SXSW Find: Young Fathers
by Winston "Stone" Ford
“White Boy Beat, Black Boy Rhythm”
I saw this group on a whim. After one of my hotel mates started joking about their name, I added their show onto my calendar. I had no idea what to expect, but honestly SXSW should be about finding new artists so how could I lose?
Again, this is one of those “glad I went” situations. Young Fathers ended up being one of the more entertaining acts during the festival and one of the more entertaining acts in hip-hop. The cramped backstage of Mohawk reminded me of a Brooklyn basement, and it was the perfect setting for their high-spirited performance. The MCs, Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole, and ‘G’ Hastings ended up maiking the back room a hot sweaty mess.
You know what I really liked bout the group? They’re fun. Remember when hip-hop was fun? Their stage show reminds me of Heavy D or Kid N Play, and heavy 90s vibes abounded. The African rhytyms of their music–drawn from their diverse cultural backgrounds (the members originate from Nigeria and Libera)–added to the atmosphere and was approached in a way that didn’t make them look like a cheesy Benetton commercial (looking at you Nomadic Massive).
Lets get this out of the way. Their record label is doing the group a disservice by releasing “The Guide” as their only single. The low key song does not showcase the groups goofy high energy stage antics and actually might be a turnoff. The only way to see this band in their prime. However, the question remains on if the Scottish trio will make a return trip to The States. Let’s make it happen.