Thursday, February 28, 2008

Interview: Idol-C

Idol-C, originally from Lubbock, Texas, relocated to Austin and the Austin Hip-Hop Scene is glad he did. We thank Idol-C for taking time out of his busy schedule for interviewing with us. Read on to find out who Idol-C is and why he hates gardening...

AHHS: Can you give your fans a quick bio of yourself?

Idol-C: Yeah, my name is Idol-C. I'm originally from Lubbock, TX but I just relocated here to Austin about a year and half ago. I'm a 25 year old graphic artist, poet, emcee, producer… probably a few other things as well. I just released a solo side-project in February with my good friend DJ Stillness. We are both in the crew Unspoken Levels, which is really our main focus. We've put out 2 albums under Unspoken Levels...and we're currently working on our 3rd album which will be featuring the Gift of Gab and hopefully some other artists as well.

AHHS: Which is your latest CD? and how do you think it differs from your previous works?

Idol-C: The newest album is called Endure, and it's quite a bit different from the albums I've made with Unspoken Levels. All the music on Endure is completely original, where just about everything we make for Unspoken is derived from samples. It's an intimate album focused on the transience of time and the enduring life within. Ha! That probably sounds pretty abstract, but that's how I feel about it. The fans might say something different…

AHHS: What gives you inspiration and how does that transpire into your music?

Idol-C: For this album the biggest inspiration was dealing with pain, enduring what seems to be really hard, and finding peace in the end. It's a universal topic, I'm sure…so I'm hoping that people can relate. I think it ties in to all the pain that every body is feeling right now with the war, fear and uncertainty, the list goes on…it's a very inspiring time for music right now.

AHHS: Which artists inspire you the most? and why?

Idol-C: Oh man, there's so much. I recently heard a quote that goes "There are two types of musicians in this world. Those who are influenced by the Beatles—and liars". So yeah, I gotta give credit to the Beatles, always. The freedom of their music is timeless and it's all focused on
love, which is really important. For this album I was musically influenced by the Postal Service, Radiohead, the Flaming Lips, Busdriver, Nine Inch Nails, Prefuse 73, probably a few others.
Lyrically I would say I got a lot from Sage Francis, Matisyahu, Bob Dylan, Gift of Gab, Ani Difranco, and Joni Mitchell believe it or not. I listen to a ton of music.

AHHS: What has kept you from moving to cities with larger markets? especially since it's only been recently that Houston has blown up.

Idol-C: Well, I just moved here to Austin a couple years ago for that reason…I love the culture here. I think this is the best place to be for music in Texas.

AHHS: How do you see the scene locally? and where do you see it going?

Idol-C: I think the scene is great. I wish there were more hip hop shows coming through, but that's just because I can't get enough. There's a wide variety of hip-hop here and that's what I love about it…the diversity. I just want to see more hip hop oriented festivals and events. There's a great hip hop culture just waiting to be organized.

AHHS: What is your favorite venue to perform at? and why?

Idol-C: I actually haven't been performing that much since I moved here…I've been too busy with making the new album. But I have done a couple shows at the Parish and I gotta say, they have the best sound system I've heard.

AHHS: Can you give us 3 of your most favorite local artists?

Idol-C: The Blue Hit, Ghostland Observatory, and Grimy Styles

AHHS: What is the best piece of advice that someone in the industry has given you?

Idol-C: Gift of Gab told us it's all about the music. Just focus on that. Everything else is secondary.

AHHS: And a more light-hearted question: Have you seen a correlation between your level of success and quality of hoes?

Idol-C: I don't do much gardening…

AHHS: Any parting words?

Idol-C: Yeah, I am giving away my new album for free!!! I have a 1000 copies right now, and I will be around town passing them out to anyone who wants one. You can also order the CD online, and get the MP3s for free at Also, keep an eye out for Unspoken Levels… we're about to hit the scene with as much energy as we can. Thanks for taking the time to hear what I'm about. Hope to see everyone soon. Peace + Love

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Kanye West - Erwin Center - April 30, 2008

From the gettem' early department... So you fools knew it was coming... and now it's here... The Glow in the Dark Tour with Kanye West, Rihanna, N.E.R.D. and Lupe Fiasco @ Erwin Center on April 30th!

Presale ticket sales start tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 27th @ 5:01pm thru Friday, Feb. 29th @ 5:00pm. You can get the presale tix here and using the password GLOW.

Public On Sale Saturday, March 1 at 10am.

More info:

Kanye Omari West (pronounced /ˈkɑːnjeɪ/)[1] (born June 8, 1977 Atlanta, Georgia) is an American record producer and is a multiple Grammy Award-winning rapper who rose to fame in the mid 2000s. He released his debut album The College Dropout in 2004, his second album Late Registration in 2005, and his third album Graduation in 2007. His first three albums have received numerous awards (including nine Grammys),[2][3][4] critical acclaim,[5] and commercial success. West also runs his own record label GOOD Music.[6] West's mascot and trademark is a teddy bear, which has appeared on the covers of his three albums as well as the single cover for his song "Stronger".

West was born in Atlanta, Georgia, where he lived with both of his parents. When he was three years old (as mentioned in "Hey Mama") his parents divorced, and he and his mother moved to Chicago, Illinois. His father was Ray West, a former Black Panther who was one of the first black photojournalists at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and is now a Christian counselor.[7] Kanye's late mother, Dr. Donda West, worked as a Professor of English at Clark Atlanta University, and the Chair of the English Department at Chicago State University before retiring to serve as Kanye's manager. He was later raised in an upper middle class background, attending Polaris High School[8] in suburban Oak Lawn, Illinois after living in Chicago.[9]

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Speaking the Spoken the Art of Verse - The Vortex Cafe - February 25, 2008

From the gimme that open mic department... Thanks to Shannon for writing in... Speaking the Spoken the Art of Verse @ The Vortex on Feb 25th, tomorrow, from 6:30pm - 9:30pm!


More info:

Speaking the Spoken the Art of Verse
Austin's one and only true open mic
No slam, no clicks, no religion, just good old fashioned hot poetry
Hosted by
Zell Miller III

When: February 25, 2008 6:30ish to 9:30ish both are pm. Monday Only!

How Much: $1.00 for readers; Audience $2.00
Limited Seating.
For information call 512-478-LAVA (5282)

Where: The VORTEX Café, 2307 Manor Rd. Austin, TX 78722
1/2 mile East of I-35, between Chestnut and Maple
Bus route #20, Free Parking, Wheelchair accessible.

Now serving Beer and Wine, Sangria and Eatables in The VORTEX Café.

Yeah back again!!!!!!! One of the hottest spoken word speaking venues is back!!!!!!!

SPEAKING THE SPOKEN: The Art of Verse hosted by Zell Miller, III (member of the Xenogia Spoken word collective, best author poet according to the Austin Chronicle readers poll, winner of the The Best New Script “My child, my child, my alien child”) For this blazing hot event we present “Young Dragons” the best under 21 poets this side of the milky way!!!!!! We put on the fire breathers all night long, or as long as they can be out on a school night! Come and celebrate the new generation as we journey through and get a glimpse at what the future holds. As usual $1.00 buck for readers, everybody else pays $2.00 high school ID gets you in for $1.00 also. The list stays open, so we welcome all, poets, musicians, comics, singers, dancers, whatever, and however you choose to make the night, bring it!

The VORTEX is located at 2307 Manor Rd Austin, TX 78722
For more information please call 478-5282

Thursday, February 21, 2008

MC Overlord - Hi-Lo - February 23, 2008

From the Univision representin' the debate department... Thanks to Donnell and Scott for pinging us about the MC Overlord and DJ Rapid Ric @ Hi-Lo on Saturday, Feb 23rd!

Also download Overlord's "I'm In Here" from the site.


More info:

Overlord is a record NINE-Time Austin Hip Hop Artist of the Year award winner with eight independent CD's currently under his belt. His status as a ground breaker is unmatched. He was the first Austin MC to introduce Hip Hop with a regular live musician line up and have a presence in the rock dominated venues. Known for epic live performances and lyrics that connect, he has built a fan base that extends beyond ordinary Hip hop boundaries. The Austin American Statesman has called him The Godfather of ATX Hip Hop. He remains determined to bring national attention to his adopted hometown.

Overlord is without question the most consistent voice in Austin, Texas Hip Hop.

And keep visiting for all the inside dope.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Brand Nubian - The Parish - February 23, 2008

From the I'm thinking about buying a Scion department... I guess all this advertising is working, cuz I'm seriously thinking about getting a Scion, WTF?!? Brand Nubian @ The Parish on Feb 23rd... performing with Connie Price and The Keystones featuring Soup, a founding member of Jurassic 5 and DJ Cosmo Baker.

You know the drill... RSVP here.

More info:

Brand Nubian is a hip hop group from New Rochelle, New York, consisting of three MCs: Grand Puba (born Maxwell Dixon, March 4, 1966), Sadat X (formerly Derek X, born Derek Murphy) and Lord Jamar (born Lorenzo Dechalus, on September 17, 1968, in New Rochelle, New York), and two DJs, DJ Alamo and DJ Sincere. It is one of the more popular and acclaimed alternative hip hop groups of the 1990s, known for socially conscious and politically charged content inspired by the teachings of the Nation of Gods and Earths.

Brand Nubian formed in 1989 after Grand Puba's original group, Masters of Ceremony, split up. Its first single, "Brand Nubian," was released in 1989. Signed to Elektra Records by A&R man Dante Ross, its debut album, One For All, was released in 1990. Generally acclaimed, the album drew fire for militant Five-Percenter rhetoric on tracks such as "Drop the Bomb" and "Wake Up." The controversy helped sales, though the album was still not a great commercial success. To date, the album has sold 350,000 units. A version of the Fab Five Freddy-directed video for the single "Wake Up," featuring a Black man in white-face makeup, was also banned from MTV. On MTV and from official WEA sources, this image was replaced by a Baptist preacher. The singles "Slow Down," "All for One," and "Wake Up" all became hits on Billboard’s Hot Rap Tracks chart in 1991.

Shortly after its debut release, Sadat X and Lord Jamar began having problems with Grand Puba, which caused him to leave the group, along with DJ Alamo, to pursue a solo career. Lord Jamar and Sadat X enlisted DJ Sincere to join the group in 1992. The same year, Puba released his solo debut, Reel to Reel, which featured the hit single "360 Degrees (What Goes Around)".

Later in 1992, the Puba-less Brand Nubian released a hit single of its own, "Punks Jump up to Get Beat Down". The track was met with controversy over alleged homophobic content, referencing the Sadat X line "I can freak, fly, flow, fuck up a faggot/I don't understand their ways, I ain't down with gays." Despite the controversy, the single charted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 77. Later versions omitted the line, including the version on the greatest hits compilation The Very Best of Brand Nubian.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

RX Family - Emo's - Feburary 20, 2008

From the Super Delegates department... RX Family @ Emo's on Feb 20th with the M.I.S.F.I.T.Z. and Zeale 32.

Join RX Family for their sophomore CD release, "Beasts". This is interesting... bring your iPod to the show to get the album uploaded for free.

Check out RX Family in the video below about 3 minutes in...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Southbound - Ruta Maya's - February 16, 2008

From the dragged to Fool's Gold department... check out Southbound and Big Jumbo and DJ Wes Sanders @ Ruta Maya's on Saturday, Feb 16th. Also "Special Invited Guests", what is that?!? Is that like "I've got the candles and cake" or more like "I saw your myspace invite"?

Nonetheless, seeing Southbound should be off the chain.


Well it's Vday... so I gotta get me some... Jenna Jameson here I come.

More info:

Nobody said succeeding in the rap industry is easy, but twin brothers Sandman and Lowkey are ready for the challenge. Together known as the group SouthBound, they released their first underground mixtape "The Come Up" with DJ Rapid Ric in mid-2006, and already it has begun making waves for the up-and-coming duo, grabbing the attention of more than one major label. But, the two have turned down every offer up to this point.

"We don't want to just sign to anybody, because when you're unknown, you're at the mercy of the record label. They have complete control over you because you have no chips on the table. So, we want to get our city and state behind us first, and sell as many records as possible independently...........then we'll have all the chips on our side of the table. We want longevity in the game."- Sandman

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

South By So Real - by Thomas Fawcett

SXSW '08 and it starts...

Fellow blogger, Thomas Fawcett from The Corner provides us with this great guest piece, an interview of Matt Sonzala and a glimpse into SXSW Hip Hop... Thanks Thomas!

Journalist, blogger, promoter, radio host and all-around hustler Matt Sonzala has been repping the Houston hip-hop scene to the fullest since before anyone outside the 281-area code knew the names Paul Wall and Mike Jones. Sonzala has been booking hip-hop artists for SXSW for several years but was recently hired on full-time by the festival. More than 150 hip-hop acts will take the stage in Austin from March 12-16 and whether they are living legends or local unknowns, Sonzala is the man responsible for getting them on the schedule. The Corner caught up with Sonzala yesterday to talk about the hip-hop lineup at SXSW 2008.

The Corner: What are you most excited about this year?

Matt Sonzala: David Banner and Killer Mike doing a panel together at the Carver Center on Saturday. Before they go on I’m showing a film called “Slingshot Hip Hop” which is a documentary about hip-hop in Palestine and another movie called, “I Love Hip Hop in Morocco.” After that there’s going to be a performance by World Trade, which is Bavu Blakes and Element 7D. The Carver Center event is what I’m most excited about. Also having Bun B and the whole UGK family is very exciting to me.

TC: You’re screening those two international hip-hop documentaries and it looks like there’s quite a bit of international hip-hop artists this year too. I’m looking forward to seeing Marcelo D2 from Brazil.

MS: It sucks a little for me because those guys are all coming in as part of world music shows. I want to see Tumi from South Africa and Marcelo D2. I saw Marcelo perform in Amsterdam with Planet Hemp in ’96 and I’ve followed his music for a long time. He’s a Brazilian hip-hop legend and Tumi is a South African hip-hop legend. I used to play both of them on my international show on KPFT in Houston. Honestly I wanted to make a whole international hip-hop showcase but a lot of people wouldn’t go. I’m excited to see all those acts. That’s pretty much a dream for me – if I get to see them.

TC: How many of these shows do you get to catch. Do you get to see all the artists you want to see?

MS: Almost none. I usually get stuck in a venue wherever the biggest rappers are and I have to make sure everything goes on time. I’m usually running back and forth between venues. I have seven or possibly eight venues I’m responsible for on Saturday so I don’t get to see much outside of that.

TC: Tell me a little bit about the Pimp C tribute. What’s going to go down for that?

MS: Basically Pimp C had his UGK records but that was always a loose collective of artists from Port Arthur and from the South - Vicious from the X-Mob, Hezeleo, Big Bubb, XVII, Bido, T.O.E, Bankroll Jonez, MDDL FNGZ. These were all people who were down with Pimp C, and I mean genuinely down with him. They’re all going to come together in one place at one time and really give it up for Pimp C.

TC: And what about the rest of the Houston scene - are they going to be well represented as well?

MS: Not so much this year. Chingo Bling is coming down this year as well as Rob G. We’ve got newcomers coming through like Karina Nistal; she mixes Latin hip-hop beats with reggaeton type stuff – she’s wild. Also Z-ro, Devin the Dude, Lil J Da Mex Connect. I’m focusing on the next generation and some new shit. If Slim Thug, Chamillionaire or Paul Wall wants to come I want them – I love them – but to me SXSW is still about new music and promoting what’s coming up not just about riding the wave of what’s already there. There’s no denying that when we first brought Bun B, Chamillionaire, Paul Wall on a show with Dizzee Rascal five years ago [at SXSW] every writer in the house was there. They actually got to touch these dudes and meet these dudes. SXSW wasn’t the only thing but when all the media started coming down on Houston that’s where they all met. They got to see this next wave of stuff and that’s my goal – to keep it fresh. There will big names of course – we need big names to get people to actually come out – but I’m trying to mix it up.

TC: So what do you think SXSW can do for young local artists – somebody like a Zeale 32?

MS: For people like Zeale they need to hustle up some press people to come out and see them, hustle up the industry to make sure they actually come to their show. That goes for anybody – the whole music industry world is here and it’s how you work it. Most of these rappers don’t work it at all. They come out and get on stage thinking they’re going to blow up and get a record deal but they didn’t make one phone call before the show. They didn’t send one email, they didn’t make a flyer, they didn’t go to the convention center. You need to get out there because everybody is here and what if you make 10 good contacts in those four days? You could make 100 contacts and make a whole new path for yourself because the music business is 100 percent about who you know. And that’s the beauty of SXSW – everybody can meet right here.

TC: You booked Ice Cube – is he going to be performing or is he just doing a panel?

MS: Ice Cube is actually doing the main stage on Town Lake with Talib Kweli, Jean Grae, Idle Warship and Strong Arm Steady. He’s also doing an interview at the convention center.

TC: The name that jumped out at me is Camp Lo. Uptown Saturday Night is one of my favorite hip-hop albums of all time but I haven’t heard anything from them in almost 10 years. Did you reach out to them or did they reach out to you.

MS: They reached out to me through a friend of mine. They were talking about how they wanted to play SXSW because they’re revamping their thing for next year. They were one of the first groups to come into the fold. They approached me and I was like, ‘Hell yeah, let’s do it.’ They’ve got a new album coming out next year.

TC: I'm from the Kansas City area - Lawrence, actually - so I was pleased to see KC is well represented this year with Mac Lethal, Tech N9ne, Kutt Calhoun and some others.

MS: Yeah, all those dudes. Tech N9ne's coming down because he's got new stuff coming out this year and he's got a tour with Paul Wall right after SXSW. I told him bring your artists, bring you're label because this is what it is all about - expose the new artists. If they're gonna come to see you we'll put those other artists on right before you and get them some exposure too. So he's bringing his whole Strange Music family and I put Mac Lethal on that same show because he requested to be on there with them. I'm excited about it - Kansas City's got a crazy rap scene that is underexposed.

TC: Any other artists flying under the radar that you’re particularly excited about?

MS: I’m a friend and a fan of Gerald G and Chalie Boy so I love seeing them. Locally, I think Ryno, Slim Gutta and Southbound are awesome. Also, Drojo from Corpus Christi. This dude Lars Vaular from Norway – he takes a down south sound and approach to the music and raps in Norwegian, it’s really dope. Dizzee Rascal is bringing the Newham Generals and Jammer. I’ve been wanting to do a grime showcase for the last four years but it never happens. We’ve had Lady Sovereign, Lethal Bizzle, Plan B and Dizzee Rascal before but Newham Generals and Jammer are on some real deep shit so I’m really excited for that.

Notable hip-hop acts at SXSW 2008: Ice Cube, Talib Kweli, El-P, Jean Grae, Grayskul, Lifesavas, Saul Williams, David Banner, Pigeon John, Devin the Dude, Chingo Bling, Zeale 32, Murs, Phranchyze, Bavu Blakes, Tech N9ne, Mac Lethal, Bun B, Ohmegga Watts, Aloe Blacc, Lyrics Born, Camp Lo, Gerald G, Living Legends, Marcelo D2, Kutt Calhoun, Public Offenders, J-Rocc, A-Alikes, Tee Double, Cunninlynguists, DJ Rapid Ric, King Britt, N.E.R.D, PPT, DJ Chicken George, C-Rayz Walz, Kosha Dillz and many many more.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Poppin' Off - Silhouette - February 12, 2008

From the recovering from the Afrofreque show department... it's Poppin' Off Art Exhibition and Fundraiser @ Silhouette on Feb 12th. Artworks provided by PopVicious and beats by DJ Chicken George, DJ E Be Lo and DJ Mike Swing.

Donations and proceeds from the night will benefit the LifeWorks / HACA new Urban Art program.

More info:

Our mission is to transition youth and families from crisis to safety and success.

Our community has grown 65% during the last ten years, resulting in increased cost and stress to daily life. The overall cost of living has increased by 30%. There are now 200,000 "working poor" families. More than 20% of our youth experience mental health challenges. Sixty-one percent of all victims served by the Austin Police Department in 2001 were for domestic violence or child abuse.

LifeWorks provides the most comprehensive network of services for youth and families in Austin. We offer a safety net of support to more than 10,000 youth and families every year. LifeWorks’ services to runaway and homeless youth are a national model, providing a pathway from street life to self-sufficiency.

We are the largest local provider of free and affordable counseling to youth and families. Our youth development training opportunities prepare youth to become healthy, successful adults. LifeWorks is the only area agency to achieve national accreditation from the Council on Accreditation for Services to Children and Families and win an award from the Greater Austin Quality Council.

LifeWorks’ ability to mobilize resources to support youth and families is evidence of the organization’s creativity, energy and commitment. We invite you to learn more about LifeWorks and to become part of the strong network of caring individuals that creates opportunities for success.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Sqratch Karnival - Backspin Records - February 16, 2008

From the sitting on the toilet after Chinese New Year's dinner department... SuperStarDJs presents... Sqratch Karnival @ Backspin Records on Feb 16th. Free too!


The video below has nothing to do with SuperStarDJs, but it's funny as hell... enjoy! Time to wash my bum.

Pitbull - Paradox - February 15, 2008

From the Happy Chinese New Years department... Raul wrote in to tell us about Pitbull @ Paradox on Feb 15th. Thanks Raul!


More info:

Armando Christian Pérez (born 14 January 1981, in Miami, Florida) better known by his stage name Pitbull, or his other nicknames, Lil' Chico or Mr. 305, is a Cuban-American rapper. His first recorded performance was from the Lil Jon album Kings of Crunk in 2002, after which he released his debut album in 2004 titled M.I.A.M.I. (short for Money Is A Major Issue) under TVT Records. Since then, he has released two other albums under the label, El Mariel in 2006 and The Boatlift in 2007.[1] He is also the host of his own Spanish-language program on the cable channel Mun2 titled La Esquina (Spanish for The Corner).[2]

The son of first-generation Cuban-American immigrants, Pitbull grew up influenced both by the Cuban poet Jose Marti, whose works his parents made him memorize, and the Miami bass genre of hip hop music. He later expressed interest in the West coast and East coast genres later in life. In 2002, Pitbull was featured on Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz' album Kings of Crunk and the soundtrack to the film 2 Fast 2 Furious the following year. In addition, Pitbull also released several mixtapes, composed of freestyles and remixes of popular rap music. Former 2 Live Crew leader Luther Campbell featured Pitbull in his single "Lollipop".[1]

In 2004, Pitbull released his debut album M.I.A.M.I. (Money Is A Major Issue), with the lead single being "Culo" ("ass" in English) produced by Lil Jon and the Diaz Brothers. In January 2006 he guest-starred in UPN's South Beach. Also in 2006 he recorded "Nuestro Himno" in collaboration with Wyclef Jean, Carlos Ponce, and Olga Tañón.[3]

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Review: Afrofreque - Fresh Soul Frequencies

From Austin, TX they call themselves Afrofreque. The members of the band are MC Tiger Liu, DJ Resinthol, John Siebenthaler (Bass), Fumi Sugawara (Guitar), Claude 9 (Keys), and Mike Hale (Drums). In a time when Hip Hop is looking to find it's identity, with their 2008 debut album, Fresh Soul Frequencies, Afrofreque hits the Austin Hip Hop scene with a fresh new sound.

Immediately, the astute listener will realize that the band is quite adept at skillfully integrating all the elements of the band into a pleasant melodic sound. The sound is both groovy and funky with injections of electronica and reggae. Best of all, their music is positive and uplifting.

At the moment, I'm groovin' to "Cool Breeze". The song starts of with a smooth groove that just melts your heart and immediately flips the switch on you and gets your heart racing and dancing. The song even tells you to "Get on up!" Rest assured, the rest of the CD is filled with songs that will make you just wanna roll up a phat one.

Afrofreque is definitely a band to watch out for in the '08. Be on the look out! They'll be live at one of your favorite Austin venues.

For more about Afrofreque and their debut album, visit


Afrofreque - Cool Breeze

Afrofreque - Illumination

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Interview: DJ Mike Swing

DJ Mike Swing... you've seen him at Prague (Thursdays), Union Park (Fridays), and Six Lounge (Saturdays) doing his thang. You've wondered to yourself, who is this guy? Why does he recommend good dental hygiene? Now you know...

AHHS: Can you give your fans a quick bio of yourself?

Mike Swing: From rocking parties in the most well known clubs in Austin to running the most successful record pool in Central Texas, DJ Mike Swing has been one of Austin’s go to guys for Hip Hop/Urban music since 1995.

His musical beginning started in the early eighties while listening to his father’s vinyl records of The Gap Band and The Sugar Hill Gang. From there he continued to learn more about the upcoming and hip culture that stemmed from New York City called Hip Hop. In the mid to late eighties, Mike Swing began purchasing and collecting cassette tapes and vinyl records of music he found to be influential and uplifting. In middle school he was always known as the guy who had the latest music. After high school, he relocated to The University of Texas at Austin where his DJ career truly began to take shape. While looking through a Vibe Magazine that contained the chronological order of Hip Hop, he noticed that the year 1987 had the Technics 1200 turntable labeled as, 'The Industry Standard' for the Hip Hop DJ. That was the spark that set him on his journey that still goes on today. He found a way to purchase two turntables and the necessary equipment to begin 'spinning'. This new found way of sharing his music led him to five years at college radio for the University of Texas at Austin called KVRX 91.7FM. The radio show called Urban Concepts was born and was the first Hip Hop radio program at The University of Texas at Austin to play modern R&B and to obtain the number one spot for a college/community radio program in the Austin, Texas market according to the Arbitron rating system. During his career at radio, Mike Swing found time to build contacts within the music industry by going to conventions and starting his promotion venture and record pool called Moodswing Urban Entertainment Group. From this point, he started a promotion team that had clients such as Calvin Klein, Spin Records,, Loud Records, Bad Boy Entertainment, Warner Brother Records, Def Jam

Records, KMX Energy Drinks, Church's Chicken, Mountain Dew, and Sony Pictures to name a few. The record pool has supplied the top DJ's in Austin with music on vinyl records since 2001. In 2003, an article and interview was placed in Feedback Magazine. Both ventures continue successfully to this day.

In 2004, Mike Swing decided to get back into DJing for the people again and started playing out for the masses again. Since then he has DJ'd at Hot Shots, Firehouse Lounge, Oslo, Red Fez, Six Lounge, 219 West, Buffalo Billiards, Paggi House, Barcelona, Davenport in San Antonio, The Maxim Magazine Austin, Texas party of 2005, Dave & Busters Austin, Tambaleo, Antone's, and various corporate parties and functions.

These days you can catch DJ Mike Swing playing for the best clubs/bars in the downtown area of Austin, Texas, being the director of Moodswing Record Pool, and being the lead consultant and president of promotions for Moodswing Urban Entertainment Group. Always looking to be innovative and different, Mike Swing will take DJing and Turntablism to the masses by incorporating it into his live club sets and party functions. His love for the music will never stop and neither will his drive. With countless ideas and projects in the works, it will only be time before he's back on radio again and playing at a venue near you. Always be on the lookout for Mike Swing being heard through a speaker near you.

AHHS: How did you get started in DJing?

Mike Swing: I got started DJing because I saw a picture of a Technics 1200 in a year end issue of Vibe Magazine in 1995. I thought it would be easy and cool to give it a try.

AHHS: Which artists inspire you the most and why?

Mike Swing: I get inspiration most from turntablist and R&B singers. I know from experience how hard it is to scratch and play an instrument so I can relate to the hard work to get certain scratches and tricks to sound right. As for R&B artists, I've always liked most of them because of the harmony and melodies they use with they're voices. Rapping has nothing to do with any of that and even though I respect MC's, singing is a talent you’re born with.

AHHS: What are you spinnin' these days?

Mike Swing: Right now I'm spinning a lot of party stuff on the weekends for the mainstream party crowd. It's fun and full of energy. I wish I could play way more hip hop from the early 90's.

AHHS: From past experience, which song gets the party hype?

Mike Swing: I can't say that one song will always get the party moving because it changes all the time. Michael Jackson almost always has people sing along.

AHHS: What gives you inspiration and how does that transpire into your music?

Mike Swing: I get inspiration from hearing mix tapes and mix cd's. The good DJ's always tell a story with how they program the music and I like to do that in my DJ sets. My Saturday nights at Six Lounge are always like that. I've been there for over two years and I still get nervous every time before I play. I feel like I'm performing because the crowd is so big and they wait to hear 'my story' and how I put the music together for the night. I try to make the music come together either by artist, a story, by producers, or even by songs that have the same theme or title. I guess my inspiration is kind of like me imitating other dj's at times but with my own twist.

AHHS: How do you see the scene locally, and where do you see it going?

Mike Swing: The music scene in Austin is constantly growing and changing for the better. I see a lot more types of music penetrating the scene lately but I do wish that more House and Jazz music had a presence here. I think people are finally being able to tell the difference from good dj's and not so good dj's. That goes with bands too. Even bartenders!!

AHHS: What is your favorite venue to perform at, and why?

Mike Swing: Six Lounge is my favorite venue to perform in. See above!!

AHHS: Can you give us 3 of your most favorite local artists?

Mike Swing: Locally, I like a lot of artists, DJ's, and performers. I can't say I like one more than another. I'm not a big fan of going to shows. It's weird but I go to support them but I'd rather listen to them with headphones on. I don't like big crowds of sweaty drunk people.

AHHS: What is the best piece of advice that someone in the industry has given you?

Mike Swing: The industry is not a nice environment but a friend of mine that's a record label told me back in 90's to always be humble. If you don't, it can come back to haunt you.

AHHS: And a more light-hearted question: Have you seen a correlation between your level of success and quality of hoes?

Mike Swing: I wish I could say that the quality of hoes has gone up with success. I've been with my girlfriend on and off since I started getting 'big' so I could really do the groupie thing. Sometimes I wish I could have but I'm happy where I am. Right now, all the chicks are floating in my mind but when I really thing about it, they just wanted to 'chill with the dj' or have me get them in the club. Anywho, the quality and quantity still goes up but I stay in the same place.

AHHS: Do you have any parting words to our readers?

Mike Swing: I could only tell readers to just be patient when requesting a song. I'll most likely play what you want so relax because I'm going to have a way of making it work with a lot of other songs in the night. That's what a good dj does. Also, say no to bad breath!!!

Clemits - Karma - February 7, 2008

From the neck hurts from laying in bed on the computer department... Don't forget to get another dose of The Gathering @ Karma this Thursday, Feb 7th. Let's see who we've got this week... Clemits, Notes, A.T.L., and Fools Inc.

It's 100% Certified Hip Hop!


Saturday, February 02, 2008

Higher Than Why - Plush - February 2, 2008

From the Obama whispering in Hillary's ears is news?!? department... Higher Than Why wrote in to tell us about their weekly show @ Plush. They come on at 9pm and then you can stick around for Table Manners Crew.

Higher Than Why's got your ear drums buzzin' with a full band, Zack (drums), Nate (bass), Jake (keys) and Justice on vocals.

I'm really feelin' the song Appetite on they myspace page. Check it out.

More info:

Higher Than Why formed in the Austin, Texas conscious underground hip hop scene circa 2004. HTW uses drums, keys, bass and quick witted, forward thinking lyrics by Justice on the mic. No guitars. Their sound is booming, eerie, jammy and spacey all while backed by percussively metered wordsmithing, presenting thoughtful insight on a compelling sound scape.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Dirty Wormz - Antone's - February 1, 2008

From the is it rock is it rap department... Dirty Wormz @ Antone's tonight, Feb 1st. Free show! Maine, it's Friday; you ain't got no job... and you ain't got shit to do.


So guess what... I found out today that Global works at the same company that I work at... and for the same division... and in the same building! It's a small world.

Maine, just got off work... it's time to hit the sack.

More info:

The Dirty Worm is a virus that can't be killed by any other virus...
diRTy WoRMz were formulated, plotted and instigated in the year 2001. The band was the brainchild of Smackola and DJ Crash, hip hop artists who wanted to rock harder and louder than anything Austin, TX had ever seen. The legend began with the release of the first diRTy WORMz CD, The Infektion. Featuring an all star lineup from the local rock and hip hop communities, The Infektion was a regional best seller for years to come.

Ins & outs, ups & downs, & I done found my balance...
diRTy WoRMz quickly evolved into one of the most devastating live acts in Texas, leaving scores of scorched musicians in their wake. dWz was voted Austin's Best Hip Hop act two years running, won Best Urban Video for their cover of Run-DMC's "Here We Go", and the single "Top Of The Food Chain" was the year's top local request on Austin's 101X.