SXSW Report Card: Killer Mike, Mistah F.A.B, Tech N9ne, Chiddy Bang
Wednesday night at the Vibe House featured a hip-hop lineup for every taste bud: Mistah F.A.B. for the Bay Area rap flava, Killer Mike for the lyrically inclined, Chiddy Bang for the college kids, Tech N9ne for the weird and wonderful. Here's how they fared at Venue 222.
Photos by Rizoh Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko
Bay Area's Mistah F.A.B. wears a heavy heart these days. He lost his parents just as he became one himself. F.A.B. had a daughter in 2010. He lost his mother to cancer last year. His father died of AIDS when he was 12
"This shit is bigger than hip-hop," he tells the crowd at Venue 222. "This shit is about saving lives." While he's noted for helping propel hyphy to great heights, tonight F.A.B. would rather move minds than move behinds.
The crowd felt him through it all, cheering enthusiastically to his string of reflective performances. The best part was when he instructed fans to hold various items of their choosing and then incorporated them into a freestyle.
"Positivity brings progression," F.A.B. advised the crowd as he wrapped up his set. "Whatever you're going through, someone has gone through worse."
Mike Bigga (p/k/a Killer Mike)
Mike Bigga graced the stage determined to show that while his name may have changed, his politically charged lyrics haven't. Though Mike kicked off his set with the tunes he's best known for: "Never Scared" and "All Day I Dream About Sex," and his unmistakable verse on OutKast's "The Whole World." But he didn't linger on them for long. That was just appetizer.
The real show-stopper was "Burn," which he prefaced with a question: "You ever woke and felt like burning everything down?"
"Burn" is the Funkadelic-inspired single from his upcoming PL3DGE. It's a politically salient smash that echoes the frustration of hip-hop's disgruntled base. It sounds even more compelling in a live setting. Houston's own Trae tha Truth popped up as a guest and performed his Wiz Khalifa-assisted single "We Getting Paid."
"You're not going to see my abs," Mike reassured us later. "But I say real shit and I'm better than anybody any day." We can respect that.