No pictures, no nothing. Just words and music links. This article wants you to know what we think and the words are written below for you to find out more. Everyone is created equal but if you see the pics you might not click the link and get music from the artist. Take your time here and share this with friends. Hours were spent partying in the Texas sun, passing business cards, getting free tacos at parties (the good ones) and watching bands and films promote their butts off while they played multiple shows per day. Some shows were packed and some shows were empty but someone has to watch. Not everyone was official but everyone was official.
I like to walk into a packed show and see a really tall gal singing while POS jump in front of her and kills a quicktime flow and Minneapolis girls are screaming in the crowd and then a Mike Mictlan hits them up with deeper voice flow. The collective of the groups aesthetic with a loyal fanbase of so many friends proves they should be touring and be part of your life. Most likely they already are.
Get some DoomTree music on itunes
A leader in Doom tree i was blessed to see him rock with Astronautilus and the COS party, with Doom Tree, and at the Austin Convention Center rapping on beanbag chairs. Of course the convention center party for the current was the best show, with sober people, coffee drinkers, and a intimate gathering of Minnesota Nomads hanging in the day that weren’t old enough to get into bars. one of the best performances I saw all SXSW.
He also rocked Paid Dues as the top performance I thought of besides Asher Roth’s. Def get his music here on itunes.
3. The Artifacts
Yeah, the wrong side of the tracks is not on this side of the mississippi (or tex-arcana border) but El and Tae have reunited for more than any old group has ever combined to rock. To think these guys were able to come out and stay together from the beginning of Rocksteady to Club Fuze w/ DJ Premier means to me that Nj emcees are on top. Pace Won of the Outsidaz and Mr Green are other NJ natives to soon take SXSW by storm. Kosha Dillz, Cymarshall Law, Silent Knight, Kyle Rapps, GDP, Apollo The Great are all emcees from NJ and I think there is a good chance people like the Artifacts have somehow influenced their journey. An Aggressive performance for a lot of hip hop junkies at a capacity crowd.
SXSW debuted their old school video for new school flavor here. I am highly anticipating their album
4. Theo Martins
Not sure if he looks like star, but not many rapper/singers possess the quality of say Nelson Mandela along with Theophilus london and Lupe? (thats what i get when i see it) When I see him I think global. I think of him on big tours and enjoy the visuals. New York Toronto, Paris, Shanghai, would all enjoy Theo martins.
Before he hit SXSW he wasn’t even going to make it till last minute, and he definitely made an impact on every stage he hit. Good idea to come down.
5. Homeboy Sandman
I think we are on to something here. Do you see a trend of awesomeness. This guy is headed everywhere from Austin to Aspen. once the world tour sees him proper, I think the fact that a giant man with giant rhymes who has explored everything from complex word play in guns and roses freestyles to vegan raps and lightning bolt dance moves, we have the 21st century of a dope MC.
6. Asher Roth and Nottz
Oh man. Asher Roth’s new music is crushing it to a point where you can’t even believe he was the one invented a completely new scene of hip hop that exists. Frat Rap. Asher came through and blew up with a platinum song and now has managed to increase integrity by rocking with a fresh producer/rapper in Nottz, and not only earns himself accolades at SXSW, but also headlines things like Paid Dues in Cali.
Download the RAWTH EP for free. THis music will change your attitude about hip hop and independence from a major stand point during any minor moment in your life. “Run it back” is my favorite and will be for the next three months.
7. Kosha Dillz
The Jewish rapper did not make Vlad TV’s top 10 jewish MC list like Ill Bill and Asher Roth (who is not jewish) but he continuously breaks different molds buy blending indie rock madness with his current hip hop vibes. He records songs in Hebrew Spanish and English, records in the Wu mansion on occasion, and even did some shows with Tennis. Not many people are doing that, doing remixes for Coachella band YACHT mystery lights’ album, and touring with Matisyahu. he did 10 shows at SXSW and even got featured in the Austin Chronicle with Freddie Gibbs as a select friday night pick. Download his new EP, Gina and The Garage Sale on itunes. If you can’t afford it, a free sampler is here too.
8. White Arrows
Im not an indie superstar but these LA kids rock and with a team of brothers a 17 year old drummer that sneaks into gigs while on tour, and a mastermind of sound piercing synth tracks that rock your indie flip flops off, I imagine white arrows having theme music for the life changing move we exist in. Red 7 was an epic showing
9. Crew 54
Texas rap is not my whole forte honestly, but after seeing these guys rock to a near capacity show at The Marq, I beg to differ from now on. The chemistry of two people on stage is tough when its so small, but if you want the definition of banging texas hip hop with wholesome family values, i feel that Crew 54 puts that all into one stage show with a great accent, fan base, and good support system. The good guys win here.
Watch a dope music video they shot on a droid x cell phone here. Social technology at its finest!
10. The Knux
If you ever want to see hipsters beat up gangsters, this would be the group t do it. So i’m not sure what they are, but these are def some street people that have blended in to LA via New orleans and have not fell off since they first blasted out at SXSW on 2008. They were the ones to steal the show at Billboard.
She’s so up is the new heat the spit out. Cop She’s so up here.
11. K Flay
Right before the knux, this chick is bad ass and is seeming to brand herself as one of the top rapper/singer chicks and seems as if she has a lot of people looking at her for the big kahuna record deal that pays off big. If Ke$ha could rap, and lady sovereign was taller and also played guitar, and made beats, and they all went to Supreme to get some fresh ass kicks, they might come close to K Flay.
a lovely couple that sails away for creativity is basically what we all want on the down low with out stubborn artist outlets. I think Tennis can actually rock n roll, and the tape of their album has been in my tape deck for over 4,000 miles non stop. I love couple rock, and the fact that sailing rock has not been invented yet (surf rock has, but not sailing)imagine taking a ride with a group of young love that didn’t even think they could be playing out of state shows. THis year they will play Lollapalooza.
13. Holiday Shores
These indie monsters make you feel good about feeling good (double positive.) Think happy go lucky or not so lucky music , rock n rolling enough to play with Tennis. I know things are interesting when you drink coffee, but these are fresh riffs with one cup of Starbucks (or whatever independent coffee shop you choose to go to.) they just got off tour with surfer blood. they are promoting this new album called “New Masses for Squaw Peak” that will be coming out on two syllable records. Look for keyboard driven 80 psych pop. Not beach pop, but they do still go to the beach. They live in Florida.
They played this song Phones don’t Feud at Bowery Ballroom right before SXSW.
14. Screeching Weasel
Unlucky number thirteen (plus one)! This doesn’t count as a great performance. The asshole lead singer punched a woman in the face at the Scoot Inn and then punched a chick trying to break up his fight. The entire band quit immediately after.I don’t blame them. He needs to get help asap and I don’t wish him anything but horrible success and Feminist protests of his events in the future. The only thing that happened was that Rolling Stone covered it.
15. Das Racist
The first time seeing them perform, lets be real. I was maybe unsure but that maybe proved to not be unsure. These emcees are dope, don’t give a funk, keep it digital, play only “numbers” (not joints or tracks) and had caucasian rapper friend rubbing his cut off jean/hamstring area with the microphone. It was really nasty and one of lead singers borrowed deodorant form the crowd. Hence we have a Das Racist show. It was amazing. i think they are the truth ( they responded we’re not that bad) and i’m very happy that while i was rocking out some old woman asked me to sit down. the moral of the story? Old woman go to Das Racist shows at convention centers. Hell yes. Listen to a lot of their stuff on hype machine here.
16. Tanya Morgan
They ended up in the Billboard Tent this year, which means to me that some real ass emcees (and NBA 2k11 characters) in Von Pea and Don Will have managed to keep it solely independent and rock with everyone from Hood internet to Black Milk. As far as crossover from hip hop to more, I’m happy they shared the same stage with Odd Future, Black Milk. They are the cool ass kids too and don’t need to do anything crazy except grind. Get their Itunes catalog here.
Biz 3 def had their share of artists. I eaves dropped in on conversation with a guy from Atlantic Records who was raving about how awesome this guy “prof” was from Minneapolis. Not only did he rock the funky fresh showcase opening for Freddie Gibbs and Das Racist, but he has also recently hit the road with Atmosphere on their Minnesota tour and appeared on a song with Slug called “Minnesota Fresh.” Sorry Mr. Atlantic records guy, this kid Prof already has a home. Check out his myspace that got all the videos yo. Also get his FreeP
18. 12th Planet
Had never seen this homie before, let alone much dub step – but 12th brings the womp. His performances are heavy on the bass and the fun, he’s developed an affinity for stage diving and he seems to always rock flat brims and a beaming smile. The best part of his show is his hustle, as he repeats his name, passes out stickers and induces the dance party proper. he states that he breathes eats and lives dub step. We even get to see him mash out with Skrillex so that is also a treat. Looking forward to catching the homie at Coachella as well. Research him in soundcloud asap
19. The Stone Foxes
Bay area brother built band bear a resemblance to The Black Keys, which may explain why they are opening for them in the month of April. This quartets music sounds like it was lifted directly out of a Sons of Anarchy show and plopped on stage. It fit perfectly in Austin, especially with all four members rocking out on vocals and drummer Shannon taking his harmonica to the dance floor. there was even a moment where they got on each others shoulders Grab their album and other goodies here.
20. Oh Land
Gorgeous and gifted describes this blonde European bomb shell whose album came out March 15th. They crushed The Fader Fort, amongst other venues. Whether its with “Son of a Gun,” “We Turn It Up,” or just a wink of her eye – Nanna Oland Fabricius had Austin crowd’s everywhere wrapped around her delicate little pinky. Beautiful voice and a must see! Get their debut album here on itunes yo!
21. Saint Motel
Los Angeles based quartet Saint Motel brought their cinematic indie rock back to 7th Street again at SXSW. Although not employing their typical visual antics, they did utilize “Puzzle Pieces” as a crowd pleaser and delivered rocking versions of their For Play material. With a rumored full length album coming out soon, hopefully they will be back on the road and in a city near you. Till then cop this on itunes
22. Operator Please
Operator Please snuck into town on a few unofficial gigs and definitely impressed. Their glitter-glam lead singer reminds me a bit of Beth Ditto, although lacking the amazing vocal range. Really the comparison comes down to a heavy set brunette being the centerpiece to an indie electro dance pop band. Dial Zero and add them to your up and coming list please.
23. Cadalack Ron
If you can mix trash with class and heavy weight on the bash (your face in) the machine muerte stalwart made his official trek to Austin this year. Cadalack managed to promote his new album by being one of the first official battle MCs to rock Texas and gain record buyers by low west coast hats, lots of tats and former addiction in a story that seems quite violent and guised by his amicable charm. In lesser terms, he ripped some kids up in the Texas Battle League. Get his album Space Cadalack here.
24. The Eastern Sea
New Austin music with a bit for nagging, face-booking and folk rocking. Their song say yes starts out softly “don’t stop now, its hard for me to figure out…the way you move.” This sort of reminds me of my life, although I ha already started it and have spent lots of money on therapists trying to figure me out. Kudos to great music to drive to and sip coffee too. I recommend your next cup of java be charged to the Eastern Sea.
25. Josy (japan band)
Think of the old school betty boop status chicks in Japan and they have completely take over Texas in style. They only formed 5 months ago and have only 23 myspace friends but — Cumi, Non, Mami and Nanohana are the future of their country. Their presence is way more killer than any other female group you’d see at this point and I wouldn’t be surprised if this door influence psychedelic feel hits late night US tv shows with Jimmy Fallon and Carson Daly. Japan night is something special especially since the horrible earthquake. Like them here.
26. Jay Nash
not much music like this will usually crack into these charts but I respect the grind of a person who is not the typical hustle as everyone else for 20 SXSW gigs. This guy not only rocked SXSW, including the Roving Festival Writer series at the convention center, but is currently en route to play overseas in Europe and rock Wakarusa with acts like Pimps of Joy Time, Skrillex and Bass Nectar. I’m looking forward to seeing more of honest expression in a one man artist. Listen to the Nash man here.
Special Award Category
Best Stage Show: Eyes Lips Eyes
if you haven’t seen Eyes lips Eyes perform before, you might wonder why need to have eyes twice in their name, (only if you could see what they do!)
Lead Singer Tony speaks in a creepy horror indie voice if you gave it a double take, and occasionally takes a flipper (to scuba dive with) and attacks a garbage can while singing Utah love songs.
In other words there is no horror, only fun. Check their latest video losing my head on their website.
Biggest group Hustle: Shinobi Ninja
Not only do they have their own App, video game, and tour van that broke down three times in the same tour, they literally took over every telephone pole in Austin Texas with their blue and pink stickers and posters. Multiple people were see walking down the street with their tee shirts and stickers on some part of their body so being that if you have not got a chance to listen to them,
Grind King: Mistah Fab
If there is a guy who can seem to do it all, its him. He is overseas in Europe, back to the USA, getting booked for VIBA magazine showcases the day before, flying to Texas, playing paid dues, and leading the world on twitter. The Grind is a terrible thing to waste is one of his quotations that are my favorite, and he is bringing the underground lyrical skill to a new par on the west coast, as well as being the 2nd coming of Too Short vs. Master P out the trunk hustle to a new level of class. Lets give him the Grind King of SXSW award.
He has over 300 songs on itunes. Buy them all.
Dopest Video: Fat Tony
Nigerian fella from Houston with North Carolina Flavor and NY Rhymes? I dunno. This video is dope as hell. i don’t think its unlikely to see him teaming up with a producer like 9th wonder. “Ni#$a you Ain’t Fat” could be one of the best videos SXSW has ever discovered. I unfortunately could not see him perform. Me seeing this video before everything else is awesome because now I will know every word to this song when he does. Kit kats, chicken, treadmills, and little white kids in super markets = Oh hell yes. Watch the video “Ni#$a You Ain’t Fat” here
Biggest Buzz band getting so much press they don’t need to be here: Odd Future
These dudes are killing it so much there is no reason to watch their stuff in here. You are better of following @Fucktyler to know the haps on OFWGKTA and
making your own FREE EARL tee shirt to wear at Coachella.
Most Street Credible Showcasing Act in the Convention Center: LEP Bogus Boys
Not only are their shirts amazing, but to see the LEP Bogus Boys in the Austin Convention Center was such a cool experience. Being the fact that there were chairs there and a crap load of cameras, it was enjoyable because I knew if I was watching them in the club i would get Rick Rossed on and not get to wyle the F out. These guys are more on the rise than any other group I know and word is they got some ish with Rick Ross soon. Check out Goin’ in For the Kill music video here.
Best Name of Showcasing Act: Surfer Blood
They also headlined the Pitchfork showcase, but their name makes them better than lots of other acts already. Who doesn’t like surfing? (couch or waves) Who doesn’t like Blood?
Check out a performance of them form the Brooklyn Vegan SXSW 2011 party at Emo’s.
Longest trip to perform: Black Lung and Verbs
This young MC who is only 21 years old celebrated his birthday by skipping spring break and heading to SXSW to showcase at Hip Hop Howl and Roving Festival Writer with the likes of Crosby, Pig Pen and Pat Maine, Rakaa Iriscience and more. 33 hours in a grey hound bus from Chicago is not my idea of fun, so kudos for pursuing your career. I have not met that many people who are willing to do what he was willing to do. That’s a lot of time to text an ex-girlfriend, write a rhyme, etc. Listen to him here. Verbs, who toured with Murs all over the USA in the previous years, took a 40 hour amtrak train from Los Angeles to Austin. I don’t really know how you can top that.
Most rocking female performance: Shunda K
The dirty south breeds some tough rappers but this girl brings booty shaking beats to Tampa in new fashion, confidence and class of a lady all combined into one. If you get to have a conversation with her you feel like she is poised for a world takeover. She’s been on everything from Domino records to solo independent but the one thing she never stops doing is being a superhero. Shunda K solo performance is so good I have still yet to see a full Yo Majesty performance. Metrosexual lyricism dance off inspiration. Make sure you grab her latest 20 track album The Most Wanted on Itunes, and watch her video “I’m Da Best” ft. Shon B. of Yo Majesty.
Six other dope acts you need to know about:
Letlive, a killer ass hardcore post punk cluster fudge of dopeness on Epitaph that has more hip hop influence than you think, but is crushing the hardcore circuit. they rocked a few shows at Emo’s during SXSW, and their album comes out April 12th with a release show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles.
Watch a sick video called Casino Columbus here.
Macklemore and Ryan lewis: They own the most of the United States on tour and are currently and are selling everything out. They played Fader Fort, and are the first to do Seattle sold out shows since Blue Scholars did 5 of them a few years back. Watch the irish celebration even if you don’t drink. Its that awesome of a celebration.
Grieves and Budo: You’ll get to see them on tour with Atmoshphere if you haven’t already. They are awesome and can entertain anyone, and Budo adds on with trumpet and keyboard for what might be the best two man duo at SXSW. Grieves tours more than any rapper out, and his twitter bio used to say “I blame it on the long van rides.” Watch for him on the Vans Warped Tour this summer. Buy his stuff here.
Kyle Rapps: He managed to open up the Audible Treats showcase with a bang at the Scoot Inn and then host the entire thing rapping in front of a cool thousand people through out the night and hitting with Talib Kweli, Opio, Black Milk and more. That’s pretty sweet. he has a new project out with Kev brown called Re-Edutainment which flips the old KRS samples of the original album. Cop Re-Edutainment on itunes here.
Watch his video “Me” here.
Party Supplies: I’m not all into the dance scene, but this kid makes music good enough to be down on the Fools Gold party as one of the opening acts for A-Trak, he’s pretty damn good to me. Check out his remixes on hypemachine.
Jackie Chain: hip hop needs an asian that is better than all the white boys down south, and this dude has been rocking shows everywhere, getin buzz in Complex Magazine, Fader, and more. Check out his song Molly here with Nick Catchdubs.
There are more acts you can imagine that should’ve made some list. I can create more lists but I think we covered it all. Thugs, Japanese acts, videos, surfer bands, bus trips, Jewish rappers, chicks, gangster hipsters, posses…yeah…we did it all. If you didn’t make it to SXSW, make sure you learn how to apply early for next year and get in there. if you don’t get in there officially, it doesn’t mean you can officially bring yourself to Texas, whether hitchhiking, bus ride, tour van , train, or plane. You best believe that you need to be there.
I can’t tell you how many shows were missed, based solely on exhaustion, but the good news is that if you see names in here that you didn’t see during your festival, or where ever you are in the globe, you can easily drop a couple bucks and enjoy what we got to see in Austin, Texas. Until next year:)
A big shout out to Brandon of Supergoodmusic on contributing to this article, and all the acts who are within it, and those are yet to discover.