Posted on September 08 2014
The Music Capital of the world just got real. And it’s about time. Home to thousands of local musicians and music seekers, Austin may be the best city to catch a concert on any given night, (and seemingly a festival every weekend), but until now there was always something missing. This weird city just adopted it’s first annual Hip Hop festival thanks to the leaders at Austin Mic Exchange, Leah Manners, Aaron Miller and Adam Protextor, who’s campaign lead to a fundraiser via Indiegogo, a true grassroots startup. So what’s the big deal? This move is a crucial one, many people may not see the the rich underground Hip Hop culture that makes up Austin, but it’s been prevalent for decades and only getting larger. This strength of this community is questioned daily though, in response to many factors. First, Austin is a melting pot; the city is an attraction for all walks of life it seems. It’s no secret that many of our fellow citizens are not originally from Austin, they come from different cultural backgrounds and emerge to create a breeding ground for Austin’s very unique atmosphere (and style). This may reflect on the fact that Austin has yet to develop a distinct, unified sound. Many are not sure if such a vibrant, ever changing city will indeed develop a unified sound, or if it should, but this also sheds light on another point. There has yet to be a Hip Hop artist that “makes it” from Austin. Whether becoming successful in the music industry is making it national or becoming mainstream, that’s another conversation, but this lack of solidarity here may partially be from a growing competitive nature, as many artists have expressed, (despite the efforts of organizations like Austin Mic Exchange and “Hip Hop Hooray”) there is a lack of organization, unity and support from others. This lack of support may also may stem from the social structure of Austin itself; the city is currently (and as we can imagine has always been) a somewhat segregated town. Enough said.