Hype Hotel @ SXSW

One of the toughest parts of SXSW is choosing which parties/shows to hit on a day to day basis. In an ideal South By you’d be able to catch a day BBQ on the east side, maybe head to another party for a couple drinks, and end the night downtown at a more intimate show. But with people flocking to shows with the biggest names, free drinks, or free food, it often doesn’t matter what credentials you’ve got because most larger parties will reach capacity long before the night is over. That’s not to say you shouldn’t go to a larger event, but get there early. Wednesday night I knew I wanted to get into the Boiler Room, so I was in line two hours before doors opened. Was it worth it? You bet your candy ass it was.

So Saturday I let the rain fall, and when it’s stopped I got up and out in line for Hype Machine‘s Hype Hotel, which turned out to be one of the better experiences I had this weekend. I was in line for no more than twenty minutes, and when they check your id you receive two tickets for free Taco Bell tacos, and four free drink tickets (Tiger Woods fist pump). I grabbed a handful of drinks and started walking around only to find a most affordable massage – $5 (pre scandal putt for the win Tiger Woods fist thrusts). Now ya boy is two tacos, two red bull vodkas, and a massage deep before Mick Jenkins has taken the stage and I can easily say this has been the best pregame ever.

Mick took the mic and Chicago was very much in the building. Highlighting The Water[s] as well as a new joint, it was a hell of a start to the last night of SXSW.

ICYMI: Mick Jenkins on Sway in the Morning, SXSW

UPDATE: I was just reminded I ate the tacos after the show. I was also just reminded it’s Monday, not Sunday. So that’s where I stand.

Mick Jenkins on Sway at SXSW

Mick Jenkins was one of the many artists to stop by Sway in the Morning on location in Austin, Texas late last week.

Today, the video of his in-studio performance of “The Waters” is up above and a portion of his sit-down with the crew talking Chicago and some of the things to watch out for on social media amongst the topics.

ICYMI, we caught Mick at the Hype Hotel and should have some more wrap-up coverage of our own Austin experience up shortly!

"The Chi is all I've known" | @mickjenkins in @hypem's #HypeHotel for #SXSW last night.

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Vocalo Winter Block Party 2015

Above: Mick Jenkins | Photo: @WhoDough

Vocalo’s Winter Block Party was one for the books! The all day event consisted of a film screening, B-Boy/B-Girl battles, a fashion show, an art showcase, and the most important being the concert at the end of the night that was showcased by some of Chicago’s elite artists. This was a night of unity for many as well as a small glimpse to Chicago’s Hip-Hop renaissance led by intellectual and crafty youth from Chicago.

Daryn Alexus

Daryn Alexus

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The Chicago songstress had the crowd following her every word as she introduced herself to new listeners and got the crowd to participate in her set. If you hadn’t heard Daryn Alexus before, you definitely left knowing the greatness this artists had to offer as a face of Chicago’s R&B scene.

Noname Gypsy

Noname Gypsy!

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One of the biggest surprises of the night was Noname Gypsy. As a follower of her music I had never seen her perform live but she definitely exceeded any expectations as she introduced us to some familiar sounds and even performed some never before heard music. She has definitely been the best femcee in Chicago in the last year or so. Her ability to flow lyrically and her ability to balance her lyricism with her flawless ability to sing makes her a gem in Chicago’s Hip-Hop renaissance. Her set left us wanting more.

Saba

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I am no stranger to the Pivot Gang leader from the Westside, Saba. The Chicago producer/emcee left the crowd knowing his name as the people in attendance chorused Sab’s name as well as the Westside’s first boy band, Pivot Gang [they don’t do gangsta rap, they make in synch (N’Sync) music]. Sab performed all the hits from his acclaimed ComfortZone project through a high energy driven set.

ShowYouSuck

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Bringing fun to the party was ShowYouSuck. The Treated Crew/Legion of Dudez member’s easy going and often humorous act allowed him to become easily acclimated to new listeners that danced, jumped, and yelled to all of Show’s hits as he reminded folks to “Relax Bro”, and have fun.

Mick Jenkins

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The man that main evented the show was Chicago’s prolific, lyrical messiah, Mick Jenkins. Right off the bat Mick was able to captivate his crowd though jams off his recently released Water[s] project. His act was really interesting to see from the crowd as seas of black, latino, white, and asian listeners all clung to Mick’s every word. If there’s one word that describes Mick it’s definitely “Unity”, as the young emcee from Chicago’s South side was able to bring everyone together under one roof to showcase the empowerment going on in our music scene, led by artists like Mick Jenkins.

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Winter Block Party: Saturday (presented by Vocalo)

This Saturday, come on out for an all-day hip hop event at the Metro — the #WinterBlockParty!

From noon-7 it’s FREE and you’ll be able to participate in some very cool events for a true hip hop cultural feel. There will be a B-Boy/B-Girl Dance Battle throughout the day, a hip hop art gallery, a movie screening of RIZE, DJing, a poetry jam, and more. Look for us inside as part of the Hip Hop Marketplace — we’ll be selling the Gowhere You Love Kanye tees and giving away other goodies.

Then, get your tickets for the nightcap that will be highlighted by performances from Mick Jenkins, Show You Suck, Saba, NoName Gypsy, and Daryn Alexus + the finals of the B-Boy/B-Girl Dance Battle. Shoutout to Vocalo and fellow presenters Chicago Public Media, Inc., and the Young Chicago Authors. This will be a guaranteed good time.

Buy tickets for the nighttime concert here.

B8h8UNOCAAAHc5P

12:00PM
Main Floor || B-Boy/B-Girl Dance Battle Sign Up

12:30PM
Smart Bar || Free Screening of “RIZE”

1:00PM
Main Floor || B-Boy/B-Girl Dance Battle Prelims

2:00PM
Main Floor || Street Gear Fashion Show (featuring Alex Carter, Gowhere HipHop, City of Win and others)
People’s Choice Music Videos

2:30PM
Smart Bar || Winter Block Party Wordplay

3:00PM
Main Floor || B-Boy/B-Girl Dance Battle Quarters

4:00PM
Main Floor || DLOW
People’s Choice Videos

Smart Bar || Track Workshop

5:00PM
Main Floor || B-Boy/B-Girl Dance Battle Semis

Also, throughout the day and night hear from Vocalo’s DJ Collective featuring Shazam Bangles, Pumpin Pete and Shred One led by Jesse De La Pena.

Plus, $10 fade haircuts, a Hip Hop Art Gallery (curated by Kevin Coval and Chicago Truborn) and a Hip Hop Boutique with vendors including Gowhere HipHop, City of Win, Alex Carter and others!

In the evening, join us for a ticketed concert blow-out!

7:00PM
Main Floor || B-Boy/B-Girl Dance Battle FINALS
LTAB Mixtape Release Concert featuring Mick Jenkins, Show You Suck, Saba, NoName Gypsy, and Daryn Alexus

Solarfive “88 Soul” [Mixtape]

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The long awaited solo effort of SolarFive is now been released as he drops his “88 Soul” project which features the likes of his OnGaud brethren on production as well as verses from Defcee, Angel Davanport, and Mick Jenkins.