As the sun sets over downtown Austin, Texas on an 80-degree Wednesday evening (March 16), hundreds of music fans gathered at the Revival Coffee House for the VIBE NEXT showcase at the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival and conference. The audience, filled with Austin locals as well as festival attendees from across the country, came for a great show, and the eight acts who touched the stage did not disappoint.
The VIBE NEXT showcase featured a range of artists of various talents and genres. Performers included Nook Turner, Price, Doeman, Mike Dimes, Deante Hitchcock, DJ Chose, Trae Tha Truth, and additional special guests. Each performer displayed a unique style and proved their skill to new and old fans alike.
Below are highlights from each set as described by VIBE staffers who attended the event.
Nook Turner Made Sure Austin Was Heard
The Austin-bred rapper showcased some fan-favorite tracks and reminded the audience that the Texas city is full of vibrant talent and culture. “South by Southwest is a gift,” he said to VIBE after his performance, speaking to the festival occupying his hometown. “We don’t gotta go nowhere for it,” he continued, encouraging Austin rappers to get on the road.
Turner delivered a medley of his top songs, as the audience nodded along in approval, many listening to the rising artist for the first time. The crowd engaged with the rapper while he performed, participating in a call-and-response fashion to some of the selections, and catching t-shirts he tossed from the stage. His homegrown music was the perfect way to begin the showcase, setting the tone for an evening of prideful performances.
Doeman Waves The Flag For Barrios Worldwide
Southeast Texas rep Doeman brought a distinct flavor to the VIBE NEXT stage with his performance, which included various nods to his cultural background as a Mexican-American artist. Flanked by members of his crew, one of which repped their heritage proudly by draping a Mexican flag over his body, Doeman ran through a succession of bangers, including “Barrio God (Chiddy Bang),” which garnered a particularly enthusiastic response from the crowd.
According to the rising prospect, who is gearing up to drop his forthcoming project, Barrio Gold Vol. 2, 2022 will be a breakout year for him. If his set on Wednesday night is any indication, he’s more than worthy of being tagged “NEXT” up out of the Lonestar State.
Price Brought Contagious Energy
As he took the stage, rapper Price turned up to his own sound and the audience followed. His stage presence was amplified by energetic dance moves and a spirited delivery as he explained his ability to be a fan of himself on stage. The audience stood amazed as the performer’s sharp delivery allowed his message to be heard.
As Price performed “Problem,” a song that speaks to mental health and wellness, the Motown Records signee captured the attention of everyone in the venue. “This is one of my main singles dropping Friday, featuring my homie Wale,” he revealed to the crowd, announcing his first EP with Motown, The Price. “It caters to mental health and having problems but overcoming the problems.”
Sparoh Introduced Herself To SXSW
Making her SXSW debut, Sparoh made sure to leave a lasting impression on showcase attendees. The Maryland-bred artist danced across the stage as she rocked out in her own glory. Capturing the crowd’s attention in an all-black leather ensemble, Sparoh stood confidently as the only woman artist to take the stage. With an existing fanbase that flocked to the front as she performed, dozens more made their way closer as her set went on.
“To be fearless, to do what the f**k you want to do. [To] express yourself however you see fit and not be afraid to do it,” she said to VIBE as she explained the message she hopes her music delivers. “Especially as Black women. We have the tendency to put ourselves in boxes that we think everyone else expects from… and there’s so much more to us than that. I just hope that my music, my personality, and [my] vibe show and encourage that for all of us.”
Mike Dimes Proves Why He’s The People’s Champ
Strength is in numbers and if Mike Dimes’ showing at SXSW’s VIBE NEXT showcase is any indication, his brand is bordering on brolic. Performing a medley of his recent hits, the San Antonio-bred military brat brought a sizable contingent of supporters with him, as dozens of fans rapped along in unison, many of whom greeted the rapper following his raucous set. While the NEXT stage was brimming with talent from top to bottom, Mike Dimes made a huge statement with his performance and asserted himself as The People’s Champ with his devotion to his core base.
Deante Hitchcock Is Hip-Hop’s Real Certified Lover Boy
Atlanta rapper Deante Hitchcock took the stage and performed braggadocious songs such as “I Got Money Now” but also made sure to represent the emotional side of his growing catalog. Hitchcock detailed his journey from a struggling artist just getting his footing to a successful rapper with a clear mission, as the audience listened for their own motivation.
Sharing with the crowd he recently became a father, the 29-year-old rapper expressed his love for his 6-week-old child, his romantic partner, his mother, and all of the women who have impacted his life. “I like making love songs for real,” he revealed to VIBE speaking to his recent EP Everyday The 14th. “Even if they aren’t directly ‘I’m in love,’ that aspect of life. That’s my whole vibe on that. I dropped some tapes before that was on that same type of time. That’s the direction I’m leaning to really heavy this year.”
DJ Chose Moves And Humors The Crowd
Fresh off the release of his new album, Multi, DJ Chose came back home to celebrate its release with a lively performance. Commanding the crowd with his grab-bag of hits, including past collaborative efforts with YoungBoy Never Broke Again (“No Smoke”) and the remix to his breakout single “Thick” featuring Megan Thee Stallion, Chose displayed a stage presence and level of showmanship that cast him apart from the pack.
From humorous anecdotes detailing his grind as a producer to paying it forward by providing a stage for other rising artists, DJ Chose’s appearance at the VIBE NEXT showcase was one of the highlights of the evening and among the more engaging sets.
Trae Tha Truth Takes Listeners Down Memory Lane
Texas has a tendency to do everything big, which is why it was only right that the VIBE NEXT showcase be headlined by Trae Tha Truth, who was responsible for a huge surprise that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Being the hometown hero that he is, Trae catered to the locals with a few homegrown classics while also tossing a few collaborations into the mix.
As selfless with his stage-time as he is with his platform and resources, Trae brought out longtime collaborator T-Pain during his set, who launched into some of his own hits, including “Buy U a Drank,” before blessing fans with some new heat. Paying homage to Texas icons like Pimp C and the Screwed Up Click and controlling the crowd with each bar spat, Trae Tha Truth capped off an eventful evening for all in attendance with a performance we all could VIBE with.