#SUNDAZE: A Monthly Hip-Hop Showcase at Vulcan Gas Company

In an effort to create a safe space for hip-hop in Austin, Solstice Live is introducing SUNDAZE, a hip-hop monthly showcase at Vulcan Gas Company on the last Sunday of every month. The shows will include an open cypher, performances by local Austin hip-hop artists and a featured guest performance by a non-local artist each month. They’ve teamed up with sponsors from Human Influence, TurnT.V., Vulcan Gas Company and yours truly, On Vinyl Music.

The first Sundaze is on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 9 p.m. and will feature a Filthy Mcnasty Ben Buck hosted cypher, performances by Heye Minds Collective, rising R&B sibling trio The Bishops, this month’s featured artist 23 Cups and a closing session by Mason Flynt.

Featured visual artists include: Third Kingdom Clothing, Tone Apparel, vis.YOU.lize (V.Y.Z.), Human Influence, Rex Sterling Hamilton Art and Ben Buck BeatBox VS McNasty Tie Dye.

On the topic of structuring the hip-hop scene here in Austin, I asked Ben Buck, Chris Bishop of The Bishops and Nick Twi$t of Heye Minds to share some of their thoughts:

OV: Austin’s lack of a hip-hop scene is often brought up. Do you agree with this? If so, what do you think is missing, and do you think Sundaze can be beneficial?

Ben Buck: I disagree that Austin is lacking a hip-hop community. There are a huge number of outlets on almost any given night that you could network and learn from, and there is a great support system for artists who are trying to push forward in this scene. There are a lot of different styles at these events and it helps represent different aspects of creativity being pushed in the city. I believe that #SUNDAZE really has potential to bring out a new young talented crop of artists and musicians and start to bridge the gap even more between electronic and hip-hop on the local level.

Chris Bishop: The lack of a hip-hop scene is often brought up by media outlets here in Austin, Texas, but I feel like that subject has been on repeat for years now. There’s no way I can agree with that since there is a blooming hip-hop scene here filled with new and old hip-hop heads. It’s just a matter a time before the general community recognizes what’s actually going on. You just have to dig deeper in the culture. #SUNDAZE will definitely help in that regard.

Nick Twi$t: I partially agree. I think there really isn’t a lack of a hip-hop scene so much, but more of a lack of organization of the hip-hop community. Plenty of people in the city of Austin listen to hip-hop but have no idea where the real talent is performing week to week and month to month. We’re in need of a leader (a face that people across the United States/world) can relate to the Austin hip-hop scene as well as a posse to back it. I have a ton of faith in #SUNDAZE because not only is there going to be rap artists but there will be a featured EDM artist, local producers, local merchants (apparel), acts from across Texas under one roof. It brings every aspect of hip-hop together in the live music capital of the world on 6th street. With the right exposure and the “right” ears hearing this, I believe that we have assembled the proper platform for the success of Austin’s hip-hop scene. We need to create a family of motivated/professional individuals to take it to the next level, and I believe with that we have the potential to do so. The only thing that could help us anymore is proving these #SUNDAZE are worthy of a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday slot. Big thanks to Vulcan Gas Company for giving us this opportunity. We will prove our worth.

OV: If you had the chance to address the entire city about #SUNDAZE, or your music in general, what would you say and why?

Ben Buck: If I were to tell the city about my beatboxing, I would say that it started as a hobby in high school, but it really helped me start to find myself and help create something from nothing. I still have a lot to do to be where I’d like to be further down the line and I am growing daily.

Chris Bishop: I would say #SUNDAZE is an incredible platform for anyone who wants to be a part of advancing this culture forward. Not only is there going to be a lot of great art on display, but the diversity is going to be remarkable. Sundaze allows mc’s, producers, dj’s,  photographers, stylists, promoters, the list goes on. It acts as a creative free for all.

Nick Twi$t: #SUNDAZE is only the beginning of the Austin hip-hop community creation. If you are interested in seeing this grow, #SUNDAZE is the place you need to be. Come sip a drink, engage in the open mic, and make connections while listening to good music. In the way of my music in general just keep an open mind and try to unveil the inner meanings. It’s not like the typical hip-hop/rap that is usually associated with a bad name. It’s lyrical and full of riddles. There’s everything from love songs to grimey bangers. Take your pick and listen closely.

OV: What music are you into at the moment? Any local Austin artists?

Ben Buck:  Music I’m currently into: Click-Clack – “Untitled”, Cap’n Kirk – “FMBO,” Feral The Earth Worm – “Rhythm And Poetry,” Subkulture Patriots – “SKP and Kulture Riots,” Scuare – “Alphabet Soul,” Flobama – “Summer Slammers Pt. 2,” Bobby Banner MPC – “Musicology,” Sertified – “Chips and Salsa,” D.O.S – “Obey the Raw” and Ruler Why – “Los Classicos Instrumentals.”

Chris Bishop: I’m into all kinds of music. there’s no way I can stick to one genre/artist. However, as far as the local scene there’s definitely some talent I’ve been observing. Some of these great ATX artists include Kydd Jones, CAPYAC, Blunt Force, Jae Jax Da Menace, my siblings of course and Mason Flynt. Mason is dope. I’m excited to be apart of the first #SUNDAZE with that guy, I feel like we have a lot of work to do. All in all, the talent/future of this community is already here. Some of the local media outlets just need to embrace the culture; it’s everywhere.

Nick Twi$t:  As of recently like everyone else I’ve been bumpin, The Life of Pablo. Also a lot of Nyck Caution. I listen to a ton of the Beast Coast movement music (Pro Era, Flat Bush Zombies, & The Underachievers). Extremely enlightening music. I love listening to all of the TDE team but especially Isaiah Rashad, ab-soul, and of course Kendrick Lamar. Such lyrical geniuses with such a variety of topics. In the way of non hip-hop/rap I listen to a lot of Stevie Ray Vaughn, Leon Bridges, AC/DC, & Bob Marley. Locally speaking I really fuck with Shakey Graves, Magna Carda, Johnny Goudie, Chief Perch, and Gary Clark Jr. I’m also really into country music as well. But really I stay listening to my collective’s music, Heye Minds. I enjoy our creations and like feeling the energy we put into the music.

Catch Ben Buck, Chris Bishop and Nick Twi$t at #SUNDAZE. The event is free if you RSVP, or $3 at the door. Check out OV’s Photobooth and table and the array of talent appearing on Sunday night. Refer to the event page for more details.