T.I. and Friends Close Out 2018 SXSW With Powerful Lyricism, Hype Music, and A Good Time THOUGHTS+PHOTOS: T.I. And Friends @ Stubb's | SXSW 3/17/18
AUSTIN, TX- For most of our SXSW artist coverage, we’ll keep it relatively short and sweet. We have over 80 artists to cover, so cut us some slack! 😉 We’ll basically be formatting each post into two parts: (1) Why our contributor wanted to see this act and (2) what our contributor thought of the performance”. Easy peasy. If you want to learn more about the act, make sure you click through to their social media links to get in the know. You won’t be disappointed!
Why I Wanted To See T.I.: By the final day of SXSW I was worn out, my shoes were destroyed, and I was physically exhausted, but I had one more showcase I wanted to attend. I closed out my SXSW experience with a Mass Appeal/Def Jam showcase featuring incredible hip-hop artists such as Rapsody, Dave East, Trae Tha Truth, Swizz Beats, and T.I..
T.I. was the headliner I was looking forward to his performance all week simply because I’ve loved his music throughout the years. He’s got more hits than I can count on both hands and he’s still going strong. T.I. is a three-time Grammy winner who’s collaborated with basically every big-time artist of this generation. Despite my tiredness (and it also being St. Patrick’s Day) I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to see him live and in such an intimate venue considering the magnitude of his popularity.
What I Thought T.I.’s Performance: The Mass Appeal showcase at Stubb’s Austin displayed many talented artists, some up and coming and some grizzlied veterans, all who made a good impression on the audience in attendance, but there were a few highlights, besides T.I., that really blew my mind: Rapsody and Swizz Beats.
Rapsody is probably one of the top female rap lyricists out there right now, so catching her in person was an awesome experience. Her flow and intellectual rhymes were on full display during her set. I thought she spit bars better than the majority of the guys who were out there that night. She spoke a lot in between songs about her life and offered many words of encouragement to girls and women of color in the audience. I thought those moments were some of the more heartfelt ones of that entire SXSW week.
Swizz Beats turned out to be a really fun set mainly due to the fact I didn’t know he actually produced so many hits and bangers. Swizz was playing Diddy, Drake, Jay-Z, Ruff Ryders and much more. He did what was essentially a DJ set, and brought out Memphis Bleek as a surprise guest. The crowd, myself included, really got into the songs Swizz Beats was throwing out there. He hyped up everyone at Stubb’s after an already pretty long evening. Swizz Beats is a legendary producer so I would expect nothing less from his performance.
Finally around midnight the main act hit the stage, the one and only T.I.. And it was most certainly worth the wait. T.I. has been around since the early 2000’s with a very extensive discography and he happened to dig pretty deep into it that night. My favorite bits however, as shameful as it might be, was when he performed his hits like Whatever You Like, Live Your Life, and Bring Em Out. Being a professional and veteran of the game, T.I. put on a big time show in a relatively small sized venue. Plenty of crowd engagement, stage movement and just his overall presence was on point and highly enjoyable. I loved his set and thought that there wasn’t a better way to ending my 2018 SXSW experience than by seeing T.I. in person.