EXCLUSIVE: Aesop Rock Tells it Like He Sees It

Aesop Rock (real name Ian Bavitz) is as enigmatic as his lyrics. And he likes it that way. His particular style of hip-hop is far from the norm, but it's oddly perfect in its imperfection. With his tricky word play and content seeped in metaphor, trying to figure out the meaning behind an Aesop Rock track is nearly impossible. His lyrics are representative of the abstract approach he takes to songwriting. Much like a visual artist, he constructs his words in a way that's complex, intricate and completely subjective. It's a process that can be both arduous and tedious, but one that has served him well over the years.   "I usually write notes all day, every day or when I think of something I just write it down," Bavitz explains. "Sometimes I make a voice memo. I usually need a beat to ac

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GT Garza in the SXSW spotlight

Genaro Garza, better known as GT Garza, is a native of San Diego who moved to Houston, Texas at the age of 5. Having an interest in hip-hop since a young age, GT Garza picked up his passion and began rapping while in middle school. By the time he was in high school, Garza began rap-battling and demonstrating determination in his craft. GT Garza impressed Rob G, an artist with Universal, who recruited him to G Style Entertainment. His work has earned him sponsorship by Adidas and Sunkist, and he has collaborated with some of today's most respected artists. With 11 mixtapes and constant work on his lyrics and flow, Garza is now under his own independent record label, The Machine, in order to feed his music with its own freedom and flow. Rising up as one of Texas' hottest acts of the m

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Kosha Dillz in the SXSW spotlight

When did you fall in love with Hip Hop and why? I think the time I fell in love with it was during my high school years of hitting Nuyorican Poets Cafe with Braggin Rites rap competition my boy Yak was involved with. It was very similar to 8 Mile style battles, but instead there were 32 emcees with 8 advancing and then thenfinal 2 advancing. I would buy tapes from the DJ and it was the music that I was so hooked on. I also listened Sunday night to Bobbito on 89.9 Columbia University radio. I really picked up my flow from that.   Who or what made you decide to pick up the mic and start performing? My buddy Yak was the guy who was rapping, and was signed to Fondle'Em and then Def Jux, which was run by EL-P for a single deal. I was hooked on that life of performing and battling. As o

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As the only female member of the Minneapolis hip-hop collective, Doomtree, Dessa is used to smelly vans and crude humor. After all, she tours with 6 other guys all over the world. Since the group's 2001 inception, Dessa (born Margaret Wander) has taken a stab at a solo career several times, beginning with 2005's False Hopes EP. The short 5 track, 15 minute effort provided enough time to highlight Dessa's biggest asset: her songwriting. With a background in spoken word and poetry, it's not surprising. In the meantime, she released a book of creative non-fiction titled Spiral Bound at the fourth annual Doomtree Blowout in 2008. Spiral Bound was published the following year on Doomtree Press. A seventy-page collection of fiction and poetry, it contains several personal revelations. Dessa's fi

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Originally born in Houston, Texas, Fat Pimp is a Dallas-based producer/rapper who was given his artist name in high school from a classmate. Fat Pimp's interest for music primarily began as a producer, but extended to his daily lunchtime freestyles. While attending college at Texas Southern University, Fat Pimp began to sharpen and develop his skills. This is where he produced his first hit, "Rack Daddy," which got its exposure via YouTube, then followed up with his club oriented hit "Roll Me Up."  Fat Pimp's singles have been getting the attention of club DJs and radio stations ranging from Dallas all the way to Alaska. When did you fall in love with hip-hop and why? I fell in love with hip-hop around 1994 when I got my Snoop Dogg Doggystyle CD. Hip-hop took over my lif

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MC Frontalot is a big dork. And that's awesome. He wouldn't have it any other way. There's a certain level of charm that comes along with the Brooklyn-based "nerdcore" emcee. He is the self-proclaimed "579th greatest rapper" and his lyrics heavily revolve around modern day pop culture absurdities such as video games and Flickr. He doesn't tour much, but when does perform, he plays with a full ensemble, including keyboardist and frequent collaborator Gminor7, bassist Blak Lotus, and drummer The SturGENiUS. Other occasional band members include G.LATINusKY00B, The Categorical Imperative, Vic 20, and 56K- whatever that means. As the more or less godfather of the "nerdcore" genre, MC Frontalot has been asked to speak on many panels to address that type of music. He makes another trip to SXSW

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