Rocks Off

SXSW 04 encore: Saturday showcases and more

Murder Dog Showcase

Aussie's, Saturday, March 20 Beyond a hefty bill of opening acts, including Sylk Smoov, Chamillionaire & the Color Changin' Click, Bavu Blakes, Swishahouse, and Middle Fngz, the sand pit at Aussie's obviously belonged to the tandem of Bun B and Dizzee Rascal. Rallying the crowd to "Free Pimp C" along the way, Bun B performed a slough of UGK classics including "Pocket Full of Stones," "Front, Back and Side to Side," "One Day," "Murder," "Let Me See It," and "Choppin' Blades." With a relentless flow that had onlookers reciting his verses verbatim, the Port Arthur native demonstrated exactly what it means to rip a stage up, Texas style. Representing East London, Dizzee Rascal actively displayed the similarities between his own grimy, garage rhythms and Southern crunk by spitting his fragmented rhymes over the instrumentals to T.I.'s "Rubber Band Man," J-Kwon's "Tipsy," and David Banner's "Like a Pimp." As Dizzee's self-produced hits such as "I Luv U" and "Jus a Rascal" highlighted his knack for digital mastery, it was a series of blistering a cappella blasts that had everyone from hip-hop hard-knocks to emo rockers openly declaring Dizzee to be "one sick individual." What typically makes for exceptional rap music is an accurate and accelerated portrayal of a localized style, and not only did the Murder Dog showcase express the nuances of two seemingly divergent strands of hip-hop, it also adjoined them under the umbrella of global unification. Now if only Paul Wall would help Dizzee to further "Fix Up, Look Sharp" by hooking him up with a "gold grill"...

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