Written by Bauce Sauce (@BauceSauce)
When I saw the flyer for the Player’s Ball event weeks ago, I was convinced God herself was rewarding me personally. Soulja Boy and Migos together at the same location? I knew that I would do some real unscrupulous shit to be guaranteed admission to that event. “We Ready (Remix)” is one of my favorite songs of the past few year; there is a whimsy to rappers spelling out words. I’m an unabashed Soulja Boy fan (and even documented his stunting on Four Pins). If Soulja Boy was at SXSW then I was going to be where he was.
I set out downtown to procure fried chicken from Gus’s. Manna replenished. I still had some time to kill before I needed to be out at the mystery Soulja/Migos house party so I lollygagged around for a few minutes before I got word that Complex contributor The Kid Mero aka The Jewel of the Bronx was at a bar arcade only a few blocks away. I stepped inside, and the first thing I see is Gunplay; there were maybe only four other patrons in the bar. What a nice surprise.
I spoke with Mero for a little bit, but had to leave because the knowledge darts were so abundant and powerful that my brain started to shut down. I was the wokest I had ever been.
I found a cab, and took the 30-minute/$30 ride out to the party. I WAS FUCKING STOKED because on the ride up there I got word that I could interview Soulja Boy for another publication. THIS DAY COULD NOT GET ANY BETTER. I WAS GONNA MAYBE POSSIBLY HUG SOULJA BOY.
Behold, the Soulja Boy and Migos House.
I arrived at 2:00 pm while the house was still getting set up. I began the process of turning up. I was going to interview Soulja Boy at 2:30.
2:30 pm rolls around, and there is no Soulja Boy. People begin filing in after the party bus drops off its first load around 3:00 pm. There are so many alphets. Everyone was very cool. I saw my first Hood by Air shirt; I was finally a man. Flash forward to 4:00 pm, and finally Soulja Boy and Migos and PeeWee Longway and Johnny Cinco and a cavalcade of other rappers and crew members file into the party. They stood around looking important while us plebeians gazed upon them like the deities they are. Everything Soulja Boy does is mesmerizing. He is like a jellyfish the way he almost floats about effortlessly. Here is Soulja Boy shooting a paintball gun.
They didn’t perform or anything, which was hella disappointing; that’s why I was here in the first place: to yell along to “We Made It” (censoring all racial epithets, of course), to jump off the roof into the pool while “We Ready” disrupted an otherwise peaceful suburban neighborhood. The gaggle of rappers headed back into the house once they were tired of commoners getting too close to them. I stood around talking to people and waiting on my turn to interview Soulja Boy. It was now 7:00 pm, and no one had performed. The atmosphere was a suffocating blend of hypebeast swag and weed smoke.
I stood in a hallway talking to Fat Tony for about 30 minutes, and this is how our conversation went leading up to the single worst part of SXSW.
Bauce: “I’m next to interview Soulja Boy once he gets done with the Sports Illustrated people.”
Fat Tony: “Isn’t that Soulja Boy right there walking down the steps?”
Bauce: “Oh yeah, it is.”
Fat Tony: “Isn’t that Soulja Boy who just walked out of the front door.”
Bauce: “Oh yeah, it is.”
There were no performances. They made an appearance for maybe 30 minutes. Soulja Boy dipped on the interview he granted me. Why are we all not rappers?
I spent an afternoon at SXSW that could have better been served downtown going to showcases, and actually seeing performances. What a fucking boner killer. I wasn’t even drunk enough to think “Oh, well. C’est la vie!” Plus, I still needed to get back into town. I was incredibly irritated, but like the phoenix and its blunt ashes, we will rise. Luckily, I snagged a cab when a fool who was late to the party got dropped off. Fat Tony had invited me to see him perform at Hotel Vegas, and I had 15 minutes to get there before his set. I instructed my taxi driver that I would tip him well if he could get me there in time. “This thing has V8. I get you there no problem,” was his reply.
We sat at a red light, and he revved his engine. He was ready. This was his turn up.
I got to Vegas Hotel in time to see Fat Tony, and give my hummingbird shirt to his DJ Tom Cruz.
Their whole set was great: the back-and-forth rapping, the energy, the music. Their performance was exactly what I needed, and reminded me that SXSW is about getting your hopes crushed. It’s supposed to be frustrating at times, and otherworldly the next. Through good music, all wounds can heal (except for maybe, like, a decapitation). I was a passive fan of Fat Tony before the set, but as he played songs like “No More” I realized how much of his music I actually knew. The words were coming back to me as he ran through his catalogue and his verse of Das Racist’s “Luv It Mayne.” Plus, there was this gentleman who was dancing like an injured cobra that made me feel good about myself.
Fat Tony’s performance saved me from pouting like a bitch, and still being angry I wasted an entire day along with $70 in cab rides to watch Soulja Boy do nothing. From there I ventured down one block to the Lean Pizza showcase, and caught the tail end of Little Pain’s performance. There was not a dry eye in the house. Thank god the venue’s lot was graded downhill or else we would have drowned in the salty sadness of our tears— a death so beautiful. Kari Foux performed after Pain. I had never heard of her before, but she was very talented. I downloaded some of her music, and plan on listening to it as I walk around on Saturday.
After Kari, Michael Christmas took the stage. He was actually one of the main reasons I went to the showcase, as his recent mixtape “Is This Art?” racked up considerable play counts in my iTunes library. He is just as good live. Rome Fortune jumped on stage to help perform “Duck Duck Goose,” and they had the entire crowd singing along.
I left Lean Pizza early with the intentions of taking a nap back at my place before heading out to Illmore. What ended up happening was me falling asleep on my couch, and not waking up until the morning. Whoops! Don’t get old, kids. It sucks.
Friday was the antithesis of Thursday. It felt like a waste. I should have learned by now that if something seems too good to be true, it is. But, the bait of Soulja Boy maybe possibly performing “Zan With That Lean” outweighed my better judgment. I regret nothing… except for the part where I didn’t get to hug Soulja Boy. But, no matter how frustrating the day got, it was always counterbalanced by good people: Fat Tony, Tom Cruz, other content creators, the folks behind Steady Leanin, etc. Saturday has Rick Ross and special guests at Fader Fort, Lil B at Thrasher, Cam’ron at Complex House... all at the same time. I’m not sure what I’m getting into today, but feel free to tweet at me with suggestions.
Highlights: PeeWee Longway’s alphet, PeeWee Longway dapping me up, seeing PeeWee Longway in person, making eye contact with PeeWee Longway, being in PeeWee Longway’s presence.
Artists I Heard For The 1st Time: Kari Faux
Artists That Have Still Eluded Me: Young Thug
Events I’m Looking Forward to on Saturday: Lil B at Thrasher, Complex Showcase, Fader Fort, Potholes in my Blog showcase
Questions I Still Have: Why are we not all rappers? It seems to be a pretty sweet gig with no consequences whatsoever.