SXSW Announces Chance The Rapper, Future, Kurt Vile & More

sxsw_2012-300x118SXSW has announced a new batch of performers, including Chance The Rapper, Future, and Kurt Vile. The acts join the likes of Dave Hause and MC Lars, along with OurStage artists Larry g(EE) and Bronze Radio Return. If the current lineup isn’t enticing enough, it seems the festival has plans to announce a few more additions (perhaps more heavyweights?) closer to the festival’s launch.

You can check out a day-by-day schedule of the 2,000 + acts that will perform between March 11-17th right here and check out the latest additions to the lineup below.


Soundcheck: White Rappers Making Waves

The road has been rough for Southern rapper, Yelawolf, whose Interscope debut, Radioactive delivered less than stellar sales and prompted his label to drastically diminish its promotional support. Health problems plagued the emcee as well, with a ruptured spleen delaying both his sophomore album and a much-needed promotional tour. To make matters worse, he’s currently not very happy with his label situation.

I don’t fuckin’ know anybody up there, not no one. I’ve never fuckin’ walked up in the building. The couple of people that I do know are friends of mine and that’s it, he told HipHopDX.

They obviously can’t have their hands on everything”there’s a lot of fuckin’ artists under the wings of a big label like that, so when you become part of a label or a situation that fuckin’ massive, you have to just really be smart about how you handle your business and make that your team in on-point with everything single thing and you’re paying attention to every single detail. If you lose that, then sometimes you get caught up.

Despite the difficult circumstances, the Alabama native has released two mix tapes; The Slumdon Bridge and Heart of Dixie. If all goes accordingto plan, he’ll do another mix tape with Travis Barker and Big K.R.I.T. He’s also set to drop his sophomore album, Love Story along with a sequel of sorts, Trunk Muzik Returns. He has had to take his business into his hands, but it’s been a reluctant transition.

I just don’t want to fuckin’ do business, man, what the fuck. I’m a rapper, I’m an artist. I pay my manager to handle all that shit. I don’t even like talking like this, I feel like a nerd to even be bothered with the business of it, he said. I want to be creative. I don’t want to worry with this shit. I want to fuckin’ make my music and tour and do what I do. Unfortunately, you have to pay attention to it, and that’s kinda like what I’ve been forced into this past couple years. All of that like, pent-up, ‘What the fuck is going on?!’ type of shit is gonna be coming out in my music and everything that I do. Even with the bad, it’s really fueling everything that I’m doing in a positive way because it’s only making me hungrier.

Machine Gun Kelly is ready to release his debut album, Lace Up in August. Last week, he revealed his thoughts on the first LP he’ll release from the house that Diddy built, and promised some serious support from collaborators like DMX, Bun B, and Tech N9ne among others.

I got legends on there. DMX. Me, Tech N9ne, and Twista on one track, the song everybody wanted to hear. Fuckin’ Eminem, I’m just playing. That would have been certified platinum¦Bun B. Everyone’s really like legends, he told VladTV

Lace Up is a lifestyle. Everything I stand for, it’s everything my fans stand for.  It’s tattooed on our bodies for life. It’s something I will never explain to the general public because it’s something beautiful that you have to discover for yourself. You have to find your own meaning in it, he said. “But the album is definitely one of the best albums of the decade and will be a problem at The Grammy’s 100 percent. Regardless if my singles haven’t taken off the way that we wanted them to it’s all a part of the journey because I believe that because I never caught that quick-winded hype I’ll be around for a long, long time.”

Once pitted against each other as competitors, it seems these two emcees have more in common than their skin color and affinity for rhyming.  Yelawolf and Machine Gun Kelly will be wowing crowds with new music at Guerrilla Union’s ‘Rock The Bells’ Music Festival in August.

Soundcheck: Twista To Sign With G.O.O.D. Music?

When Krizz Kaliko released his fourth album, Kickin’ and Screamin with his single, Kill Shit featuring Tech N9ne and Twista, he reminded fans that the Chicago rapper is still relevant¦and really fast.

Tech N9ne said he avoided writing his verse for the song for a week after hearing Twista’s lightning fast flow.

“I didn’t want to write it. I didn’t want to have to write after Twista. Twista’s a murderer so I ran from the track for a week, he said on his blog.  I really don’t like rapping fast because it’s so hard to write but it’s one of my specialties. It was another reason I was running but once I sat down and did it, it came out superb. I think Twista killed everything on it. Everybody’s talking about how much they love my verse. I love it and I love how they love it but they really need to listen to Twista. That boy did something amazing. Yeah I didn’t want to write it and everyone came out beautiful…His verse is just so intricate. It’s just quadruple timing. The tricks that he’s doing in there, you just have to pay attention to his words and what he’s saying in there”so wonderful.”

Still, Twista has been downplaying the possibility of signing with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music since statements he made last month have sent speculations swirling.

He told, “I don’t know what it’s going to be [with G.O.O.D. Music],” he said. “[The media] takes it the way they want to take it. [All I said was] that I’m open to sign with whomever as long as the situation is right¦it’s all love. [Kanye and I] both from Chi Town and he’s been in the game doing his thing for a long time. I definitely don’t look at it like [I won’t sign under a younger artist]. Like I said, as long as the situation’s right.”


Soundcheck: New Music Previews: Diggy, Wiz, Cudi, Tech & More

Spring has almost sprung and with it comes a fresh crop of new music from the likes of Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa, Diggy Simmons and Tech N9ne among others.

Cudi‘s latest project first caused a stir when the rapper complained his label under shipped the rock-heavy EP, WZRD. In it’s first week, the album took the No. 1 spot on iTunes and sold over 70,000 copies.  Cudi’s current single is heating up radio charts as well, setting him up for a stellar rock tour this summer.


Soundcheck: 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards: Scathing Cyphers, Political Points, and Missing Winners

The 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards was filmed in Atlanta on October 1 and aired on BET last week.  Packed with powerful performances and full of surprises, the show offered the world a glimpse of some of rap’s most promising up and comers through their nine cyphers, and gave some unexpected players a turn at the mic while other big names were noticeably MIA.

The show’s opening set the pace for the night.  A fire-filled stage revealed Young Jeezy who spit some verses before throwing the mic to T.I. Making his triumphant return to the stage in his hometown of Atlanta, the recently“released rapper got straight to the point, spitting I been out of sight/ been out of mind¦another year of prison/ promise this is it for me/ trying to make it through the storm/ should be makin’ history. /No feeling sorry keep your pity and your sympathy/ good or bad take it like a man whatever’s meant to be.

Hosted by Mike Epps, the show was light on awards. An hour into the show, they had only given out one. The night’s biggest winner was Chris Brown (who couldn’t be bothered to show up) for his hit, Look At Me Now featuring Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne. The song nabbed a total of four awards including Best Hip-Hop Video, People’s Champ Award, Reese’s Perfect Combo Award and Best Featured Verse from Busta.


Rappers, Reps And Hometowns; Or, Did You Know Drake Was From Toronto?

That’s right, R&B/rap sensation Drake is Canadian! Who would’ve thunk it?

To not know that Drake is from the Great White North in this day and age would require one to have been under a rock, which is subsequently under a large pile of rocks in the desert where there is no WiFi connection. It’s a convention of the genre to toast one’s hometown, or to “rep your hood” (as is the preferred vernacular) but no one is a bigger promoter of their city then Drake. “All I care about is money/And the city where I’m from” is a couplet in not just one but two of Drake’s singles. And the most recent release from his upcoming full length Take Care””Headlines””came out with a video that is a visual love letter to Toronto.

Drake ~ Headlines (Official Video) from OctobersVeryOwn on Vimeo.

Is Aubrey Graham on the payroll for the Tourism Board of Ontario or something? The video features the Rogers Center opening majestically for Drake as he stands stoically on the field. We are also treated to shots of Drake gliding vertically above the city in a glass elevator (maybe on the side of the CN Tower?) and Drake in an ugly sweater. Solid effort all around.

Drake’s not the only rapper to really show his city love, even if Toronto isn’t the gangster’s paradise that other hip-hop strongholds have historically been.