- Leor Galil
- Third Man’s Rolling Record Store
I never thought I’d be as relieved to hear the words “Chief Keef will not be performing tonight” as I was Saturday around 8 PM. That’s when some SXSW authority figure armed with a megaphone tried to deliver the news to a massive throng of people waiting to get into a cavernous warehouse that served as a venue for SXSW; the infamous young rapper had been scheduled to perform alongside acts like Death Grips, Baauer with RL Grime, and Mount Kimbie. It’s not that I didn’t want to see Keef—it was supposed to be his first major show since getting out of jail a couple days ago and I wanted to be there to see exactly what would happen—but after four days and three nights of wandering around Austin I ended up fatigued, sick, and kind of loopy. My mind wanted to see Keef, but the rest of my body need to find a quiet place to sit.
By the end of SXSW I’d come to terms with the reality that my set schedule wouldn’t always pan out in real life. Rather than get upset as I might have at the beginning of the fest, by Saturday I was beleaguered and fatigued, and I welcomed these scheduling difficulties with a sigh of relief. Keef wasn’t the first performer I’d planned to see Saturday that I wound up not getting to see, and I spent a chunk of Saturday afternoon at the George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center in the hopes of catching MC Jin, a former Ruff Ryder rapper who moved to Hong Kong in the late aughts after his stateside rap career stalled out. Jin’s major label debut, The Rest is History, peaked at number 54 on the Billboard charts in 2004; even though that album came out nearly a decade ago it was still a little unusual that an MC who had been on a major label was scheduled to play the Carver Museum’s intimate theater. Jin didn’t end up performing there—I later found out he played a larger space so far north I wouldn’t have thought it was a part of SXSW—so instead I watched a few Christian musicians.