It has been said and written in recent years that South By Southwest will soon quickly evolve into a predominantly hip-hop and rap festival. As rock bands (and in particular, their handlers), look for a quick but significant payday in exchange for brief sets in dive bars and outdoor tents, rappers will still play for free and consider exposure a form of currency. It remains to be seen if this shift will actually fully take place, but in recent years, SXSW has exploded as a destination for young rappers and hip-hop producers, all taking over the clubs and the streets in efforts to hype their sound and talents to anyone who looks their way.
And as SXSW goes harder on hip-hop each year, Boston's rapidly growing talent is positioning itself to be one of the focal points. Yesterday, the people at Boston-based Steady Leanin' announced their first official SXSW showcase, and it's a relentless display of raw new talent: Atlanta's 21 Savage and Chicago's Sicko Mobb lead a charge of new hip-hop that features a handful of Boston breakouts, including Cousin Stizz (pictured up top), Jefe Replay, and Michael Christmas, and a host of others you'll probably be hearing about in the coming years.
"I want to drop everything and fly to Texas so bad to see this," writes Good Life's DJ Knife on Facebook. "Shout out to Steady Leanin'... and every other act on this bill. If you are at #SXSW this year this is the place to be."
The party also continues the growth of Steady Leanin', which was created in 2011 by Newburyport's Jeremy Karelis and Nate Welch as a tumblr page to hype new music and has evolved to include a party and events production and marketing crew, hosting and booking packed-out parties at the Good Life and elsewhere around town.
The SXSW showcase goes down March 17 at Swan Dive in Austin from 8 p.m. onward, and also features Kari Faux, Sicko Mobb, Jefe Replay, G.U.N., and more.
Check the full lineup via the flyer after the preview.