Outside of Kanye West and Jay-Z, rap can be a foreign genre to even the most diehard indie fanatics at South By Southwest. The genre has managed to become one of the most multifaceted and diverse in music, subsequently making it amongst the most difficult to parse, including when it comes to choosing who to see at the fest. Here are five on-the-rise acts in rap that you should definitely see at SXSW this year.
1. A$AP Rocky
Known by fans as the one and only “Pretty Muthafucka,” A$AP Rocky blew up last year with his well-received mixtape, LiveLoveA$AP. From laidback weed anthem “Purple Swag,” to the gun-popping, street-banger “Pretty Flacko,” A$AP Rocky and his A$AP mob appeals to potheads, gangbangers and everybody in between.
2. Young L
As a member of the infamous Bay Area rap group, featuring Lil B, The Pack, Young L boasts a similar compellingly odd sound. He blends elements of hyphy and near-dissonant and strangely constructed beats with a peculiar flow. He’s slightly reminiscent of Lil B but less prolific, more precise.
3. Danny Brown
If Ol’ Dirty Bastard was brought back to life, exchanged his dreadlocks for an emo haircut and had a missing front tooth, the end result would be Danny Brown. With an extremely vulgar delivery, the artist emulates Bastard in the best way possible, his nasal voice switching between half-rapped and half-sung verses that deal with personal struggles, promiscuity and weed.
Hands down Austin’s own finest rapper, Kydd has attracted some noteworthy collaborations with the likes of Yelawolf and Pac Div. What’s more is that he is the stand-out on these tracks, not the side act. After you listen to his song “Hall Pass” with Yelawolf, you’ll find it amazing that that anyone who that raps like that isn’t already wildly famous.
A hip-hop duo based out of Dallas, A.dD+’s free downloadable album, When Pigs Fly, was crowned as one of Pitchfork’s best underrated rap releases last year. Now the group is now set to open up for infamous producer and rapper Black Milk, for a handful of tour dates. Their soulful production brings to mind Atliens-era OutKast, providing a soothing base for the rhymes of Paris Pershun and Slim Gravy.
Printed on Friday, March 9, 2012 as: Indie rappers on the rise to perform at SXSW