Wasting absolutely no time, the Dreamville maestro showed everyone who hadn’t already known why he is one of illest spitters and must-watch competitors in the game today.
With the 11th installment of the yearly SXSW Takeover concert in Austin, Texas, the Primetime Benny D-proclaimed co-leader of the new school, J.I.D, and company tore the house down to cap off a week full of SXSW festivities in explosive fashion. Hosted at Stubbs Bar-B-Q, March 15th, Day 1, of Takeover saw the likes of Carnage, Young Nudy, and NLE Choppa. It was Day 2, March 16th, that ultimately took the crown to close out SXSW ‘19 in a major way. Headlined by J.I.D, all SXSW-goers and hip-hop-lovers in attendance were blessed with a stacked lineup of artists that included co-leader of the new school, Reason, Valee, DaBaby, Thutmose, Lucki, Lightskin Keisha, and many others.
Kicking off at around 7:30PM on Day 2 (Saturday), it was Lightskin Keisha who really put the party into position just a couple hours after its start. Assisted by a team of dancers, Lightskin used every minute to fit an entire show’s worth of content into her 15-minute set. Chanting her hits to the crowd and even inviting girls from the audience to dance on stage with her, Lightskin Keisha brought life into the entire venue that would stick around for the remainder of the show. Next up, Lucki hits the stage and tags his mellow vibes along with him. Not ever one to inject an overhaul of energy into his music, Lucki’s eased aura served as a vital pitstop before the madness would eventually pick back up again. Another DJ spin of “Mo Bamba” and a Backpack Kid cameo later, BKLYN’s Thutmose would grace the stage. Hot off of Man on Fire, released back in October ’18, Thutmose went bar-for-bar on stage, all without backtrack or a DJ filling in with adlibs. Straight instrumentals and a mic, it’s obvious that Thutmose is gunning for a top spot in the next wave of hip-hop.
Have no fear, GOOD Music’s Valee is here. A man def enough to be a heavyweight hitter in this trap era of hip-hop, the Chicago MC used 2018 as a stepping stone in the establishment of his real presence in the rap game. The man with one of the most influential flows and rhyme schemes in the hip-hop today, Valee, wasted no time serving up bangers for every fan to rap along to. With the Bape hoodie on deck, some “Womp Womp”’s and “Margielas like these came up no shoe strings in ‘em”’s later, it was now time for Austin to get a taste of the Kendrick Lamar labelmate and co-leader of the new school, Reason.
Pure street rap at its finest, Reason is the embodiment of a legend in the making. No backtrack or special theatrics necessary, Reason spent each breathing second of his set to verbally massacre the mic and dissect every track played blaring his breakthrough LP, There You Have It, all to craft one of the most rugged and illest performances of the night. It’s moments like these that leave hip-hop fiends panting for more. Without a jiff to regroup, DaBaby hit the stage with his entire posse and security and cranked the crowd up to a level that the night didn’t know it would see. The rising star quickly carved the energy to an all-time high, as he jumped around the stage and even into the crowd a few times, all while keeping pace with his own songs. No matter where DaBaby would be – rapping on stage, on top of the speaker system, and even on the shoulders of his 6’10” bodyguards in the middle of the crowd – everybody in attendance was granted an opportunity to capture a video or picture deemed Instagram-worthy. Post-DaBaby and almost nearing the end of the night, a surprise appearance from Houston legend, Trae tha Truth, and the anthem “Leave Me Alone” by Flipp Dinero, it was now the moment everybody had been waiting for.
Please welcome the Atlanta MC, Dreamville signee, and co-leader of the new school: J.I.D. Fresh off of the first leg of his tour, release of his second studio LP and top-10 hip-hop album of ‘18, DiCaprio 2, J.I.D struck the stage with venom in his veins and rage in his eyes. Wasting absolutely no time, the Dreamville maestro showed everyone who hadn’t already known why he is one of illest spitters and must-watch competitors in the game today. The delivery of tracks ranging from all levels of verve kept the crowd on the edge of their seats. Blink once and you might miss J.I.D go HAM on a 16-bar acapella – you might miss J.I.D get rowdy with a freestyle – or you might just ultimately miss J.I.D put on the best performance of the entire night. Reason and the rest of the Takeover lineup joining the party onstage with the man only added fuel to the fire, as the electricity escalated past the point that DaBaby previously set, resulting in a grand finale that fans would never forget. Having the privilege in being front row to see J.I.D live in concert for my third time ever this night, having the MC walk up to my section and directly asking myself and friends which songs we’d like him to perform next is pure interaction at the highest altitude. In an absolute barnburner of a night, J.I.D’s “never say never” attitude and “never say die” heart was the perfect conclusion to the legendary chapter that was SXSW ’19.
To those who were in attendance for Day 2 of SXSW Takeover ’19: it’s stories and memories like these that last a lifetime and can be told from generation to generation. Regardless if you came with friends or arrived alone to SXSW Takeover this year, this was a night you’ll never forget. If you love hip-hop, fun, and stories to tell, make sure to RSVP and show up to Takeover next year. To whoever is selected to perform at SXSW Takeover ‘20: bring your A-game, because 2019 proved to be a tall order to follow up.