Day Party Crawl
Dizzee RascalSXSW Live (the Bat Bar), Austin Convention Center, Friday, March 14
Hip-hop's not made for the soundstage. It's best when blasted and bumped amidst jam-packed crowds from wall to nearby wall in a dark room where you feel as close to the rapper as the dude tweaking out to your immediate left. Too much assembly can rob the art of its unique spirit, and it was clear that was to be the case as soon as the producer of Bat Bar's DIRECTV broadcast announced London's Dizzee Rascal with the sacrilegious, "Okay, some applause please." What would the great DJ Kool Herc say about that one? In front of a befuddled crowd unsure how to act in front of rolling cameras, Dizzee brought a raucous balance of reggaeton and club-hop drum and bass perfectly fit for a posh Brixton nightclub. Rascal remixed Rob Base's "It Takes Two to Make a Thing Go Right" and, with "Ghettos" and the UGK-spot "Where's Da G's," plugged the April 29 U.S. release of third LP Maths + English. In the end, the Dirty Stank prez ended up rapping to a herd of studio-audience observers unprepared for this kind of bounce in the middle of the afternoon.