Every SXSW Hip-Hop Show I Saw, From Worst to First

The first time I came to Austin was to visit a friend for South By South West last year. I had a great trip, but the SXSW experience itself was a total failure. My friend being fairly new to Austin herself, she had no idea what kind of prep work was required to truly have a worthwhile SXSW experience. We soon came to realize that we were completely in over our heads. I vowed to never do SXSW wrong again. Here are some tips:

You have to RSVP to everything that you are even considering going to.

You have to show up everywhere early.

You have to wear your most worn out, bootleg looking shoes while you smirk at everyone who thought their fresh new Jordans were going to withstand the rain and mud (why does it rain for every single festival in this city but never any other time??).

You have to clear space on your phone beforehand to make sure you have enough room for all the pictures and videos you want to take (and also make sure it’s fully charged).

You have to know when to take a break, which basically equates to instances when you can’t take any more lower back pain and you just need to watch some god damn March Madness and drink a brew while you SIT DOWN.

You have to realize that it’s really not worth it to wait in line for six hours at the Fader Fort for a Mike WiLL and Miley Cyrus show because oh wait it’s a fucking Mike WiLL and Miley Cyrus show.

You have to know when enough is enough with drink prices and just sneak a bottle in.

You have to understand that you will be at Torchy’s at least three times.

 

So one year later, having taken these things into account (for the most part) I stand before you a seasoned SXSW veteran. After a week that involved getting my car towed and losing my credit card, my virginity (just kidding — still a virgin), my voice, somehow never my friends, but at various intervals my mind, I can now say that SXSW music week kicks ass.

I was lucky enough to be accompanied on my journey by two of my best college friends, who were more than willing to exclusively go to hip-hop shows with me — something that has been sorely lacking in my life as of late.

When it was all said and done, we saw about 30 rap acts perform, some noticeable omissions being DeJ Loaf, Z-Ro, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah (my only real regret is not seeing Only Built 4 Cuban Linx performed live in its entirety), Run The Jewels, Yo Gotti, Future, Do Or Die and Crucial Conflict, and the ever so elusive Migos, whose dreads seemingly disintegrate into thin air right as you think you have them in your clutches (dammit Quavo, all I wanted to do was pet your Versace Iguana).

Unfortunately, you can’t see ’em all. SXSW is just too hectic.  But my homies and I did the best we could, so below is my ranked list of the best hip-hop shows of SXSW 2015. Hope you doggies dig it.

Before we get started, I have three observations:

1. Hip-hop may be a young man’s game, but it’s the established acts that know how to put on a great live show. My list is heavily weighted based on this observation.

2. A PSA for all rappers: stop rapping over your songs with the lyrics already in them! Use instrumentals!  Especially if you’re only performing a 15-20 minute set, it’s hard for me to think highly of you if you can’t memorize three to four songs all the way through, no matter how much weed you smoke. C’mon now.

3. If you’re an opening act, don’t spend half your time telling the crowd to get live.  People are tired, trying to save energy, and honestly, most of us aren’t here to see you.  So just rap and don’t worry about crowd participation. We will enjoy your set much more if you just do your thing and stop telling us to put our hands up.

 

30. 2 Chainz with “special” guests Cap 1, Skooly, and Short Dawg

This performance was truly bullshit of the highest degree. It was part of a bill that featured 2 Chainz performing right before The Diplomats — the headliners for the night. The only problem is that it wasn’t a 2 Chainz performance at all.

He came on stage to his “All Me” verse, followed by “Where U Been.” Cool. Except right after that he proceeded to retreat to the back of the stage, spending the rest of the night smoking log-sized blunts (literally as long as my foot) while his newly-launched “The Real University” label artists struggled their way through an underwhelming and highly disappointing set. It was false advertising to the utmost.

Bottom line: if it’s past midnight, there is no way that I am okay with watching a Cap 1, Skooly, and Short Dawg show. I wish I had more hands so I could give this shit four thumbs down.

29. Lil’ Herb

Herb was a pleasant surprise seeing as though he wasn’t featured on the bill, but it quickly became clear that the young Chicago spitter has much to prove when it comes to live performance. His bass heavy Chiraq drill beats consistently drowned out his vocals, which he felt the need to yell into the mic as loud as possible. He was on stage by himself, which takes guts, but I hope somebody tells him to go to sound check before his show starts from now on.

28. Starlito

I don’t really remember anything from this performance. It could’ve been anywhere between one and five songs long, but me and my homie were sitting in the balcony taking a breather before Dipset, so to make a short story shorter we weren’t paying attention. Sorry Lito. Black Sheep Don’t Grin is still fire though.

27. Trae Tha Truth

Freshly christened as an official Texas Representative honoree for SXSW, Trae didn’t exactly seem like he was there to rap. He showed his face to the delighted crowd, repped Texas hard, made me wish I had a chain with gold links the size of pancakes, went through a rendition of “Swang,” and disappeared as quickly as he came.

26. Domo Genesis

SXSW is kind of a weird festival in that there are so many artists (especially rappers), and many of the shows contain packed bills featuring dozens of artists with 15-20 minute sets. It can almost feel like they are auditioning for the audience. Every minute counts.

And nobody told Domo Genesis that.

His set was example A when it comes to wasting an opportunity.  There were plenty of Odd Future fans in the building, including Bill Murray (more on this in the Snootie Wild section… seriously), but Domo really dropped the ball. He spent roughly the first ten minutes rapping over a loop with no drums or bass, and then talking shit. It was seriously beginning to feel awkward. Everybody was looking around like “did this dude forget what percussion is?” Alas, his last song was great, but it was just too little too late.

25. Casey Veggies

I don’t really remember Casey’s set, probably because I was day dreaming about the impending Rae Sremmurd turn up that was about to whip my body out of its orbit. Unfortunately, the entire sound system crashed before they could come on so we had to settle for an a cappella version of “No Type.” However, the whole disaster was almost made worthwhile by the dudes behind us who were 100 percent confident that the speakers didn’t actually blow, but rather that Rae Sremmurd’s mom scolded them for being out past curfew and promptly made them retire to their hotel room (best line of the week, courtesy of one of those geniuses behind us: “But mooooom! South Byyyyyyy!”). You guys are the best.

24. K Camp

K Camp is one of the many young rappers who has a long way to go in terms of live performance. It’s obvious that he relies too heavily on the crowd knowing all of his lyrics to get them down pat. Songs like “Cut Her Off” and “Money Baby” would’ve been highly underwhelming if I had been hearing them for the first time. Fortunately you probably have to be deaf to not know the words to those songs, so it was still an enjoyable set, but Camp could do much better.

23. Money Makin’ Nique

I don’t know who Money Makin’ Nique is, but I love the Paid in Full reference in his name, plus dude has talent. He basically marks the start of the truly enjoyable sets for me. He came on pretty early during a traptastic extravaganza that featured plenty of better known names, but by the end of his short set the crowd was reenergized and genuinely surprised. I’m checking some of this dude’s material out soon.

22. Hodgy Beats

Hodgy was overshadowed by his Odd Future compatriots Domo and Earl, but he held his own admirably. He did a little too much yelling into the mic (rappers seriously need to watch this), as well as using too many crowd participation tactics, but his actual songs were slamming. Hopefully he won’t be overlooked for too much longer.

21. Snootie Wild

Okay so Snootie’s set was stupid hype because the man has genuine bangers to his name. “Yayo,” “Made Me,” and “Stackin’ & Flippin’ It” will get any crowd live regardless of the circumstances. He put on a great show and we were in that bitch gettin’ it out the mud cause that’s that shit that made us bruh bruh.

But that’s not the most important part about Snootie’s set for me.  I promised you that I would speak on my Bill Murray experience so here goes:

“Yayo” comes on. My friend and I are jumping up and down. Everybody is jumping up and down. Then, as if possessed by the ghost of Private John Winger himself, I whip my head around to see an old white guy in a hoodie with a beer in his hand casually nodding along to the cocaine dealing anthem. He’s four rows behind us. He looks familiar. One of those faces that you just know. Two guys walk up to him and shake his hand. I stop jumping so that I can focus my eyes better.

Holy shit.

It really is Bill Groundhog-Day-Ghostbustin’-Ass Murray.

I shake my boy and tell him to look. He can’t believe it either. We continue to wild out to Snootie and when “Yayo” ends we look back again.

Bill Murray’s gone. Just like that.

Later we would find out that he was there for the Odd Future performances, of which he’s a huge fan. So it wasn’t just an illusion that my drunk ass mind was playing on me, as I had initially suspected.

To recap: I was in the same room as Bill Murray for a Snootie Wild concert. Unreal.

20. English Girl

Even though I saw this girl perform twice I still don’t know her name because English accent. Sorry, it’s hard enough to understand you limeys while watching movies in perfect surround sound, much less on a performance mic with heavy bass in the background.

Nevertheless, she killed both of her sets and had some of the most insane, rapid-fire flows I heard the entire week. Both times she came out in some skinny jeans with a buttoned up Polo long sleeve tucked in, rocking a baseball cap with her pony tail coming out of the back. So I guess her look is “preppy school girl.” But man, she doesn’t rhyme like one. Her crowd control was on point and she got busy on the mic with no help. Props.

19. Shy Glizzy

Glizzy probably had the most fun rapper dance of the whole festival, which is saying a lot. As my friend Ezra puts it, “It’s happiness as if a middle schooler just won the championship belt in WWE, plus molly.”

For those who don’t know, Glizzy is a tiny and adorable little man from Washington, D.C. who just so happens to make some of the hardest music out right now.

His joyously acute voice and minuscule stature make his live show highly entertaining, as it is beyond fun to imagine him as a ten-year-old while he brags about selling heinous amounts of cocaine and driving every foreign car on the market.

Seriously, if you ever see him live, whenever “Awwsome” comes on just imagine that it’s a child on stage. It’s too much fun. Also, “Funeral” was one of the best songs of the whole week.

18. Ty Dolla $ign/O.T. Genasis

I clumped Dolla $ign and Genasis together because they were surprise performers who only did one song each at the particular show that we saw them at.

My homie and I stepped outside of the venue following a set to get more beer. All of a sudden, “Paranoid” came on. I checked my watch and jokingly told my friend that Dolla $ign was probably somewhere else performing this song right now. We laughed about it and everything. When we stepped back inside, it actually was Dolla $ign. In the flesh. Crooning ever so ratchetly about lady friend club dilemmas. We kind of lost it, fam.

Then Genasis came on to perform you know what. I’m not going to say the name of the song because do I really have to? Just watch the video.

 

17. Country Cousins

Country Cousins, formerly known as V.I.P., was a very pleasant surprise. They are a duo straight out of Austin who I had never heard of before. They opened for Doughbeezy in front of a fairly small crowd at the Flamingo Cantina, but everybody in the house enjoyed the hell out of it and it was clear that they did too.

The camaraderie of the rappers, Pimpin’ Pen and K Paul, quickly became evident as they tore through a southern-fried set that was clearly influenced by Texas rap forefathers before them. They were also very humble and down to earth dudes after the show, which goes a long way, and I will surely be checking out their music soon.

16. Joey Bada$$

Joey’s set at the Mass Appeal show was really great… for like fifteen minutes. Why did it go downhill so quickly? Because the dude would not stop yelling as loud as he could. He clearly knows how to whip the crowd into a frenzy, but he needs to chill out with all that rah rah shit.

Son, you barely leave your monotone safe zone of comfort on your mixtapes and album, and now you want to perform all of those songs as if you’re trying to get a bone out of your throat? Bada$$ would’ve been ranked way higher, especially because his crowd was easily top five most hype, but after awhile there’s only so much yelling I can take. Fortunately, Joey’s still only twenty, with much more room to grow to perfect his live show.

15. Fashawn

Fashawn’s The Ecology is one of the early highlights of the year. I can’t quite tell if I like it as much as Boy Meets World yet, but it’s definitely right up there.

His set was very enjoyable and it came at a perfect time during the Mass Appeal show — when the down-pouring rain was beginning to subside, the daylight was vanishing, and the crowd was at the most tranquil it had been all day.

With his partner Exile DJing, Fash mixed it up with a variety of classics from BMW and newer material from Ecology, and by the end I had no complaints. He probably had one of the least hype shows, but hey, not every rap show needs to get crazy. It was a worthwhile head-nodding experience that allowed me to get some rest before the evening shenanigans began, and he really did kill every verse.

14. Doughbeezy

I got the privilege of interviewing Doughbeezy before his show started (stay tuned for the artist spotlight), but the interview was cut short due to the entire show running late, which subsequently cut his own set short. Beezy is next up out of H-Town and despite being a young dude, his live show is on point.

He made the best of his shortened set length in front of a fairly small but super drunk (it was St. Patty’s day) and SUPER high (it was a rap concert) crowd of fans, highlighted by a lively performance of “I’m From Texas” off last year’s Footprints on the Moon mixtape. Check it out below.

 

Sidenote: Extra props to Beezy for somehow finding a neon green White Sox jersey to wear for St. Patty’s. Where the hell do you get that??

13. Earl Sweatshirt and Vince Staples

Damn man, I really want to rank Earl and Vince higher but I just can’t because of how annoying their pleas for crowd participation got. They put on a super dope, high energy tag-team set that definitely motivated me to check out Earl’s newly released I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside album, but they were by far the most annoying rappers when it came to interrupting their set to ask people to be louder and raise their hands higher. This culminated in the most unjustified attempt at crowd surfing I have ever witnessed, when Vince Staples jumped into the crowd just three songs into the set. Really, homie? Three songs and you’re already trying to sprain people’s wrists?

Sometimes mufuckas just want to zone out and hear you rap, guys. Don’t worry about it. Just do your thing. If your shit is really that jammin’ then people will respond accordingly. And don’t get me wrong, it was jammin’, just not as jammin’ as Earl and Vince thought it was.

12. Boldy James

Boldy performed at his Mass Appeal boss Nas’ Live at the BBQ event, which was a shit show in every way possible (more on this later). Being a huge Detroit rap head, I was super geeked to see him live finally. He didn’t disappoint at all. His raw midwestern iterations of rearview-mirror pulsating trap beats alongside his hard but polished flow translated very well over a live system.

Being the laid back Detroit cat that he is, Boldy gets extra props from me for just focusing on rapping, rather than talking or crowd participation, and also for (obviously) wearing Cartier’s. It don’t get more Detroit than that.

 

11. ZEALE

ZEALE was the first hip-hop show of the week that I saw, as he performed at the JamFeed sponsored MusicTech Fest last Monday. I’ve been anxious to see him live ever since doing an Artist Spotlight on him a couple weeks back, and he definitely didn’t disappoint.

Playing with a live band in front of a rowdy crowd that had been drinking consistently for the past six hours, ZEALE tore through cuts from his FRNZ & FNGZ EP, as well as spitting some sick off-the-top freestyles to the crowd’s delight.

10. Taylor Gang (Tuki Carter, Chevy Woods, some random dude whose name I forgot, and DJ Daddy Cat aka Wiz Khalifa on the one’s and two’s)

The Taylors were a surprise guest following a Mannie Fresh DJ set in front of a small crowd at the North Door. When it was announced that they were in the building, gossip quickly started circulating:

“Do you think Juicy is here?? No way. Juicy can’t be here. Wait but is Ty Dolla here?? Omg Wiz can’t be here can he??”

And then, just like that, a gang of dudes in all black and white Taylor Gang hoodies and crewnecks walked down the stairs, bringing with them a cloud of weed smoke that resembled an actual cumulus cloud (this was the show where security came up to me after I had sparked a joint only to say, “Oh, that’s just a joint? You’re good man.”)

It turns out Juicy J and Ty Dolla $ign were not in the building, but the rest of the Taylors were — including Wiz Khalifa himself, or should I say DJ Daddy Cat. Wiz got behind the turntables and proceeded to put his partners on, playing an impressive set of newly released and unreleased TG material for the small but delighted crowd.

The highlight of the show — and possibly of the week — was Chevy Woods’ Gangland 3 standout “Fernando,” which contains one of the most ham Zaytoven beats ever created. Tuki Carter also played a good set, and watching Wiz’s high ass giggle and grin his way through a DJ set filled me with more elation and joy than I ever thought possible.

9. Mannie Fresh 

We saw Mannie twice, once at the aforementioned North Door, and once at the Mass Appeal party.  Both times he showed why he’s one of the best DJs and producers in the history of hip-hop.

After all this time, he clearly has not lost touch with how to get a party started, running through a bevy of recent mega smashes (“Hot Nigga,” “CoCo”), old Cash Money classics (“Go DJ,” “Still Fly,” “Back That Azz Up”), and lesser known regional hits from artists like Mac Dre, Too $hort, and Lil’ Keke. Fresh still got it.

8. Rae Sremmurd

My two favorite people in the whole world! Swae Lee and Slim Jimmi were seemingly everywhere last week, and I was glad to see them at the Mass Appeal party since their show at Austin Music Hall was cut short due to mom’s curfew… I mean sound malfunctioning.

Rae Sremmurd came on at the wettest, sloppiest part of last Friday’s rain storm, and by the middle of their set at least half of the people who were previously hiding under tents had entered “give no fucks” mode, gleefully sloshing around in the puddles to their ridiculously turnt show… including me.

It’s just hard not to like these guys. Their onstage chemistry is evident, they’re total goofballs and they know it, and oh yeah their songs consistently get crowds more hype than 99% of rap acts, past or present. “No Flex Zone,” “No Type,” “Lit Like Bic,” “Throw Sum Mo,” “My X,” and “Up Like Trump” are certified anthems that everybody can get loose to.

If I know these guys like I think I do, then they spent the time leading up to the show playing keep away with Nas’ cellphone. Long live Swae Lee and Slim Jimmi.

 

7. Post Malone

I don’t care what anybody says, Post Malone is already a legend in Texas and he only has three songs to his name. The scrubby white boy from Dallas with struggle cornrows and a platinum grill came on stage donning a number 19 “Malone” Cowboys jersey and absolutely slayed his 15-minute set.

It didn’t surprise me that the majority of the crowd knew the words to “White Iverson” and “That’s It,” but I realized how crazy Malone’s buzz in TX truly is when he played “Tear$” — which was released only two days before his performance — and everybody knew the words to that one as well.

Malone probably gained the most exposure of any rapper last week. He popped up in surprise sets all over town, and SXSW has undoubtedly given his career the launching pad that it needs. Start paying attention now.

 

6. Father

Father’s spaced out druggy trap aesthetic is something to see live. Me and my dudes lost our damn minds over and over again to bangers like “Look At Wrist,” “Who’s Gonna Get Fucked First,” “Nokia,” and “BET Uncut.” His ethereal bass could have easily knocked one of my ribs loose as I danced in the mud between swigs of Wild Turkey (we were definitely at our drunkest for this show).

But it’s not just the bass that made his show amazing. Father knows how to get the people hype, and his careless attitude translated perfectly to the rain-soaked, restless crowd. Wriss wriss wriss wriss wriss wriss wriss.

5. Prhyme (DJ Premier and Royce Da 5’9″)

Along with Bun B and Freddie Gibbs, Prhyme was the shining example of veterans with a flawless live show. This was one of the only performances at the Mass Appeal party that the host, Nas, actually came out to watch.

Technically speaking, Royce is one of the most talented spitters in the game, and he does not lose a step from the booth to the stage. With perfect breath control, crowd participation, and microphone presence, he put on an amazing performance that mixed older jams like “Boom” with material from Prhyme’s newly released EP.

Premo showed why he’s still the best DJ in hip-hop, mixing in flawless live cuts and scratches in between host duties, and even having a conversation with Royce by using only sampled words. Amazing.

 

4. Kevin Gates

Gates impressed me to the utmost degree. He not only played every song I wanted to hear (“Posed To Be In Love,” “Thinking With My Dick,” “Neon Lights”), but he was one of the few young rappers to actually rap over just his instrumentals. I didn’t realize until seeing him live, but he has tons of dedicated fans already. I mean, at least half the people there were screaming every word.

Gates also gave one of the most heartfelt moments of the entire week, when he thanked the crowd for supporting him by saying, “I’m a convicted felon with two kids and this rap shit is the only way I can make a legal living.” He seemed truly appreciative, once again showing why he’s one of the most versatile and real gangster rappers in the business today.

 

3. Freddie Gibbs

If Domo Genesis is an example of how to waste a 20-minute set, then Gangsta Gibbs is the exact opposite. He wasted no time. He barely talked. He rapped perfectly over his instrumentals, no background vocals to be found, and nobody else on stage to ad-lib for him when he ran out of breath — which he didn’t. His only crowd participation tactic was a “Fuck Police” chant, which always goes over well. He got straight to business because he knows no other way. He’s a consummate professional.

Gibbs must’ve been in an extra aggressive mood, because he performed only the hardest songs in his catalog. He opened with “Kush Cloud,” which was followed by “Lay It Down,” “Baby Face Killa,” “Rob Me A Nigga,” “Have U Seen Her,” and the newly released “Pronto” off the EP of the same name. Pure gangsta shit in its rawest form. This was the best 20-minute set for me, plain and simple. No gimmicks, just one man on stage showing the crowd why he’s one of the best lyricists in the game.

 

2. The Diplomats

Cam’ron was there. Jim Jones was there. Juelz Santana was there. Frekey Zeekey was there. Funkmaster Flex was DJing. The late night crowd was restless after 2 Chainz’ enormous scam of a “performance.” Dipset put our minds to ease very quickly.

I’ve basically been waiting for this moment since I first heard Purple Haze and Diplomatic Immunity. Seeing Dipset live fulfilled every wish that I have held on to since my high school days. There was really no way this show wasn’t going to be incredible.

They got things started quickly with a raucous Cam performance of “Oh Boy,” and the energy never dwindled from there. Tearing through crowd pleasing Harlem classics like “Dipset Anthem,” “Salute,” “Crunk Muzik,” “I Really Mean It,” “Santana’s Town,” “Suck It Or Not,” “Hey Ma,” and “We Fly High,” it totally hit me why Dipset are such legends. Hearing all of these joints in succession made it clear as day.

Their run from 2002-2006 is one of the best all-time crew runs in rap history, one that churned out street classic after street classic. They were the hood’s answer to G-Unit at the time, who were busy running the pop charts but quickly lost touch with the streets. Cam, Capo, and Santana may never tour again together, but we the people will always have those countless albums and mixtapes full of incessant Harlem shit talk to fall back on.

 

Salute.

1. Bun B with special guests Trae Tha Truth, Joey Bada$$, Big K.R.I.T., Devin The Dude, Too $hort, and A$AP Rocky

Does it really come as a surprise that this was by far the best hip-hop concert of SXSW? I don’t know what else I can say about UGK that I didn’t already cover here, only that everything I previously thought about Bun was confirmed at this show, my first time seeing him live.

Bun B is, for all intents and purposes, the most widely respected man in hip-hop.  He’s an OG in the truest sense of the word. Not only does he get love from every artist in Texas and in the south, but from every artist in the game, new or old. You can’t name one person in the rap industry who doesn’t speak highly of Bun. Not one. This show proved it.

The Trill OG took on the spotlight at Stubb’s for his 42nd birthday celebration in good spirits, cracking jokes onstage and maintaining complete control over the vast crowd with astonishing grace and presence.

After various failed attempts by the DJ and security to get the growing mass of people onstage to get the hell off, all it took was one line from Bun to disperse them: “I don’t mean to be rude y’all, but… they ain’t come here to see you!” Then everyone commenced to leave the stage while we all laughed at them. Godfather shit.

You don’t realize just how much of a legend Bun really is until you see him perform his greatest hits in front of a sold out crowd for his birthday… in Texas. There was no better place to see one half of my favorite group.

He rose to the challenge phenomenally, tearing through a catalog of classics that spans over 20 years without missing one line or misplacing one word. His breath control was amazing. His stage presence was off the charts. His delivery was exceptional. Check out his “Get Throwed” verse for proof:

 

Starting with Three 6 Mafia’s “Sippin On Syrup,” Bun interspersed UGK classics with some of his best guest verses, which included Pimp C’s “Pourin’ Up,” Big K.R.I.T.’s “Country Shit,” Young Jeezy’s “Trap Or Die,” Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin,” and Webbie’s “Give Me That.”

Songs from UGK’s and his own discography included “You’re Everything,” “Get Throwed,” “Pocket Full Of Stones,” “One Day,” “Int’l Player’s Anthem,” “Draped Up,” “The Game Belongs To Me,” and of course the best Bun verse of all time, “Murder.”

OH MY GOD HE PERFORMED MURDER AND I WAS THERE.

 

Bun also knew when to let a Pimp C verse play out in full, as he did on “Players Anthem” and “Big Pimpin,” taking it all in as the packed crowd rapped every word to his fallen brother’s classics. It was truly something special.

And that is to say nothing of the variety of guests who came out and showed Bun much-deserved birthday love. Trae repped Texas to the fullest, Joey Bada$$ gave a lively performance, K.R.I.T. damn near gave me a heart attack when he dropped “Country Shit,” Too $hort had everybody yelling “biiiiiiiiiiiitch!!!” and A$AP Rocky showed up for an impromptu but ridiculously lit performance of “Goldie” that he was ready to use as a jump-off point. Unfortunately he was cut short due to “Goldie” being the only record of his that the DJ had handy.

 

However, the guest of the night in my eyes was Devin, who absolutely destroyed his verse and hook on Dr. Dre’s “Fuck You” before enticing the crowd into a smoke session with the classic DJ Premier-produced “Doobie Ashtray.” If you can ever see Devin in a full live performance you need to. He puts on one hell of a show.

 

Despite the guests, the star of the show was clearly the birthday boy. Bun’s performance took place on Saturday night, the last major night of SXSW, and as he finally left the stage around two in the morning while we joyously sang him happy birthday, I couldn’t help but think that there was nobody else who could’ve possibly been closing the festival in the way that Bun just did. I mean, he shut Austin the fuck down. Point blank period. It was a rare “you had to be there” type of concert experience that could almost tangibly be felt within the crowd.

Texas will always belong to UGK. They wear the undisputed crown of the lone star state, for now and forever. Saturday night showed why. Rest In Peace Pimp C.

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