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SXSW showcase reviews

Reviewed by Marc Savlov, March 14, 2008, Music

Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip

Wave Rooftop, Thursday, March 13

You dream of showcases like this: brilliant, new, British. Too smart for America just yet but bang-on lyrically, deft and daft with the beats, and verging on the cusp of redefining hip-hop as we know it. Anyone who can reference Stephen Fry and Danny Glover in the same song deserves a cabinet post. (And they can spell "Guantanamo" without wincing.) American hip-hop has bottomed out on bling, buckshot, and Bun B's heavyset shadow: too much syrup, not enough cough. MC Scroobius Pip and ProTools superwiz Sac, whose backing tracks appear to be handwoven from the freshest front-page outrage, are the hyperliterate sound of post-9/11 sanity. Composing a "Letter From God to Man" – "It was you that invented terms like 'just war' and 'friendly fire'; it was you who didn't know when to stop digging deeper or building higher" – they pulled off the impossible in under an hour: making Yanks drink, blink, and, with their perfect, sorrowful single "Thou Shalt Always Kill," think. You couldn't ask for more without breaking the Geneva Conventions.

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