We're documenting everything we see and do at SXSW 2016 with this nifty photo diary.
March 15 & March 16
We're taking on SXSW literally as I type this. As I type this, I'm sitting in a studio in Austin suburbia, where we expect to create some fire emoji collaborations with everyone from Nessly to Audio Push to Skeme to Allan Kingdom and more. However let's rewind a couple of days, and run through everything we've seen and done in our two days since landing in the Lone Star state.
We convened from both Montreal and New York at the Austin airport late in the afternoon on March 15th, wearing appropriate attire for the chillier destinations that we came from, we were immediately drenched in humidity when we stepped outside the heavily air conditioned airport. Although we had scheduled something quite special with ASAP Mob, after many a back-and-forth it fell through-- rappers will be rappers. So instead, we headed downtown after checking into the airport, where we expected to grab food and catch the Rae Sremmurd SremmLife showcase with Puma. We struggled to figure out the aux cord situation in our massive black Suburban for a good fifteen minutes (apparently we don't know technology as well as we thought??), but eventually we figured it out and it was lit. We had ourselves some food truck delights, of which the options are plentiful in Austin, and headed to Rae Sremmurd's show at Blackheart just in time to catch Eearz go on with "Work Ya Muscle." As you can see in the photo diary up top, Kehlani also slid through to catch Rae Sremmurd wild out on stage.
The following day, we did some more interviews for y'all. Stay tuned for all the content were getting to be rolled out in the next coming weeks. We met up with Rejjie Snow, a rapper hailing from Ireland who told us he signed with 300 (was this common knowledge?). We drove out in farmland, passing cows, and up a windy gravel road to Tory Lanez's extremely secluded mansion, surrounded by a white picket fence. Upon pulling up to a circular driveaway we were greeted with a fountain and Tory's day-to-day manager, who brought us through the mansion into the backyard-- a pool was seemingly under-utilized, littered with leaves, while the expansive backyard boasted at least two gazebos and a river where you can apparently fish for catfish. After wrapping up our interview with the leader of the New Toronto, we chilled for a minute as Tory prepared, excitedly, for his first private jet ride in the next hour. We later saw the adventure go down on his Snapchat, where he literally screamed inside the jet.
From Tory's crib, we made the drive back to downtown Austin and hit up the Fader Fort. I grabbed a Redbull and Jack Daniels, and attempted to drink it in the span of a couple minutes (fail) before heading out again to catch the Flatbush Zombies. Another interview under our belt, I split ways with my fellow team members (aka Danny) who headed to see K Camp while I walked back to Fader Fort to meet up with your other favorite editor Trevor Smith, who was having a dying phone emergency, and I arrived just in time to hear Pusha T's voice booming from Fader Fort's speakers, introducing us to G.O.O.D. Music's new signee, Desiigner. Desiigner then took the mic, and I noted how his voice sounds almost identical to Future even when he isn't rapping. Desiigner is admittedly low on music to perform, but ran through the hits aka "Panda."
After regrouping with the team for some Mexican food, we split up once more to cover more ground-- that's the thing about SXSW, chances are at any moment in time there will be at the very minimum three awesome shows you want too see happening at once. You have to plan carefully. We were able to cover three shows at once-- Legally Loud 3 where K Camp and PnB Rock were performing, Jansport and Noisey's showcase where Mick Jenkins and Kehlani killed their sets, as well as Def Jam's showcase which had Pusha T as the headliner. It should be noted that Future was at the Jansport x Noisey show, and was unabashedly singing along to Kehlani's performance (and Lani herself had support from three back-up dancers).
We'll be updating this page through out our SXSW trip, so check back for more flicks and more words on what the fuck we're doing out here. Keep track of what we're eating in Austin on our Instagram.
March 17, 18 & 19
Recap life. On March 17th, we coordinated a studio session for a couple of different artists we've been supporting on the site, which occupied the majority of the day, as well as some interviews with some of our personal favorites, including the likes of Dawn Richard and 300-signed rapper Tate Kobang.
Although we had expected a lot more artists to come through the session, we quickly hit the studio's limit of people, as it was a home studio in the middle of the Austin suburbs (neighbours, sad face emoji). Nonetheless. we got to see Allan Kingdom, Audio Push, Honorable C Note, Devontee, Lil West, Mathaius Young and Nessly; and there was definite heat created. That same evening, after catching some of Mass Appeal's Live at the BBQ show at Austin Music Hall, as well as a very brief stop at lnterscope's showcase. we headed 25 minutes out from downtown for the HNHH-sponsored 40 Oz Bounce mansion party. Oh boy. This was insane. The mansion itself was insane. The amount of cars that lined the roads were insane, and the amount of people at the house was insane. While a mosh pit formed inside, a more exclusive area upstairs hosted Metro Boomin, members of ASAP Mob, Playboi Catti and Ian Connor, Private Club Records' Madeintyo, and many more. A mix of rappers and fans mingled, or rather, squished together like sardines in the house on a hill. It was a late night/early morning, by the time we made our drive back to the hotel.
The following day it was more #content to be had, with quite the long list of interviews and showcases to attend-- basically your average SXSW day, from Fader Fort happenings to an amazing interview with the homie Jazz Cartier to more good eats from food trucks located around Austin. The night didn't quite go as smoothly-- perhaps the only hiccup in an otherwise extremely successful (and extremely fun) trip was a debacle at Austin Music Hall on the 18th-- the show ended up being shut down early in an unfortunate series of events. We cheered ourselves up with some Wendy's chicken nuggets and a late night studio session with buzzing producer Y2K, Lil Aaron, Nessly and my young’n Lil West. The following day, also our final full day in Austin, things were quickly back on track. We once again knocked out a handful of interviews, including HNHH-supported BeatKing of Houston fame, and Chicago’s own G Herbo. We saw more than one awesome-as-fuck show, dare I say the best shows we saw all of SXSW, that being Ham on Everything (which was put on in conjunction with All Def Digital) and of course, the Fader Fort (in particular/obviously the closing set with Drake and OVO). We also hit up the AZae Production and Opposition "Invade" SXSW show, where G Herbo and Lil Durk were headlining, and finally, our good friends at Cinematic Music hosted a showcase at House of Vans later that night. We'll go into every minute detail about Fader Fort in the following gallery-- but if you're too lazy to read all of it, just know, the 6 God shut shit down.
As for my favorite show of the entire trip, Ham on Everything, we arrived at the outdoor venue just in time to catch 21 Savage’s set, who then made way for the red-hair-and-red-bead-wearing Lil Yachty, another lively performer. The stage became more and more crowded as the sets continued-- Waka Flocka hopped on a bit earlier than expected, and showing off a svelte physique, he jumped around stage and even went deep into the crowd (the only rapper to do so). He went through some deep Waka cuts as well, and by the time he was done. the crowd was hype for Lil Uzi Vert's equally energetic performance. If there is one thing I can say about Uzi's performance, it's that the boy's got some unique but hilarious dance moves. Uzi's purple dreads flopped up and down while the rapper went into Super Saiyan mode, utilizing as much of the stage as possible and even getting some air, jumping up and down. Everyone was excited to hear his new single "Money Longer," as well as Luv Is Rage cut "All My Chains," and the Playboi Cart·featured "Left Right." Carti appeared on stage towards the end of Uzi's set, bringing even more people (and rappers) with him-- ASAP Lou took a spot behind the DJ booth, while Skeme, Bricc Baby, Maxo Kream and more acted as hype men for Carti (along with a pack of people I cannot provide names for). It was lit, and it was only 6 PM. The evening was just starting. Fader Fort was about to steal the show...
All photography by Elijah Dominique.