Four Hip-Hop Highlights At SXSW 2013: Thursday, March 14
T.I. and Pharrell at BET's Music Matters showcase at SXSW. (Hutton Supancic/Getty Images for SXSW)
Day 3 at SXSW was arguably the biggest night for hip-hop. T.I., Snoop Lion, LL Cool J and RZA had all competing shows. This was a tough call, but I was not disappointed that I rolled with the T.I. event hosted by BET Music Matters and sponsored by Yahoo! Music and ASAP. T.I. brought out some incredible unannounced special guests.
The earlier part of the day wasn’t bad either. I talked to Snoop Lion at the premiere of his new movie, Reincarnated, out today, and caught up the members of Dead Prez.
Here’s my recap for Thursday:
1) Is Snoop Lion Reggae’s Newest Prodigal Son?
Snoop Lion premiered his movie, Reincarnated, at SXSW Thursday, and I had chance to talk to him at the Paramount Theatre. Near the movie’s end, it shows the ceremony where Snoop becomes a Rastafarian. Snoop was moved by the experience he describes as a baptism. “That was heavy because the words the lady was saying to me when she was touching my head, ‘The prodigal son returns,’” he said. “She was speaking biblical terms. It felt real spiritual up in there, like it was no games. You can’t go up in there playing no games. It felt real, and it was real.” Last night, he performed his first concert as a reggae artist. In the video below, Snoop explains the turning points that prompted him to make the change.
2) Big Things Were Poppin’ During T.I.’s BET Music Matters Set
The Rubber Band Man gave his fans something special, packing the Brazos Hall show sponsored by Yahoo! Music and ASAP with as many album tracks as radio hits and special guests. It was definitely a T.I. and friends experience. When he performed his latest single, “Memories Back Then,” he confirmed the rumors that Kendrick Lamar would be making a surprise appearance at his show. Lamar joined T.I. to rap his verse on the song. Then T.I. offered the Compton MC the floor to do his own tracks, “Swimming Pools” and “Backstreet Freestyle.” But, still, T.I. invited others to share the limelight – Trae Tha Truth, UK rapper Chip and more. Near the show’s end, Pharrell slid on stage (See photos). He didn’t get on the mic, he was merely there to enjoy the moment with his friend.