Hip-Hop Finds New Direction in SXSW

By Kate Rockwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2008 2:17 PM CDT
Talib Kweli, shown here at Radio City Music Hall, is performing at the SXSW festival this year.   (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Move over indie-rock—Hip-hop got a big bump at South by Southwest this year. Houston's emerging hip-hop scene helped spread word within the rap community, the AP reports, and some 150 acts took the stage this year. "Honestly I didn't know too much about this," says Del the Funky Homosapien, but "people would say, 'If you don't go, you trippin'!'"

“When I would talk to the labels, people would tell me things like, ‘Why would I send my artist to that hippie festival?’” says a SXSW coordinator. But resistance melted as the publicity and industry contacts lured more mainstream and national rap acts, including Ice Cube, Bun B., and 2 Live Crew.