Best of SXSW 2012 Top Ten Video Recap

Many are still recovering from Austin’s SXSW festival, myself included. Nonetheless, now that the festival is over, the internet is buzzing with videos of performances from the festival. I have compiled a list of my favorite performances at SXSW some of which I missed and others where I actually attended.

The first two performance highlights are from Rick Ross at Fader Magazine’s The Fader Fort. The showcase, which was sponsored by Converse and Vitamin Water, had a four-day line up that consisted of SBTKRT, Santigold, and etc. Not only was Rick Ross a surprise guest, but he also brought the showcase to an end. The first video shows Ross performing “Hustlin’” from his album Port of Miami . The song was one of Ross’ first singles in the mainstream musical sphere. With the second video, Ross performs “BMF,” from his latest project, Teflon Don.


Highlight number three, comes again from The Fader Fort with Los Angeles based emcee Kendrick Lamar. Lamar, has created a tremendous buzz for himself in and out of the West Coast with nothing but mixtapes, and independent albums on his discography. The emcee along with fellow Black Hippy members Ab-Soul, Jay Rock and Schoolboy Q headlined the second night of The Fader Fort, and this video is from that set.

Here, we see Lamar performing “Hiii Power,” from his latest project Section 80. Instead of performing with theatrics, Lamar opts to do a solo performance, which really gives listeners the ability to feel and hear all the deep concepts within the song. We hear Lamar speak about self-enlightenment through reflection, about historic figures from past and present, and about being rich in body and mind.


Another performance came from New Zealand bred vocalist Kimbra in the form of her debut single, “Settle Down.” Kimbra performed the song at The Spotify House. The song, which is from Kimbra’s debut album, Vows, is a very relatable song and what makes this performance cool is the way she created new version that was different than the original.


The Bad Rabbits make up two different spots with their set at La Zona Rosa and 512 Upstairs. The group, which is a fusion of rock and hip-hop, performed two songs from their discography and even incorporated slight dance moves or footwork rather into their performance.


European artists, vocalist Alice Russell and producer Quantic, are on the brink of releasing their upcoming album, Look Around The Corner, next month. While at SXSW, the two performed music from the album and take two spots performance spots. The duo performed the album’s title track as well as, “Somebody’s Gonna Love You.” The two are backed by Bay Area based band, The Park, as well as Russell background singer on the strings.



In my write-up about SXSW, I hinted at the SBTKRT performance at Fader Fort, however, here’s the video. Despite not being real close to the stage, you can hear the music and the remix that SBTKRT creates on the stage.


Another highlight would have to go to Jay-Z who performed music from his whole discography. Jay-Z performed during the Interactive Festival, and not the music festival but, the video was streamed online. Here’s one of my favorite parts with a few songs mixed in.


Whitney Houston Cause of Death Revealed

According to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, the results of Whitney Houston’s toxicology reports are in. It doesn’t look good. Read more below:

The toxicology report is in.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office has determined that Whitney Houston’s official cause of death is: “drowning and effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.”

The singer was found in the bathtub of her Beverly Hilton Hotel room on Feb. 11, hours before a pre-Grammy party. She was 48.

The coroner’s office also said the manner of death was an “accident.”

However, the toxicology report adds that “Cocaine and metabolites were identified and were contributory to the death. Marijuana, Alprazolam (Xanax), Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) and Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) were identified but did not contribute to the death.”

Full story here.

South by Southwest (SXSW) Showcase Recap 2012 by Erin Duncan

Music lovers from all over the world gathered in Austin, Texas March 13-18 for SXSW Music Festival.

The annual festival made up of five days is essentially a breeding ground for musicians, writers and bloggers, as well as those who are generally interested in music. This year’s festival was full of nostalgia acts like 50 Cent who performed his classic album, Get Rich or Die Trying . Other nostalgia acts included Eminem, Timbaland, Snoop Dogg, Kurupt and Beanie Siegel who all made cameo appearances.

Artists performed along street corners and held impromptu sets at local venues and even houses. Of those artists performing, there were a great amount of artists who should be looked into: Kimbra, Red Pill, Clear Soul Forces, and Allen Stone just to name a few. Also, a lot of veteran artists gave free shows like The Roots who played for a crowd along with newcomer Gary Clark Jr. This years festival was a must attend event for several different reasons, which you will find below.


The Circus March 14-15th

The two-day showcase The Circus presented by Brooklyn Bodega and The Couch Sessions kicked off the SXSW music festival at Gypsy Lounge. The indoor/outdoor venue served as the perfect venue for the eclectic blend of artists featured at the two-day event.

The first day of the event brought out performances by artists like: Miles Bonny, Carlitta Durand, Rockwell Knuckles and more. Particular highlights on the first day began first with singer Miguel, who’s band also included Brook D’Leau of Los Angeles based duo J*DaVeY.For his performance, Miguel wore suspenders and came out with a great energy that included him ungracefully jumping on the speakers as they wobbled for some time. He performed fan favorites during his set like his debut single, “Sure Thing.”


The next highlight came from Stones Throw Records trio The Stepkids . The trio performed music from their self-titled debut album and provided a great set complete with lots of soul. London import Alice Russell followed the trio and took the audience to church with her powerful voice. The singer who is on the brink of releasing her full-length collaborative album with producer Quantic , performed a live set with San Francisco based group The Park and left a lasting impression on the crowd.


New Zealand trio Electric Wire Hustle were another highlight during the showcase as they performed music from their album Every Waking Hours. Despite experiencing many technical difficulties during their set, the trio performed all of the crowd’s favorites: “Chaser,” “Again,” and “Perception.” The trio was followed by 1/3 of Diamond District and Mello Music Group producer/emcee Oddisee . For his set, Oddisee began with a rap about being a Sudanese American, as well as just a Black American in general with real nice metaphors, and concepts. When he began doing his real official set, Oddisee went between classic songs from his discography like, “Different Now,” from his Year In project, as well as new music from his upcoming release People Hear What They See which will be entering stores later this year.

On the first day however, The Bad Rabbits stole the show with their unique blend of hip-hop and rock. The group, made up of a drummer, three guitar players and a vocalist came to the stage with great energy even jumping out onto the stage and doing synchronized dance steps with one another.


For day two of The Circus, the headlining artist was emcee Pharoahe Monch who brought out legendary female emcee Jean Grae. With any Monch set, you can expect three things: lots of energy, the right selection of songs to make the crowd move, and to hear his classic, “Simon Says.” For Monch’s set, all things were present. Monch performed some of his older material, as well as music from his latest release W.A.R (We Are Renegades). Monch gave a great show despite Jean Grae telling audience members that they were essentially boring.

The Fader Fort March 14-18


The four-day Fader Fort hosted by Fader Magazine and sponsored by Converse and Vitamin Water brought out all the SXSW hipsters in this official free/wristband only entrance showcase.


The-Dream, an artist you may not expect to see at The Fader Fort or SXSW , performed his chart-topping “Falsetto,” and popular “Walking on the Moon,” (perhaps a nod to The Police). Although the crowd appreciated the performance, it came across as a bit random.



Black Hippy made of Los Angeles based emcees Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Schoolboy Q and Jay Rock represented well for the Left Coast during their headlining performance at The Fader Fort. Following greats from the region like Tupac, Snoop Dogg, NWA and etc, the Black Hippy leave off where they did however adding in their own unique personalities and stories. Their set was what some would consider to be epic—full of great lyrics, interesting stage personas and lots of “Hiii Power.” With their set, they showed exactly why they were headlining a show.

On Saturday, producer SBTKRT who really set the world on fire with his single, “Wildfire,” featuring Yukimi Nagano of Little Dragon, and was later remixed by Drake started the first highlighting set of the day. He set, which included vocals from frequent collaborator Sampha was a great set from start to finish. The set consisted of great energy and the way the songs were arranged during the set only made the anticipation and momentum build throughout the whole set. SBTKRT ended the set with “Wildfire,” but turned it into a dub-step like remix which only made the song sound that much better live.

The final performer at the Fader Fort, was an impromptu surprise set from Rick Ross . Ross came on a private jet to the festival and performed 13-songs as the closing act of the event. His set consisted of music from his four album discography notably: “BMF,” and “Hustlin.” The crowd went crazy as soon as Ross entered the stage, throughout his set and when his set was over. This set made for perhaps one of the best surprises at SXSW in general.

Vibe House- Respect The West – March 17th


Vibe Magazine joined up with Adidas and Cashmere Agency for a night full of West Coast music with their “Respect the West,” showcases Saturday Night at Kiss-N-Fly. The two-floor venue was packed to say the least, with individuals awaiting their chance to see the promising talent coming out of California.

The showcase was perfectly balanced as it showcased artists from both Northern California and Southern California. With just one female performer that night, Rocky Riveria, the showcase was full of some unknown artists such as: Six, Stereotypes, and Roccettjust to name a few, but nonetheless the showcase was a pretty nice representation of the West Coast music scene.

Highlights for the showcase came first with Inglewood bred emcee Skeme, who has been making a pretty big name for himself in and out of the West Coast with cosigns from artists like Pac Div, Dom Kennedy, as well as XXL Magazine. Skeme’s short set consisted of three or four songs, each showing off his lyrical content as well as his production that is top-notch shown with his song “Krazy,” from his latest musical installment, The Statement.
The next highlight came from Bay Area based rapper Mistah FAB who was asked to freestyle during another artists’ set. Typically, Mistah FAB music is a little on the now dead “hyphy movement” side, exploring topics of Yellow Buses and etc. However, he is a freestyle champion and known to go for long periods of time which he did this night. Mistah Fab actually did a great freestyle and surprised a lot of people. Los Angeles based trio Pac Div came to the stage with perhaps the most energy the whole night—throwing water on the audience and climbing on speakers. Despite being based in Los Angeles Pac Div has been able to expand their reach outside of the region with songs like the addictive “Mayor,” from their album Church League Champions. The trio had a high energy set and made everyone in the venue dance and rap along.


Overall, SXSW was a great event especially for all music lovers or musicians out there. There are so many free events for music lovers to attend which is both amazing and a little overwhelming. If you plan to attend the festival next year, make sure to visit SXSW’s official website here as dates for next year have already been announced, also, make sure to invest in comfortable shoes.

Wax Poetics Issue 50 (The Prince Issue) Mix FREE MP3 Download + Stream

Title: Wax Poetics Issue 50 Mix
Presented by: Wax Poetics Magazine
Release Date: March 20, 2012

The Wax Poetics team comes back strong from their recent 50th issue Dam Funk mix with this follow up featuring more of the best of the Minneapolis Sound.

Track List

  1. Prince and the Revolution “Erotic City (Make Love Not War Erotic City Come Alive)” (Warner Bros.)
  2. The Time “777-9311 (propsEdit)”
  3. Blood Orange “Champagne Coast (Krystal Klear Remix)” (Domino)
  4. Jesse Johnson “Be Your Man (Specially Remixed Version)” (A&M)
  5. Andre Cymone “Kelly’s Eyes” (CBS)
  6. Larry Graham “There’s Something About You” (Warner Bros.)
  7. 94 East “If You Feel Like Dancin’” (Hot Pink)
  8. Toro y Moi “Saturday Love” (Carpark)
  9. Madhouse “Fifteen” (Warner Bros.)
  10. The Family “Screams of Passion (Extended Version)” (Warner Bros.)
  11. DJ Quik “Do Today (featuring Jon B. and BlaKKazz K.K.)” (Mad Science)
  12. ?uestlove, The Foreign Exchange, Zo!, and Carlitta Durand “Purple Flip”
  13. Prince “Wouldn’t You Love to Love Me”
  14. Frank Ocean “Songs for Women”
  15. Prince and the Revolution “I Would Die 4 U/Baby I’m A Star (Live, Landover, MD, 1984)”
  16. Frank Ocean “Voodoo”

Here is an overview of issue 50, the Prince issue:

The ten-year-anniversary, resized, and redesigned Issue 50: The Prince Issue, with Frank Ocean, Larry Graham, Morris Day, Jesse Johnson, the Family, Grand Central, Madhouse, DJ Quik, Questlove, Toro y Moi, and Blood Orange.



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Jasiri X – Trayvon (No Church in the Wild Tribute to Trayvon Martin) [VIDEO] + FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD

We loooooooooove this moving tribute by Jasiri X for Trayvon Martin.

Rapped over “No Church in the Wild”, the first track from Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s Watch the Throne album featuring Frank Ocean! Get involved. Watch this and share.

Hip-Hop artists Jasiri X tells the heartbreaking story of Trayvon Martin, a unarmed 17 yr old boy, who was shot and killed by Neighborhood Block Captain George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012. George Zimmerman has to this date never been arrested or charged for the murder of Trayvon.

Demand Justice for Trayvon Martin

To download: Click below and enter this code: YKaJoEyYXyI

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The Time’s Guitarist Jesse Johnson’s Interview with Donnie Simpson on Video Soul “It was Hell Working for Prince.”

By Ron Worthy

In this very in-depth interview with original The Time guitarist Jesse Johnson, Donnie Simpson explores Jesse’s career and relationship with Prince as well as his experiences as a ground-breaking musician.  He discusses in-depth some of the behind the scenes dramas that lead to the firing of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis from The Time. This really provides rare insight into the inner workings of the bands and people responsible for the Minneapolis Sound.   Growing up in D.C. and listening to Donnie Simpson since I was a kid, this footage really took me back.   I’ve been a huuuuge fan of Jesse since the 80’s and it is incredible to watch this since we were not able to afford cable when this first aired.

“It Was Hell Working for Prince.”  – Jesse Johnson



More about Jesse Johnson from All Music:

Illinois-born funk/soul guitarist Jesse Johnson began playing guitar when he was 15, honing his chops in local rock bands throughout his teens and early twenties. On a friend’s recommendation, he moved to Minneapolis, MN, where he became the lead guitarist and a primary songwriter for the city’s extraordinairy funk-rock group, the Time. After writing “Jungle Love,” the group’s most memorable and highest-charting single, Johnson signed a solo deal with A&M in 1984 and released Jesse Johnson’s Revue the following year. Shockadelica and Every Shade of Love followed, building on the inventive, elaborate sound he forged with the Time. By 1990 the group reformed and issued Pandemonium, which once again showcased his songwriting and guitar skills. The highlights of his solo albums were collected on 2000’s Jesse Johnson: The Ultimate Collection.

More about Video Soul from Wikipedia:

Video Soul premiered in June 1981 and was originally a half hour show. It was devoted to helping showcase new R&B/soul recording artists and performers. The show was created after MTV refused to play videos by most African American musicians[1], as MTV made the De Facto Colour policy effective. Both BET and Video Soul served as the place of refuge for new African American musical talent. The expanded 2-hour long Primetime version debuted on June 26, 1983 and aired from 9-11 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Thursdays. A top 20 countdown aired Friday nights, 9-11 p.m. Eastern Time as well. Throughout the early-mid 1990s, until the show ended, it aired from 8-10 PM eastern time.

Virgil Hemphill was the original first host of the series, dubbing himself as the “Reverend Eldorado”. After Hemphill left the series, Donnie Simpson became the show’s most prominent veejay although he joined the show a few years after it premiered. Sherry Carter (who was also hosted BET’s Video LP, a half-hour long video program) and Sheila Banks were the other hosts.

Throughout its run, it was responsible for surprise guests, bringing groups/bands back together, memorable interviews, etc. A number of up-and coming artists had their first interview on Video Soul.

Video Soul Top-20 aired on Fridays, it showcased the hottest top-20 videos of the week. It would also be known as The Coca-Cola Video Soul Top-20 Countdown, as Coca-Cola became a sponsor of the show.

Video Soul By Request was a two-hour long video block on Saturdays. This edition premiered in mid 1992. It showcased videos that were requested by viewers, who called a 1-900 number to request the video they wanted to hear. Throughout its run, Sherry Carter hosted unseen when she became a host for Video Soul in 1992.

Here are some of our favorite Jesse Johnson moments:

The Time – Gigolos Get Lonely Too (written by Jesse Johnson)

Jesse Johnson – Can You Help Me

Jesse Johnson – Get to Know Ya (From Pretty in Pink Soundtrack)

Jesse Johnson – Be Your Man