Along with the bitcoins, tech sessions and blanket WiFi, SXSW still just about has a rep for breaking new acts. While Skepta is long established in our homeland, he's only known in the states by people who spend a lot of time on the internet. Wanting to display their nous for the next big thing, FADER mag booked Skepta to play at their giant stage yesterday afternoon.
Skepta came out to a largely bemused audience, but when the familiar beat of That's Not Me opened the set people started to get into it - especially the select group of English guys in the front. We become painfully conspicuous when exposed to Grime in a foreign setting. To Skepta's credit, I saw three different dudes open Shazam during the song, which is about as high an honour a newcomer can get at a festival that's largely dictated by phones.
At one point he got the DJ to rewind the track. When the swirling screech of a halted record got the crowd jeering, you could have almost sworn you were at Stratford Rex. If it weren't for the frat boys, numerous corporate sponsors, Miller Lite and 25 degree heat.
Near the end loads of A$AP guys came out in a bit of cross-atlantic crowd hyping. Maybe someday UK artists won't need to be co-signed on stage by American rappers who probably aren't even as famous as them.
Here's a shitty video I filmed.
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