Words by Zoe Zorka
In just a few short weeks, all eyes in the tech, entertainment, and music industry will be on Austin, Texas as some of the most innovative and up-and-coming entertainers, techies, artists, and thought leaders gather at South by Southwest to, according to the festival’s tagline, “discover what’s next.”
Much like Coachella, the festival’s artists run the gamut from hip-hop to bluegrass and everything in between. This year’s lineup looks exceptionally promising with a range of hip-hop stars as diverse as the festival’s activities.
Ace Tee: With a sound reminiscent of a 90’s R&B ballad, it’s no wonder this Ghanan-German beauty has been compared favorably to TLC. Her hit single, “Bist du down?” is a perfect fit for Austin’s laid-back vibe. She will be performing at three events throughout the festival.
Da Deacon: Featured in The Source earlier this year, Da Deacon, who started out as a producer for artists such as Lil Wayne, Yelawolf, Rick Ross, and Three 6 Mafia before releasing his hit single “Call Me Michael Jackson,” is bringing his disctinctive Miami flavor to Texas with one performance at Ironwood Hall on March 14.
DPR Live: While the South Korean hip-hop scene is mostly known for unleashing Gangnam Style on the world, DPR (Dream Perfect Regime) Live is hoping to break that stereotype with their SXSW debut. The group landed on the map with Eung Freestyle, their hit single which was eventually used in Youtube’s “RED” ad campaign. In 2017, they released their first EP, “Coming to You Live,” a collaboration with some of Asia’s top producers and artists. They will perform one show on March 16 at The Belmont.
Linda Lee: Making her debut in the DJ showcase is another German artist, Linda Lee- a master at her craft who seamlessly blends trap, punk, synth, trance, Caribbean dancehall, and EDM into an innovative sound that’s managed to enchant audiences throughout the world. She will be spinning at two events during SXSW.
Sarahmee: Hailing from Canada, this hip-hop artist is breaking barriers by making a major splash in the French rap scene, a hip-hop niche dominated by mostly men. After making a name for herself in Montreal’s urban music scene, her first solo album, Légitime, was met with much success and critical acclaim on both sides of the ocean. Could her SXSW debut give her the push she needs to dethrone Drake as Canada’s reigning hip-hop monarch? Either way, her performance on March 16 at Malverde is one of the festival’s most-anticipated appearances.
Wyclef Jean & Friends feat. Wavie Gang: Hip-hop legend Wyclef Jean isn’t just showing up to deliver what is sure to be a legendary performance- he’s bringing his new friends along with him. After being impressed by the Wavie Gang, a Hip-hop and R&B collective out of Milwaukee, Wyclef Jean teamed up with the group on his most recent album, “Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee.” They will be performing on March 15 at Highland Lounge.
A full list of artists and performances can be found here.