Photo: Paras Griffin / Contributor via Getty Images
  /  03.20.2023

2023 REVOLT House at SXSW in Austin, Texas attracted a slew of hip hop fans and artists this past Saturday (March 18). While Austin isn’t known for its hip hop scene, it is well-known for live music, and REVOLT House lived up to the expectations.

For those who are unfamiliar, SXSW is a music, film, and media festival held in Austin each year. Since its inception in 1987, it has grown to become one of the premiere events for up-and-coming artists and industry professionals. Over the years, and specifically during the late 2000s, SXSW became increasingly important to the hip hop community with many up-and-coming rappers using the festival as a launching pad for their careers. One of the reasons the event became important to hip hop is it provided a platform for new artists to showcase their talents in front of industry figures, fans, and media outlets all at once. Many of rap’s household names today such as Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, and Post Malone have used SXSW as a stepping stone to success.

With all of that being said, REVOLT House was a true celebration of the culture. Beyond the stage, there was a make-your-own-music video station, freestyle booth, and wall where fans wrote the hip hop album that changed their lives on sticky notes.

On stage, plenty was going on. For instance, the day began with an open mic judged by Cena Zarin, head of music programming at REVOLT; Trey White of iHeartRadio; and Sweetness Ybern of Vydia. Mother Nature, a female hip hop duo from Chicago, won the open mic and brought a unique energy to the stage throughout the entirety of their performance. A quick game of hip hop jeopardy, presented by Philo, took place soon after and the crowd was loving it. The winners of the game even won some exclusive REVOLT merch.

Next, it was time for the On Deck DJ Battle, presented by Sprite Zero. DJ FLWRSHRK went on first and immediately captivated the audience’s attention. She threw down a great set that was hard to beat. DJ Cymba followed up and his mix had the audience jumping, too! However, FLWRSHRK went home with the win in the end. During her acceptance speech, she mentioned music being a part of who she is and having family ties to the Zulu nation.

After the DJ battle, it was time for artist performances. WhooKilledKenny opened and kicked off the show on a high note. Kid Saiyan (aka King Harris, T.I.’s son) followed up and brought an immense amount of energy to the stage. Stockz, a Houston native, went on shortly after and taught the audience a bit about what it means to be a whale with his hot track “Whale Talk.”


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Maiya The Don and HDBeenDope brought a bit of Brooklyn to the south and both artists were spitting. They brought heavy-hitting braggadocious bars and certainly earned the respect of every hip hop head in the building. HoodCelebrityy brought her Caribbean energy and left the crowd grooving and wining long after her set. Neek Bucks followed her and brought an explosive stage presence to Belmont.

One of the night’s best performances came from BigXthaplug, whose song “Big Stepper” had the audience stepping along with him. Not only did he command the stage when the mic was in his hand, but he was also dancing, getting the audience involved, and just all-around bringing contagious energy to the stage.

Pheelz, an up-and-coming afrobeats artist from Nigeria, followed BigX and began by serenading the women in the audience. He kept a smooth, mellow vibe running through Belmont during his performance. Fat Trel followed Pheelz and gave a dynamic performance of some of his biggest records. “Finsta” was a fan-favorite. Gloss Up showed out after Trel and had the audience hyped with her lyrical prowess.

Lastly, but certainly not least, The LOX took the stage. They performed all of their biggest hits and features including “All About The Benjamins,” “Money, Power & Respect,” and “We Gonna Make It.” Styles P even went into the audience to rap directly in front of fans. When it comes to legendary status in hip hop, there are few artists and even fewer groups that fit the bill, but The LOX absolutely does.

2023’s REVOLT House was all about celebrating 50 years of hip hop, and there was no better way to close out the night than with Jadakiss, Styles P, and Sheek Louch.

If you missed the festivities, be sure to watch REVOLT on Philo for their “Best of REVOLT House Austin” playlist for a taste of the event.



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