SXSW 2012 - Audible Treats Hip-Hop Showcase at Kiss & Fly

March 27, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Day three...continued.

I didn't have much time to recuperate from the NPR day party before it was time to head out to my official assignment for the evening - the Audible Treats hip-hop showcase at Kiss & Fly.

The (extensive) lineup:

  • THEESatisfaction
  • SL Jones
  • Boldy James
  • Mistah F.A.B.
  • Roach Gigz
  • A.Dd+
  • L.E.P Bogus Boys
  • Flatbush Zombies
  • Moe Green
  • Georgia Anne Muldrow
  • Dudley Perkins
  • Talib Kweli
  • Souls of Mischief

Hip-hop shows, in my humble opinion, represent a special challenge for the concert photographer. For one thing, rappers almost constantly have their microphones right up at their faces. I also see a lot of performers wearing baseball caps and sunglasses. Any one or combination of these things can make for a lot of face obscuration, and it's sometimes hard to get a compelling shot. There's not a lot I can do about hats and glasses, but if I can I like to get as far to the side of the stage as possible so I'm not shooting head-on.

Despite these difficulties, I really enjoyed the whole showcase. Standouts for me included A.Dd+ (rappers from Dallas, of all places) and L.E.P Bogus Boys, whose performances were infused with such an insane amount of passion and energy. They were all clearly having a ball on stage, and it didn't take long for the crowd to get swept along with them. Talib Kweli was another high point (and the only artist I was previously aware of going into this showcase). He's just a ridiculously charismatic guy, and he had the audience in the palm of his hand for his entire set. A real showman. However, the absolute highlight of the evening (and perhaps the highlight of the entire festival) for me was Mistah F.A.B. He'd already won the crowd over with a very quirky and playful stage presence, but he then proceeded to show everyone why he's known as the "Freestyle King" in his native California. He asked the audience to hold up objects, anything that they happened to have on them, and using these objects as inspiration he began to freestyle at great speed for several minutes without missing a single beat. It was jaw-droppingly good. I'll admit that I was waving my camera in the air in rather a deranged fashion, but Mistah F.A.B. didn't spot it. It's a shame. I really wanted to add "Richard McBlane and his camera have inspired great rap lyrics" to my bio.

Mistah F.A.B., SXSW 2012 Moe Green, SXSW 2012 Roach Gigz, SXSW 2012 Georgia Anne Muldrow, SXSW 2012 Talib Kweli, SXSW 2012 Talib Kweli, SXSW 2012

 


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