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SXSW 2009 Recap, Anyone? (Share your stories!)

The Grind

The Grind

This was probably my 12th time or so rolling to Austin, TX during SXSW, but my first time in a non-performing capacity. Honestly, my expecations were a little lower because in recent years it became kind of an indie music flea market, with any and everyone slinging demo CDs at whoever was unfortunate to cross their paths. At one point I was pretty excited about going because the Rappers I Know showcase was supposed to happen. For reasons that i won’t go ito detail about, it didn’t. But I was still determined to go so that I could, at the very least, support some of the folks that i’ve put in work with (i.e. – H.I.S.D.). I also wanted to see Awkquarius perform, along with Tanya Morgan and a host of other breaking acts that I would probably not see otherwise. I was less interested in seeing the bigger acts who already get a bit of coverage, but was open to it if I had the energy to do so. Spoiler alert – I didn’t. I have to honestly say that SXSW 2009 was actually one of the more enjoyable industry experiences that i’ve had in a while. I rolled into town on Thursday, and immediately hit the ground running at about 4pm. My first stop, as always, was at Jim Jim’s Water Ice on 6th Street. Anyone that’s been there knows the Jim Jim’s is THE CRACK.

Jim Jims

Jim Jim's



I spent the next couple of hours absorbing it all, and checking out a few of the small showcases that were taking place during the day. Ran into folks that I knew on every corner, and generally enjoyed being out and about. I can honestly say that having Twitter, among a host of other social networks, makes events like this more enjoyable because you seem like you’re everywhere at once. I ran into a few dozen people that i’d only known online. Later that evening, I kept alternating between shows at Gruv, in which I caught a quick performance by old friends Zion I, and Back Alley Social, where I saw Pacific Division for the first time. Lot of promise in these young guys. They turned in a very strong performance. Later, I got the chance to see Awkquarius (of “Fat Albert In The Hood” fame) perform for the first time in years. Good people.

Awkquarius SXSW 2009 – “I Want You” from Ethos Music Group on Vimeo.

I did so much walking on Thursday that I literally wore the soles off my shoes (see picture at top of post). Friday started off with a trip to the mall for new kicks (Stan Smith Adidas, a tried classic), followed by a power lunch with Savvi of H.I.S.D. After that, it was back to the streets to conduct some more informal meet and greets. I capped my evening off by catching H.I.S.D. at the Waxpoetics showcase:
HISD Live in Austin, SXSW 2009 (Partial) from Ethos Music Group on Vimeo.

I planned to stick around long enough on Saturday to catch the Erykah Badu / Cannabinoids show and / or the GOOD Music showcase. After a short trek through downtown again early in the day, my legs told me otherwise. I met up with a couple of folks and bounced. According to almost everyone in attendance, SXSW was off the charts. Tell us about your experiences below:


Founding member of K-OTIX / The Legendary KO. Unheralded jack of all trades. Spends most of his time these days creating moving pictures and writing some of the best material he's ever written. Likes dogs. Cats - meh.


  • savv says:

    hate to see a good pair of 3 stripes mutilated like that…

  • SxSW actually lived up to the hype this year, Hit the town with a couple of fellow artist and what started out as a trip to promote and see friends and new acts, turned into impromptu performances for me

    The Frank OKP showcase was dope! … Was introduced to a new artist by the name of Reece(sp) and she has a nice neo soul sound…Met producer Exile and shortly after him and Blu ripped the stage

    Tired legs and all i made it over to The Fader / Levis showcase and was not let down by any means

    B+ for SxSW

    met Damien as well cool peeps

  • Pikahsso says:

    This SXSW was amazing I didnt realize that the stuff we did and do has reached so many people its crazy how many people walking up to us on 6th street. I got so hype at the begining of our set that i messed my knee up really really really bad i wouldnt wish this pain on my worse enemy (then again yes I would) jk SXSW was dope and it was tons of artist walking everywhere thanks for posting up the AwkQuarius performance even tho by the time that song came on I was exhausted and it felt like my right leg was coming loose from the hinges I definitely appreciate it thanks for the support Damien, KAY, HISD, and Rappers I know yall some good dudes…verb


  • E.Classic says:

    i decided to stay home this year…
    but by the looks of the videos posted of my crew…
    and the ones you posted..

    i missed out. :-/

    theres always next year.


  • NickNack says:

    Here’s a recap of the GigaCrate shows:

    SXSW was a blast. Was mad crazy walking around, but good to see everyone.

  • Loudersoft says:

    Fam, you know how to make it happen! SXSW was off the chain from beginning to end, but my story is filled with random on-the-street meet-ups, missed shows, and a lot of handshakes.

    The Blacksmith Showcase at Scoot Inn killed it — Idle Warship is so next!! Reflection Eternal, Talib, John Forte, The Kid Daytona, Strong Arm Steady, Sandman and all the fam who showed up there made it amazing. Respect to Pete Rosenberg and the Blacksmith fam for making this happen. Could there be a Blacksmith Tour???

    Glad I ran into Cosmo Baker, had a chance to see Kid Cudi & Plain Pat, B.o.B., Janelle Monae, Mr. Lif, and all the peeps who work in and around who keep this movement the freshest and most interesting in music.

    Bummers: missed Pikahsso at Back Alley Social, aaaugh. The cops shutting down Red Bull Moontower before The Cannabanoids got to take the stage on Saturday. Also, missing Fader Fort on Saturday — but yo, I was doing business!!!

    Look, this thing may be bigger than hip-hop, but hip-hop is keeping it strong. Respect. — EJ @ Loudersoft

  • Damien says:

    HW – good to meet you as well…

    You may have been referring to Res – she’s been around a while. Had a pretty good album that came out a few years back but didn’t really get a good push. Nice to see that they’re bringing her back.

  • Loudersoft says:

    Damien — Res has the most incredible voice. She’s about as real as it gets. She deserves success and props from beginning to end.

    One other thing that happened at SXSW that still messes me up — the honor of spending most of Saturday afternoon with Teenie Hodges. Now, y’all may not know who that is off the top, but his work is frequently sampled in hip-hop tracks, particularly all those hits he wrote for Al Green as part of the Hi Rhythm Section.

    Respect for the architects is part of how the game keeps pushing forward. I don’t get starstruck, but Teenie wrote “Love and Happiness” and “Take Me To The River”. What more can I say?

  • Rad says:

    Yeah SXSW was dope and so was kicking it with the entire G.O.O.D. music fam. Nuff said.

  • VIDEOKINGnotwithstanding(fill in the blank) says:

    I have to say that i fainally enjoyed myself at SXSW. The first time i went was back in 2005 with Cozmos & D.J. Soulone and wanted to see Badu but she bumped heads (shows i mean) with frank n dank. so while waiting for her we saw Strange Fruit Project, Devin The Dude & her Badu’s sister, but she took forever to come out Devin got his set cut short cause he was smoking greenery on stage so we left to F-n-D who was headlining. We get there and by the time they come on the venue is turning the lights on. SO BAD FIRST TIME. Last year went out there with H.I.S.D. and it was a little better, but both times only spent one day. THIS TIME THO we left Thursday saw the Blacksmith showcase which was dope, Big Boi who tore it down (by himself obviously), a surprise performance with G.Z.A., Wax Poetics showcase (obviously), geat performance (solo) from Res and others at Speakeasy, and the surprise greatest performance I saw there Jonelle Monae she tore it down. Also got a drop and interviews from G.Z.A. & Res (who is very cool by the way) we will be blasting that on THE PROGRESS REPORT PODCAST throughout the year. So yes THE VIDEO KING had a slammin time at SXSW 2009.

    Oh yeah Res been around for a minute c)Kweli’s- Quality album just to start

  • RickyBaby says:

    Me and some partners(Cipher, Kay, Wapp, Starchy Arch, OV) loaded up the tour van. Hit the SXSW had a blast. We watched Kay w/Tanya Morgan. My favorite of the night was Pacific Division love the single “Mayor”. I think it is growing i heard Kanye West and crew was there but we missed it. Next year same bat place same but time. peace

  • DBDR says:

    You all are forgetting to mention that Res is also fine. I think it needs to be said.

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