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This is a preview of the new Deli charts - we are working on finalizing them by the end of 2013.


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Hip Hop

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Malik

South By is dead, long live South By. Or maybe not, what with the trend this South By being a smaller, more compressed (but still quite corporate) version of itself, with less free shit, fewer unofficial parties and a lot more roadblocks downtown (that last is probably a good thing). Regardless, SX is over, we can all return to being regular levels of alcoholic-ness and taco consumption and maybe actually sleep a little and walk a little less. Speaking of, is it possible to get more and less healthy at the same time? Because all those miles walked have to count as some sort-of workout, but mixed with ounces drunk and pounds of tacos consumed...not so sure.

Now that the SouthBeast is good 'n slain, it also means the online portion of The Deli is back in full swing. We've been goin' hard as nails on the street at South By Southwest this year, and if you were there, you probably saw somewhere between one and five billion of our print issues, and maybe even our exhibits of synthesizers and stompboxes at the Convention Center, or our showcase with magazine cover-gracer and electronic wizard Roger Sellers. If you did pick up a magazine, or came by one of our events, The Deli thanks you and your wonderful, sexy, good-taste-having self very muchly.

To usher in the post-SXSW year (we might as well just call the day after SX the New Year on the Austin Calendar system), we've got somethin' quite good for your ears that's also appropriate to what we saw this year at SX. Quite happily for us at The Deli Austin, SXSW 2015 saw what this writer believes was the most hip-hop of the highest quality that the festival has ever seen. This has been a long time coming, and whatever made it happen (people finally realizing there's an audience for it here? less indie acts shoved into the fest by a smaller corporate presence?), we're goddamn glad that this city is finally coming around in at least some ways to hip-hop. With that in mind, we present Malik, a young homegrown hip-hopper that's just the newest and freshest entry into the already excellent and underrated Austin hip-hop canon.

Malik's dropped three tracks in the last month on Soundcloud, and listening across the three you can get a taste for what this kid can do and what he's got to offer. And what Malik has to offer is smart, attractive hip-hop. From the most recent track, the chronologically-named "March 9th," you know that he's music aware, with that beat based on a sample from classic Outkast ("Vibrate"). You know from track "On My Own" that Malik can toe that Drake-associated pop/hip-hop line, but that Malik falls more firmly on the hip-hop side while hittin' the pop bullseye just as nicely as the Degrassi vet. And you know from all three tracks that the man can spit quite clever and thoughtful, with lines like "I can't lie, you the baddest that I ever seen/But it's sad to say that your tree of life is far from evergreen," on track "Life." It looks like Malik is about to drop more music soon, so get up to speed below with "On My Own" and keep a lookout for more from this top-notch example of the Austin hip-hop world. SXSW 2015 is just a start; there's a hell of a lot more hip-hop to come from this town going forward.

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Apojii

Time to get familiar with another entry in our Austin Deli Artist of the Month poll. Next up, Apojii, and Austin-by-way-of-San-Antonio rapper who has been goin' strong in the scene for some time now. Apojii is a stylistic gymnast, with a sound that tips its hat to mainstream party hip-hop but which is much more creative and conscious in his overall approach to music production and to rapping. Just look at his mission statement on his Soundcloud, which says he's making these tracks "to bring people to the awareness of themselves," or the lyrics on tracks like our featured joint that say, "Everything's got to be sold/Whether it's god or whether it's gold." That's not stuff you'd hear from Top 40 tracks too often, yet Apojii's work still always stays within that "fun to listen to" realm that mainstream shit typically makes its sole aim. That merger of a pop sound that draws you in (and gets the head bobbin' to the rhythm) with a sharp mind that knows its hip-hop, its pop culture and itself is Apojii's strength. And his continued and recent tracks as a solo producer/rapper double threat as well as his excellent featured work with San Antonio artist Tommie Wong are what got Apojii nominated for this month's Austin Deli Artist of the Month. Music below, vote to the right y'all.

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Riders Against the Storm Are All for Austin

Hold on to yer butts guys, SXSW is nigh. We've got mere days before Austin turns into the creative/partiers playground it does every March, and if you didn't know, The Deli has a lot goin' on. We're handing out 10,000 free print editions of The Deli to people with cool haircuts just like you, for one, and we're also adding to the creative dreamland mix a bit with a Stompbox Exhibit at the Convention Center and a Synth Space at the same spot. If you're into the idea of playing around and making weird noises with cool music tech, this shit is not only free and right downtown, it's also open to anyone whether you sold a kidney to get a badge or you remained poor and multi-kidneyed.

All this thinkin' on SXSW was on my mind when I saw somethin' that had me remembering South Bys gone this week, in the form of a new Austin-tacular music video by hip-hop duo Riders Against the Storm. My awareness and subsequent jamming of this group came about first because of SXSW, SX 2013 to be specific, when I stopped the husband side of Riders Against the Storm, Chaka Mandla Mhambi Mpeanaji, on the street to shoot his bitchin' feather includin' outfit for my friend ATX Streetstyle's blog (click through here, if you wanna see one damn well-dressed local musician). Chaka told me he was a teacher and a musician, which I typed into my phone and let him hurry on his SX way. I found RAS later when I looked him up at home, and their high-energy, big-thoughts music got me hooked real quick. But, y'know, I'm a bit of a sucker for soul, skill and some goddamn good rappin'.

And that, plus ass shakin', is what you'll get in the boombastic, butt-focused "Booty Sweat" music video that RAS released on YouTube on Feb. 26. That this video is pure Austin love is no surprise to me, as the people I've known around town that have had the love for RAS the hardest have always been the most Austin folks I know, and with the optimistic thing it seems that RAS has got goin' on, that they love the ATX back makes sense. This vid is good, good Austin stuff, and if someone else in this town puts out another video even half this fun this year, well we'll have one hell of a year on our hands. Get that booty sweatin' good y'all, and come on by The Deli's shit this SX if you got a free, mildly sober moment (perhaps too much to ask, just come on by whatever your BAC).

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From the Best of NYC: Your Old Droog brings NYC Hip Hop to SXSW

Coney Island rapper Your Old Droog (featured in our recent Best of NYC Emerging Artists list) derives his name from “Droog,” the Russian word for friend. Indeed, his music is like a walk down rap’s memory lane back to 1994. Initially coming off as another gravel-voiced rapper fresh out the gravel-voiced rapper factory, Droog quickly overcomes initial prejudice with his rapidly evolving rhyme patterns and sardonic wordplay. In “Porno for Pyros” (streaming) from the Kinison EP, Droog emphasizes his relevance saying, “Back in the line of fire. Sayin my style’s dated is like sayin’ wine has expired.” Cheers to that. - BrokeMc

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Lushlife & YIKES the ZERO Opening for Kool Keith at KFN Feb. 19

Legendary alien emcee Kool Keith will be gracing the stage of Kung Fu Necktie once again this evening for a sold-out show. Though he already performed last night (due to popular demand), this showcase is the one you want to be at with its killer local supporting lineup. Multi-talented producer/emcee Lushlife will be coming out of performance hibernation for this special event. Lush has been quiet of late, and we can only hope that it is because he's been focused in the lab preparing to drop a bomb of beats and rhymes on the world with his long-awaited follow-up to Plateau Vision. Also returning this evening to the Front Street watering hole is YIKES the ZERO and his DJ Caliph-NOW. YIKES has been a perfect pairing with our headliner for this two-night run. His eccentric releases and willingness/ability to collaborate with other artists represent what Kool Keith has accomplished throughout his storied career. This event is surely a celebration of the road less traveled in hip hop! Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 7pm, $20 (Sold Out), 21+ (Lushlife Photo by Meredith Kleiber) - Q.D. Tran

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