Man. What an intense intoxicating weekend. So much fun was had. So much sleep was lost. But it was all for the sake of good times, good music, good drinks, good food, and good memories. This my first real SXSW. The first one where I actually got wristbands, actually got to go to shows that I wanted to see, and had a real plan as to how I was going to tackle the schedule of shows that I wanted to see. Even though the back end of the scheduling fell through, I still had a blast. If all went like it was supposed to, I would have saw Kendrick Lamar and Black Hippy, The Dream, Miguel, Mumford and Sons, Edward Sharpe and Magnetic Zeros, A$AP Rocky, Action Bronson, Nas, The Roots, Raekwon, Rick Ross, and Erykah Badu. Due to oversleeping, registering too late, poor scheduling, or a combination of the three, I only got to see Kendrick Lamar and Black Hippy, Miguel, and The Dream. I honestly don't understand how people make it to more than 5 shows during SXSW. There is so much going on and so much free alcohol, it's insane.
Miguel was cool, even though his show got cut short. The Dream was an amazing live performer, he really surprised me. By far the best show that we went to (once at Mohawks, and once at the Fader Fort) was Kendrick Lamar and Black Hippy. For those of you who don't know the members that comprise black hippy, they are Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Schoolboy Q, and Ab-Soul. Black Hippy is by far one of the most complete rap crews in the game. Every member brings their own unique twist to the group and each member is a true lyricist. It was also interesting to see the chemistry between them all. You could tell that these were all people who were actually friends, not just rappers who formed a label, but they actually care about each other. Jay Rock is the street, gritty, gangster rapper. Schoolboy Q is literally insane; this man jumped in the middle of the crowd multiple times and jammed the fuck out with us, awesome. He's also has gritty lyrics but has a little bit of a spastic rhyme pattern. Ab-Soul is like a hybrid of the two. He's lyrical, kind of scary, and crazy at the same time. The best way for me to describe Kendrick is the reincarnation of Andre 3000. From his rhyme pattern, to his beat selection, to his delivery, nothing is normal about Kendrick Lamar. His style is completely unorthodox and a breath of fresh air to a genre that is full of copycats. For someone so young and to be so early in his career, Kendrick has the stage presence of a performer with twice the tenure of his own. It's amazing to watch him command the attention of the crowd with such ease. If I had to choose which show was better, it would be the showcase at Mohawk's for the mere fact that it was a more intimate setting, and we were literally 2 feet away from the stage. That, and the fact that Kendrick closed the show with one of my favorite songs by him, "Michael Jordan". The crowd was so fucking hype. So much energy. Amazing.
Oh yeah, on our way to the Kendrick show we walked by the MTV Woodie Awards when a big black suburban (the SUV) pulls up on the curb right in front of us. Out hops Skrillex in all his middle school girl swagged glory, gives us a quick, "hey guys what's up!" and a wave and heads into the award show. Other artists that I was within 5 feet of during this weekend include: Chuck English (of the Cool Kids), Talib Kweli, Solange Knowles (Beyonce's little sister), Young Guru (Jay-Z's engineer), and Like (of Pac Div). All in all it was a pretty dope weekend. I didn't pay for anything and I had an unlimited supply of liquor. Next year I will definitely drink more water though, dehydration is a bitch. Here's a few pics I snapped.