other night we caught the first couple sets of an Agency Group
showcase at the Mohawk, where we got a focused snapshot of what's to
come from indie hip-hop's most dominant label in the next few months.
Sure, there's a new Atmosphere album on the immediate horizon, but if
there's ever been an imprint that relies on its entire roster –
from the grandest headliners to up-and-comers – for deep,
tremendous releases, it's this one.
came Blueprint, who is no Rhymesayers rookie, but who's never been on
the forefront of operations either. With that said, his solo joints
and Soul Position work with RJD2 have been stacked with major
moments, and it sounds like his upcoming Adventures in
Counter-Culture will hit even harder. This cut (video above), which I
think is called “Go Hard or Go Home,” is masterful, with
Blueprint “shitting on this industry and all of these circle
jerks.” For sure one of the best things I've seen in Austin all
newbie Grieves (with producer Budo) also came on strong for a crowd
that had been waiting several hours outside. You don't get on a label
like this without building chops first, and Grieves handled the mic
with pro intensity, though his performance is anything but a
locomotive type of ride. In the past couple of years, I've seen a lot
of hip-hop artists swing through SXSW with increasingly more
convincing, even soaring vocals threaded through their acts. Grieves
is out ahead of that pack, with a voice that's sure to resonate way
beyond the indie rap bubble.