Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hip-Hop in Austin, TX

Inspired by the Austin Hip-Hop Scene Monthly mixtape that just dropped today, I decided to highlight a few of the local hip-hop artists that have left an impression on me. I have featured some of them before, but a few of them are recent discoveries thanks to AHHS. Their first installment of the free monthly series contains tracks from Marcus Agrippa, The Triggermen, Mickey Damn, Kato Dox, Clemits, Tee Double, Marvelous Mike D, Flea Circus, Bavu Blakes and Kydd. Check out my entry on the Do512 Blog for more on that.


Tee-Double is Terrany Johnson, 2010 Austin Music Award Winner for Best Hip-Hop. He's even got his own day, as September 30, 2010 was proclaimed Tee-Double Day in Austin by the Austin City Council and Mayor Lee Leffingwell. Tee-Double has been a trail blazer in the Texas music scene for many years.



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I've mentioned Kydd once before. Born Randell Jones, he was nicknamed "Kid" by his older brother for being the youngest in a group which performed at local talent shows. In 2009 he received an Austin Hip-Hop Award for Best Lyricist Of The Year. He's been an official SXSW performer multiple times, and Kydd has also done collaborations some of the heavy hitters in the new movement of hip-hop, from GLC to Pac Div to The Cool Kids to Yelawolf.




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Flea Circus is a genre-bending hip-hop group from Austin, TX. Fronted by MC Frank Lofty and backed by DJ Fresco and drummer Marco Alonzo, Flea Circus offers up a style of hip-hop as if grown in a garden on Mars. The result is a head-nodding, danceable experience that bridges the gap between conventional hip-hop and a range of styles, from soul-pop and post-punk to electro and contemporary R&B



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Mickey Damn is a youngster out of Temple, Texas. He was included on the AHHS mixtape and I like his style.


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Phranchyze made a name for himself through underground rap battles, a talent that has taken him around the country to represent in all sorts of competitions. The Nigerian-American born Jason Herman Alan-Jamal Shaw-Ogunro, JJ, has been curating his combative inflections in Austin since junior high. He’s been consistently voted one of the best in Austin Hip-Hop for years, and has been a Rap Olympics Champion and Freestyle Battle Champion multiple times over.




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Mirage gets bonus points for shooting his music video in front of our office:


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Zeale and I go way back. Here's a recent collaboration he did with AWOLNATION. They are going on a big tour together this Fall.
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Native Strangers are a hip-hop duo originally from Abilene. The duo's members, OwdaBounds and Plato The Third, both studied at The University of Texas at San Antonio where they hooked up with engineer Chris Cline (Explosions In The Sky, Trail Of Dead) who mixed and mastered their debut album "Heroes Eventually Die." The album samples artists such as Bon Iver, Crystal Castles, Deerhoof, The Smiths, Journey, and Holy Ghost. One half of the duo now lives in Austin, so here they are.



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