The 4-day Fader FORT (presented by Converse) event was a little piece of epic-ness inside of the already-epic SXSW festivities. The fort was filled with freebies, like frozen slushies, FADER mags, beer, boozed-up tea and lemonade, custom tees, and of course, Converse sneaks. There were also lots of cool walls. One wall was dedicated to posting twitpics of folks rocking their Converse in various ways. A few walls, made up of white subway tiles, was dedicated to nothing but graffiti and other freestyle art. Yet another wall was a Soul Train Scrabble Board of sorts. It had huge magnetic letters surrounding it. Folks spelled out whatever word combos they wanted, and then took pics in front of it.
A sampling of performers that I was familiar with (and will become even more familiar with), included 2 Chainz, Santigold, Danny Brown, The War on Drugs, Action Bronson, Kimbra, The-Dream, Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T., Alice Smith, Gary Clark, Jr., Nite Jewel, Zola Jesus, SBTRKT, and Kindness (phew) just to name a few. The massive music fest ended Saturday with a surprise appearance from none other than Rick Ross the BAWSE, who was preceded by his newest protégé Stalley, Ritz, and even bigger surprise Gangsta Boo!
Even though it was a bit low-key, Alice Smith’s performance thrilled me the most. Her nonchalant approach to beauty left me captivated. Quite frankly, I was hypnotized by her ruby-red lips, white peasant crop top, painted-on sky-blue jeans, and leopard-print Louboutin sandals. She mostly pouted throughout her set, and simultaneously looked bored and perplexed as to how she could be so damned sexy while belting out her unique brand of southern-fried soul. She performed mostly new songs from what I hope is an album that’ll be coming out this year. I especially enjoyed her rendition of Cee-Lo’s “Fool For You.”
I have to say, though, that when Rick Ross hit the stage, you would’ve thought he was the mayor of Texas. The crowd seemed amped and proud to be in his presence (I was almost trampled by hordes of folks trying to get closer to the stage) as he performed all of hit singles, including “BMF,” “Aston Martin Music,” “I’ma Boss,” and “Hustlin.”