The sights and sounds of South By Southwest are officially underway. This intrepid music reporter is currently in Austin, Texas spending time checking out as many Michigan based bands as possible. It won't be easy as acts like Danny Brown, Dennis Coffey, Will Sessions, Black Milk, Waajeed, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Terrible Twos, Big Sean, Binary Star, Magestik Legend, Richie Hawtin, and Mayer Hawthorne (just to name a choice few) will be tearing this town apart and showing Austin why our city is more of a music capital than theirs is. Or maybe Austin can teach Detroit something. More on that later. For now, just know that Michigan acts have arrived and most of their shows take place over the next four days.
I was lucky enough to catch Detroit-based emcee Invincible headline a showcase on Tuesday night that ended up drawing a sizable crowd. The show was called Mama Said knock You Out and in addition to featuring all women hip-hop artists, it was also a fundraiser for a grassroots women of color midwife program. Most of the artists that performed did a good job, especially Las Krudas Cubensi who are a Mohawked hip-hop duo from Cuba that now lives in Texas and raps totally in Spanish. Invincible had the best performance of the night and was joined on stage by fellow Detroiter Diana Nucera who played cello throughout the set. That was sort of a surprise and the solid instrumentation of Nucera made Invincible's 40 minute set that much stronger.
After thoroughly impressing the crowd, shouting out Grace Lee Boggs, and teaching everyone on hand how to Errol Flynn, Invincible held an impromptu auction at the end of the night to make sure enough money got raised and then held a freestyle cipher with all of the featured emcees. She's got more gigs around Austin later this week and hopefully she'll get more sleep this time around than she did last year.