Yung Clova

Everything seems to come to a breaking point during the fifth, and basically last, day of SXSW. The festival's events coincided with St. Patrick's Day, resulting in a Saturday that was catastrophic, but in all the right ways.

The Fader Fort brought in an assortment of artists during the week, but their special guest for Saturday was more than anyone could hope for. Hip-hop heavyweight Rick Ross took to the stage later in the evening, whose boastful grunts and husky rhyme delivery had concertgoers in a frenzy. From older hits like "Hustlin," to more-recent tracks like "B.M.F.," the big man's set was well-received.

Emo's East and the newly-opened Beauty Ballroom hosted a Super Party presented by Scion, that featured artists Diplo, Trash Talk, A-Trak and the A$AP Mob. The evening performances were incredible; rap duo G-Side had fans bouncing wildly as they went through tracks off of their latest release, iSLAND. Accompanied by a few backup singers, rappers ST 2 Lettaz and Yung Clova received plenty of Austin love for their show, running around onstage and pumping up the crowd.

The A$AP Mob was more just about A$AP Rocky, but fans didn't seem to care; the "Pretty Muthafucka" started off with "Pretty Flacko," and brought out his clique towards the end of the set. "We're not just rap; we're punk-rap," said A$AP Rocky proudly, before stage-diving into the crowd. A caped crusader, who introduced himself as "Super Party Guy" followed in suit behind him, receiving laughter and applause from the A$AP Mob and attendees.

Unfortunately, things became a little too rowdy for the A$AP Mob during their performance at the Vice Kills Texas party, where the group ended up in an altercation involving some of the crowd members. This hasn't been the first time SXSW has seemed to end on a sour note: last year during Death From Above 1979's performance, a group of fans who could not get into the show, broke out into a riot. For the most part though, this year's SXSW was a success, bringing in a diverse collection of artists that satisfied.

Hip hop duo G-Side will make their return to Austin during SXSW. The group was well-received when they performed at last yearÂ’s Fun Fun Fun Fest. (Photo courtesy of G-Side)

Following their 2007 debut, Sumthin 2 Hate, G-Side, a duo consisting of members Stephen “ST 2 Lettaz” Harris and Yung “David Williams” Clova, are hoping to bring something new and refreshing to hip-hop. Their production is eclectic: Some songs are filled with laid-back, spellbinding chord progressions, while others ooze with Dirty South energy and abrasiveness. Harris and Clova compliment each other well with their contrasting delivery. Harris is more lyrical, while Clova maintains a more mainstream, relaxed flow, resulting in a near-flawless union between the two.

The two rappers spoke with The Daily Texan about how they originally met, their latest release, iSLAND, and performing at festivals such as Fun Fun Fun Fest and the Pitchfork Music Festival.

The Daily Texan: You guys are originally from Hunstville, Ala., and you often touch upon your experiences in your songs. Was hip-hop at first an escape from those bad experiences, or was it always a goal to become a group?

Stephen Harris: It definitely started as just a thing, and then when I saw Master P and what he did with it, I felt I could [do] that or something similar. I wanted to make something for my people.

Yung Clova: I was pretty much the same way, man. At first, I wasn’t really focused on the music until I graduated, and that’s when I really got focused on music. I’m trying to do something positive: I’ve got little brothers and sisters, so I’m just trying to lead by example.

DT: How did you two meet each other at the Boys and Girls Club of Athens?

Clova: It was probably basketball. [Lettaz’s] team would always kick my team’s ass.

DT: You both provide a little friendly competition for each other although you both have different styles of rhyming. Do you feel that contributes a lot to your growth as rappers?

Harris: There would be times when [Clova] would kill me, and I would have to go back and write a new verse. There’s definitely competition, but it helps in making the music better.

DT: How was working with producer Block Beattaz on your latest release, iSLAND?

Harris: We’ve basically been working with Block Beattaz exclusively. I think on this one we had a little bit more fun. Sometimes the albums come across as being too serious, or us being bitter at the industry. This time I think we just tried to have fun with it. We know our fans are going to stick with us, and we’re just trying to give them a high quality product.

DT: How do you feel you guys have improved since your earlier releases?

Clova: I’ve really been trying to just step it up. I’m trying to get more lyrical. You don’t just want to say anything on the mic you know?

Harris: I’ve been trying to step my hook game up, just doing them myself instead of always depending on other people.

DT: You all performed at Fun Fun Fun Fest and the Pitchfork Music Festival this past year, and now you’re performing at South By Southwest. Do you see these festivals as a challenge, considering the diverse selection of artists they offer?

Harris: That’s kind of our lane; we’re not so urban. We get love from Pitchfork and stuff like that. So it’s not that we choose the festivals, but that these festivals chose us.

Clova: I think it has a lot to do with the beats too. We might take a Madonna sample, put some 808s in there and slow it down a little bit, and it’ll be the same song that everybody listens to, but we do it in our own way.