Rye Rye

SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots

Rye Rye

La Zona Rosa, Wednesday, March 18

Too many Festival acts try to play it cool. Not Rye Rye. The spunky 18-year-old Baltimore spark plug stepped onstage in neon-purple Nikes, yellow hot pants, and a milewide grin stretching between her pair of dimples. The young MC played less than 20 minutes (60 seconds for every year of her life), yet it was enough to win over a thin but enthusiastic crowd. With all the sass of a high school prom queen, Rye Rye twitched her hips as she rapped over banging, mile-a-minute club beats, and two dancers showed off the latest hyperaerobic moves from the Baltimore underground behind her. Rye Rye spent a chunk of 2007 touring with M.I.A. and is often referred to as a protégé of the Sri Lankan global diva. For all her talents, however, M.I.A. doesn't rap. Not like this anyway. Rye Rye spits with an old-school flow sped up for the age of Twitter. The contagious, Diplo-produced "Wassup Wassup" can stay lodged between the lobes indefinitely, and "Get Low With It" and Blaqstarr collaboration "Shake It to the Ground" had many rapping (and dancing) along. On "Hardcore Girls," the prodigy postured as "the baddest chick" before confessing: "I'm a real nice girl, you know. We should take a trip to Baltimore!" (Also playing Thursday, Aces Lounge, 12mid.)

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