Five Hip-Hop Highlights At SXSW 2013: Friday, March 15
I'm dubbing Day 4 at South By Southwest Funky Fresh Friday. Wow. As usual, there were too many things happening at the same time. I'm not a supporter of cloning, so this is just one of those things we have to deal with it. Life could be worse.
Friday featured some of my all time favorites: Fat Belly Bella--that's Erykah Badu for those of you slacking on your Twitter game--Ghostface Killah, some Brad Pitt comedy, and insight into Dr. Dre's coolest new venture. Let's get to it.
1) My South By Southwest Dream Came True – Thanks Erykah
For a moment, I thought I was not going to get into the Robert Glasper show at Sonos Studios on Red River and 4th. When I arrived, the venue was already at capacity and there were two lines down the alley. One of the guys behind me said Erykah Badu was in the building. I was feeling anxious. I couldn't come to Austin and not see the funky soul goddess. Getting in was a blessing. (Thank you guest list line angels.) Robert Glasper was already in session with the mostly instrumental jam session sprinkled with bits of talk box to move the crowd. The vibe was chill. Set outside, it felt like we were in a park. Within 20 minutes, the Dallas beauty with the green eyes emerged and just rolled with Glasper. Her distinct honey tone was the perfect compliment as they played for another 30 minutes, offering songs from Glasper's catalog while also slipping in some popular numbers like The Root's "You Got Me."
2) Ol' Dirty Bastard's Nephew Core Masson Pays Homage During Ghostface Show
Wu Block was in full effect Friday night, headlining the event at Viceland. Sheek Louch and Ghostface traded songs from their 2011 collab album and works from their careers as solo artists and members of Wu Tang and The Lox. I could write a top 10 post on this show alone. But I need to give props to their performance of the Wu classic "Protect Ya Neck." They opened the floor for two fans, one to perform Method Man's verse and another to rock Ol' Dirty Bastard's lyrics. Just before the song started, Ghost told the crowd not to cut the guys any slack. He said to boo them if they were not up to par. Amazingly, both of the guys were good, especially, Core Mason, the 2012 BET Cypher MC who rapped ODB's rhymes. I spoke to the rapper after the show, and he told me that the "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" icon was his uncle and he drove 30 hours from Brooklyn to get to SXSW.