SXSW 2016: The Velvet Rope Effect Part 2


This year’s SXSW Interactive Music Festival was non-stop litness, jam-packed with every artist topping today’s charts… and Nardwuar. Vibes were on high as music from new-age internet rappers like Lil Yachty, Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage and Playboi Carti comprised the soundtrack to this year’s festivities. The teen rapper, Desiigner, also held some weight this year, as mascot pandas roamed the streets of downtown Austin whippin’ and dabbin’ to his The Life of Pablo-featured song, “Panda”.

Though rap newcomers flexed all week, the legends were still heavy in attendance. Erykah Badu performed a DJ Set at SXSW Takeover and Nas threw his annual Live at the BBQ showcase, harboring a slew of hip-hop heavyweights and icons. DJ Khaled played ringmaster of the night, rounding up a lineup of surprise guests that included Wyclef Jean, 2 Chainz, 2 Milly and Texas’s very own Bun B. Other performers included Nas’s protege Dave East, Yo Gotti, Just Blaze, Trae Tha Truth, Mannie Fresh, Buckshot, Smif N Wessun, Bas, Freeway and DJ sets by Cipha Sounds, DJ Green Lantern, and Large Professor.

Last year, rumors surfaced that Kanye West would be performing at Fader Fort. This year, Drake and Skepta kept whispers on repeat all week. After Drizzy followed up with a surprise performance at Fader Fort, rumors spread that the Top Boys would do another impromptu set at Illmore. But for their very last show ever, Illmore had a completely different lineup of special guests.

Here’s a look at the epic week through a series of photos I captured. 

Ivie Ani