SXSW: Percee P at Habana Annex Backyard

Attending hip hop shows can be a real drag, no matter if it’s SXSW or not. You got the over zealous DJ warming up the stage, playing the standards. You have the hype men, who come out and attempt to work up the crowd with the same old call and response routine. “When I say hip, you say hop!” Then, maybe some hours later, usually around an hour till close if you’re lucky enough, the rapper you came to witness blesses the stage.

So when New York’s emcee Percee P walked onto the stage a mere 15 minutes late (that’s about the closest to on-time for a hip-hop show I’ve seen) for his 11 p.m. scheduled performance, sans hype men, I didn’t know what exactly the crowd and I were going to get.

What we received was a lesson in just how good hip-hop should be all the time. Unorthodox or not, he didn’t need the hype men like other rappers; they’d only get in the way. They wouldn’t be able to keep up with the rapid-fire lyricist if they got a head start. In his own unique manner, Percee spit out each and every individual syllable from the stage for every word of his rhymes. Well rehearsed, his act was clearly polished to a shine and it didn’t go unnoticed by the crowd who ate up every song he’d give them. – Brett Koshkin

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