We Have an Issue: Getting His Due

This week's cover story spotlights rapper J Soulja

Cover photo by Jana Birchum / Design by Zeke Barbaro

How does a musical artist quantify success? In albums sold? Spotify listener count? Or is it something less tangible? How do you measure the impact you have on a single listener? What about on your community of peers?

In this week's cover story, Club Listings Editor Derek Udensi spotlights J Soulja, a longtime Austin rapper who released eighth studio album, More Than Nothin', in the fall. In their interview, J Soulja candidly talks about his struggle for recognition in the scene, the work he's done to provide performing opportunities for fellow rappers, and the dark times when he thought of quitting music. As Derek details in his story, 2022 is looking pretty promising for J Soulja. And as for recognition? He's a first-time finalist in the Best Hip-Hop/Rap category in the Austin Chronicle's annual Music Poll. Check out the story here, and if you haven't voted in the poll yet, you can do that until Jan. 31 at vote.austinchronicle.com.

The government is mailing out four free at-home COVID-19 tests per household in the U.S., but you've gotta request them. Order online at covidtests.gov. Need a test right away? Find your closest testing site at austintexas.gov/covid-testinfo.

Burger pop-up Le Beef (Courtesy of Le Beef)

Online This Week

Pop-Up Options for Outdoor Dining: Evan Rodriguez rounds up nine pop-up food folks to follow.

Moontower Just for Laughs headliner Nicole Byer from her Netflix special, BBW (Big Beautiful Weirdo) (Photo by Clifton Prescod / Netflix)

Lining Up the Laughs: Dan Soder, Deon Cole, Marc Maron, Mark Normand, Michelle Buteau, and Nicole Byer are just a few of the comics set to appear at the new Moontower Just for Laughs Austin festival April 13-24.

End of the Road: Texas songwriting legend Robert Earl Keen announced that he'll retire from touring in September.

Bird Bird Accolades: Austin's own Bird Bird Biscuit landed at No. 5 in Yelp's Top 100 Places to Eat in America, only one of two Texas restaurants to make the list. Check out our interview with owners Brian Batch and Ryan McElroy.

SXSW Conference Additions: The March fest added a third round of featured speakers, including musicians Jason Isbell and Linda Perry, Pfizer chairman and CEO Dr. Albert Bourla, and spiritual thought leader/failed presidential candidate Marianne Williamson.

Leo Rondeau's Back in the Honky-Tonks: The ex-Austin country singer returns for a month at Sam's Town Point.

Federal Dollars for the Music Industry: Applications are being accepted through Jan. 28 for Austin Music Disaster Relief Grants.

We Have an Issue: Getting His Due

The Austin Chronicle Show on KOOP 91.7FM

This week, Kimberley Jones and Derek Udensi talk about this week's J Soulja profile, and Richard Whittaker and Joe Gross discuss an ambitious retrospective of filmmaker Bill Morrison's body of work.

Tune in Fridays, 6pm, to KOOP Community Radio. Past episodes at austinchronicle.com/av.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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In this week’s issue: Evil MoPac speaks, holiday shopping begins

Kimberley Jones, Nov. 24, 2023

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J Soulja, Austin Chronicle Music Poll

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