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"I use my lungs to rap y'all – simply can't risk that."
That's Megz Kelli on Twitter last summer shutting down Magna Carda's live performances. Even so, her acclaimed rapper/producer duo with Dougie Do now bags Austin's Hip-Hop Band of Year for the fourth consecutive year. The young, Black, and gifted pair stood amongst the tallest in an unprecedented year for Austin and the rest of the globe.
Amid COVID-19 precautions, the group utilized the musical downtime to turn up efforts in needed areas, including the Music Commission and the Black Austin Musicians' Collective. Kelli used her lungs to breathe life into a new project, developing and producing a substantial new literary magazine, Water, now on its second issue. They were consistently vocal following the police murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
And let's not forget the music.
Following a loosie single dropped in March ("Untitled"), the duo released Coffee Table Talk, Vol. 2 last April, a brief but potent meditation on Blackness, jazz and Black classicism, and neo-soul offerings. Producer Chris Beale says a brand-new full-length is on the way, which he reveals took "most of the last year" to finish: "We're just adding the final [post-production] spices now. The new project is my favorite album personally so far." – Kahron Spearman
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