down the steps and nearly avoided being at the bottom of a morning news story, hometown favorite Trae sprinted up the stairs solo. Less than two minutes later, the pandemonium was over quicker than it popped off. I have no idea what he did or said, but the man’s presence alone put an immediate halt to a situation that seemed potentially dangerous.
4. Lots Of Rappers, Not A Lot Of Security — It doesn’t take a genius to know that’s not a good combo. Knowing how relationships in rap pan out and how quickly altercations can end if the wrong outliers fall into place, there were a few moments – like the one mentioned above – where I realized how quickly the scripts could’ve been flipped if firepower came into play. When rappers and their gaudy jewelry are more accessible than ever, and entourages only come in two sizes – starting five or football team – there really should be more people getting patted down. But, then again, they would cause problems in itself.
5. Schoolboy Q’s Music Makes So Much Sense — Q’s music was made to be performed. Point blank. It seems like every aspect of his music was catered to rocking out as hard as humanly possible. His energy is off the charts and crowd participation was irresistible. For my money, the best show at SXSW came on Wednesday under a tent off 6th with Schoolboy Q and A$AP Rocky. Which leads me to…
6. A$AP Rocky Is Legit — Last year, SXSW was highlighted by the over-hyped Lil B who turned out to be all sizzle and Hamburger Helper. Rocky, though, is talented with a dynamic personality and killer connection to the audience. And when he took time to talk between songs, he sounded like a pretty sharp kid. Plus, with all the talk of him “biting” the south, Rocky made sure he took every opportunity to pay homage and show respect to the Texas sound that birthed him by giving all credit humanely possible to the Lone Star State. Can’t go wrong with that.
7. Hotels Online Are Farther Than They Appear — Man, listen. When I booked my stay for Austin this year, I did everything in my power to stay within a reasonable distance to the action and save some scrilla. And, even though I Google-Mapped the routes beforehand and tripled-checked the distances, I still ended up 20-some minutes away in Round Rock, where one-way cab rides become upwards of $70. Luckily TC came through in the clutch and helped a brother out, but damn…next year I’m either having the label pay for a suite downtown or investing in a rental car.
8. Mistah F.A.B. Is A Perpetual Freestyle Machine — Mistah Fab will turn a random moment on the street into a full fledged 16…without a break to breathe. I saw the Bay Area emcee on the street and being the newbie that I am, Gotty™ damn near demanded that I request a freestyle. I did. He delivered, shouted out the team, and make me a believer that top-of-the-dome freestyles still exist.
9. The Illmore Is SXSW’s Studio 54 — Apparently, The Illmore is just that serious. One of the most buzzed about after parties at SXSW was the house that Scoremore Shows and IllRoots built. With a catchy name (“The Illmore”), a spiffy mansion (complete with mini ballroom that doubled as a performance venue), and a gang of performers on the lineup (Chevy Woods, Juicy J, Mac Miller, Prodigy, Chip Tha Ripper, etc.), it’s no surprise that they had people hopping over fences (imagine sitting on a lawn, it’s dark as f*ck, and suddenly dudes start dismounting ninja style over tall walls) to get in. Security had no clue what to do and it was funny…after the fear subsided.
10. Pedicab Drivers Are Awesome…Again — It seems like every year we sing the praises of the little bike-riding saints, but they deserve it. This year, they not only saved our feet, but they offered some genuine entertainment. On our trek to find the exact location of the YMCMB concert featuring DEWeezy and ‘nem we decided that walking was no longer an option. The solution? Peticab transportation. Upon mention of our love for Tupac, Biggie, and Hip-Hop from the ’90s our Pedicab attendant (shout out to Michael!) decided to bust out with “I ain’t a killa but don’t push me, revenge is like the sweetest joy next to gettin pu**y.” “Hail Mary” was the soundtrack for the duration of our ride. Awesome.