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11 Things I Learned at SXSW (Exclusive Coverage, Pics)

Posted by Quentin Cuff on 03/26/10 | Filed under Top Stories, Features, SXSW
I have lived by many mottos during my brief 19 years on Earth. This year, however, I have stuck to one mantra: “follow your dream even when the road ahead seems like a nightmare”.
With that being said, when I got a call from my editor at JENESIS magazine (@Thomas_Jenesis aka Thomas Agnew) about covering the SXSW festival, I jumped at the chance. I missed classes, pissed off my mother, scraped up as many pennies from my couch as possible and got in a giant van with my big brothers at the hottest lifestyle and marketing company in the country Fab 5 Ent. (www.fab5ent.com), two emerging emcees named Grip Plyaz & Scolla, the coolest female music manager ever named Kei, and a very copasetic DJ named FU. Long drive from Pittsburgh to Austin, Texas.

South by Southwest 2010 will forever be legendary for those who were a part of it and even more mythical for those who can only hear stories about it. Colorful streets filled with an array of artists, managers, producers, and bands PLUS they had food stands on every block. Allow me to translate: being the food & music connoisseur that I am, I was in heaven. Too much happened to tell you everything but let me try to give you the best play-by-play possible:

- I got down there on Wednesday. I quickly found out that 6th Street was the place to be in Austin aka the Live Music Capital of the World. There were literally tens of thousands of people walking up and down this closed street, wining, dining, and indulging in performances of all kinds. The first show I went to was the NiceKicks.com and OneNeckTwoChains.com showcase which was pretty cool. Then I went down to Ace’s Lounge where they were holding the Oakley’s (aka the king of sunglasses) and Elitaste’s showcase with headliners Bun B, Mike Posner, and J. Cole. Although the man in charge, Dan Weisman (CEO of Elitaste), gave me the clearance to capture some footage inside, security was strong-arming me about being under 21. Pretty upsetting, but I prevailed. It was getting late and I knew more opportunities would come tomorrow.

- I love it when I’m right! Thursday brought me one of the brightest days of my life in more ways than one. As the sunrays were turning my caramel skin a darker shade of brown, I was capturing interviews left and right thanks to URB Magazine and Fadia Kader! While I was attending the South by South Next showcase, I got to interview the likes of 88 Keys, Pill, and Dom Kennedy. I also met and interviewed one of my idols Elliott Wilson, who is a hip hop pioneer and legendary journalist. After a grabbing a quick bite to eat at my new favorite Texas pizza place Stony’s, I headed down to the DigiWaxx showcase to interview one of my favorite new artists Fashawn. The crowd there was probably the weakest I had seen in Austin all week and I still do not why since artists like Redman, Fashawn, Mickey Factz and Shanell (yes, Lil Wayne’s Shanell) were all in the building. Regardless, I had fun and met a lot of cool people. Add all that with the fact that I finally got the chance to hang out with my Twitter pal Ty Cody in person and it resulted in a great day.

- I hope you didn’t think that Friday would bring an end to the fun because you’d be sorely mistaken. I went from interviewing Freeway & Kid Sister, to meeting hip hop’s coolest kid Mike Waxx, to being on the set of a video with the actual Cool Kids, Chip Tha Ripper, Bun B, and Pac Div (“Oil Money” video coming soon!), all the way to hanging out with my good friends at Rostrum Records (shout out to Benjy, Wiz Khalifa, and my high school chum Will). Oh yeah, it was mayhem.

- Saturday was probably the most “relaxing” day I had in Austin. Yes, I am lacking a better term. I didn’t do much. You know just your average day hanging out with Freddie Gibbs and going to a house party (randomly) where Chuck Inglish is deejaying, Chip Tha Ripper is drunk, and a hip hop legend named Dante Ross is running around trying to grab a pretty face. Epic.
And that my friends, is my textbook on South by South West; now let me show you what I learned from this thick read.

1. Stony’s pizza is amazing
2. Bun B’s birthday is March 19th.
3. People you meet on the internet can sometimes be just as cool in person (@tycody @dctobc @mikewaxx).
4. Sometimes they are not (Not saying any names here)!
5. The best CD I received down there was by an artist named Jackie Chain, he will be HUGE in exactly one year from now.
6. Elliott Wilson is willing to take me under his wing.
7. Yelawolf truly is a ladies’ man, he isn’t lying in his songs.
8. Wiz Khalifa is officially a superstar…globally.
9. Dan Solomito (@stadiumdan) is awfully tall.
10. Donnis has given me the craziest interview EVER.
11. ***** Hip Hop IS NOT DEAD OR A POLLUTED. All the falsehoods you may hear or see surrounding hip hop in the media should be ignored. This was a festival that had many hip hop acts after years of being solely pop and rock. To see the hip hop genre in full effect at SXSW showed that not only can we as a culture congregate peacefully, but we can do it in rock star fashion.

Sincerely,
Quentin

p.s. - Oh, you want some pics too? Check it out:

Quentin Cuff Bun B SXSW

Quentin Cuff Emilio Rojas SXSW

Quentin Cuff Freeway SXSW

Quentin Cuff SXSW

Quentin Cuff SXSW

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