Supporting Hip-Hop in Austin: the First Weird City Festival campaign

Remixing the famous motto of the city of Austin, the first hip-hop festival in town has been announced. The Weird City Fest will happen in September 2014 and the local hip hop community is trying to raise some money so it can be an awesome event.  Austin Mic Xchange (AMX) has launched an indiegogo campaign in order to crowd-source the festival and is asking local music lovers, fans, producers, writers, mc-s and all Austinites to help make the festival happen. As you might know by a post I did some weeks ago in this blog, I have been researching and participating in the AMX community since the beginning of the year and have totally found fascinating to become part of their creative energy flow (see photo gallery). My appreciation of hip-hop as a movement has grown as I have spent many hours at their weekly open mics event at the Spider House Ballroom and have seen how local artists have carved out a space for performing, learning, and networking. A space for making a scene, a community, a family.

Besides being very active in their social media channels, members of AMX are also producing videos for promoting their crowd-sourcing campaign. One of their first videos has been the one of a Cypher in where a selection of regular MC-s is featured in a freestyle collaboration. The cypher or cipher is one of the regular practices AMX performs every Tuesday. In this act several MC-s share stage to improvise rap lyrics on the top of  hip-hop beats that the DJ spins. Approximately 20-30 rappers stand at the stage and freestyle their rhymes to 16 bars in a flow of words that threads different voices and styles. The cypher is one of my favorite parts of AMX and usually is the opening act, a collective cadaver exquisite or surrealist poem that becomes a rhythmic word collage. Below you can watch the video of AMX Cypher Volume I shot at Austin Pets Alive with 8 different MCs:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *