Drake and more OVO acts catch SXSW 2016 by surprise

Toronto hip-hop takes the Austin festival by storm


Reports out of Austin have lamented the dearth of big-name surprises at this year’s SXSW. Until Saturday night, March 19, that is, when Toronto’s own Drake and his OVO crew showed up at Fader Fort.

New OVO signees dvsn and Roy Woods went first, to an allegedly lacklustre reception from the crowd, followed by Majid Jordan, PARTYNEXTDOOR and then Champagne Papi himself, with Atlanta’s Metro Boomin’ on a song from Drake’s recent collaborative album with Future. His Meek Mill diss track also made it into the set. 

“Views From The 6 coming in how many weeks. I hope you enjoy that shit,” he said, but shied away from playing new material.

Jahkoy hit up the Fader Fort on Thursday, and recent NOW cover star Jazz Cartier on Saturday afternoon before playing Stubb’s later than night. According to Jacuzzi’s Instagram, there were a lot of flower crowns and hanging-from-the-ceiling going on. 

But more from Toronto besides rap was on display. Buzz Records threw a party that featured Dilly Dally, Greys and Weaves. Folk-pop singer/songwriter Megan Bonnell’s showcase earned her big praise from NPR. Other Toronto representation came via Basia Bulat, Terra Lightfoot, the Strumbellas (newly signed to Glassnote), Doomsquad, Timber Timbre, Saidah Baba Talibah, Lowell, Fucked Up, the Darcys and plenty of electronic acts, like Zeds Dead, Crystal Castles, Keys N Krates, MSTRKRFT and Trust. 

Thursday night also saw a beat battle presented by Toronto’s Beat Academy that included occasional Drake producer Boi1da, WondaGurl and Rich Kidd.

music@nowtoronto.com | @nowtoronto

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