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SXSW 2024 Recap: "The Dean's List" Showcase  

“I loved what CHHK did [at SXSW], providing a platform for so many talented Austin locals.” - Ras Kass

“Our showcase really highlighted a ton of local talent & the fans showed up & really enjoyed the show. … [hip-hop] deserves just as much attention as any other genre of music in our city.” - Big Mic, Co-Founder, College of Hip-Hop Knowledge

“The Dean's List” Official SXSW Showcase at Rozco's Comedy Club on March 16, 2024 capped an incredible run for local Austin hip-hop this year.

In their 9th year, local hip-hop label and collective College of Hip-Hop Knowledge (CHHK) organized “The Dean's List…”

With a lineup of stellar local talent, along with legends Ras Kass from Los Angeles and Def-i from New Mexico.

Local talent on the lineup included Muenster, Ben Buck, die slo, Spacegoonz, MDK and Da French Touch, KNDRX, and CHHK artists.

Monikker had a chance to speak with both Big Mic from CHHK and Ras Kass respectively on their career, the SXSW show, and upcoming projects.

MON: What does this showcase mean for CHHK and the Austin hip-hop scene?

Big Mic: This was CHHK’s first year to present an Official SXSW showcase & perform as a group officially for SXSW so it means a lot to us considering all the hard work & efforts we’ve been putting in the scene over the last 8-9 years. 

Hopefully it opens the door for us to continue to place a spotlight on the local scene because it deserves just as much attention as any other genre of music in our city.

MON: Was 2024 a breakthrough SXSW for local Austin hip-hop? 

Big Mic: We think it was, our showcase really highlighted a ton of local talent & the fans showed up & really enjoyed the show. 

We think it shows that Hip Hop is alive & well in the city, we just need to keep pushing the envelope to garner more local support.

MON: What's next for CHHK, what are you guys working on?

Big Mic: We’re currently all working on new music, including a compilation album comprised of all our label artists produced by local producer SleepyKid. 

We have a tour planned in late April to New Mexico & another planned in July to New Mexico, Colorado, Utah & Nevada! 

Our monthly residency Fresh Fridaze, will continue to be held every 2nd Friday of the month. 

MON: Hey Ras, thanks for joining me. What's your experience coming to Austin over the years?

RAS: A better part of 10 years I've been coming to Austin for one reason or another…

There are talented people all around this world just period so I always think everyone deserves a right, and they have their own experiences and interpretations. 

So I enjoy watching whether I'm in Paris, or South Africa, or Canada, or Compton, or Austin, or Dallas… and seeing amazing talented people. 

What I noticed was there was so many cool musicians in Austin and in Dallas… so their interpretation and how they approach rap, the hip-hop aspect with live band is always interesting. 

I had a great time this time… I was there prior to SXSW - 2 weeks before - so I got to see more of a local scene recently… super dope, there's definitely a vibe out there.

MON: I get what you're saying, enjoying the different flavors around the world. I love that there were French rappers at [The Dean's List showcase]. It's cool to hear everybody's interpretations.

RAS: Yeah, and sharing that. Just watching how that melded with these Texas emcees [Mindz of a Different Kind] and it was flawless, so that was dope.

MON: You've got your new project GUTTR and just curious when that's coming out?

RAS: The GUTTR is myself, RJ Payne, and Havoc from Mobb Deep is the producer, he produced the entire thing. The first single is “Roll Call” and that featured Method Man and Fame from MOP and Sway from Shade45… 

I'm really excited about that… the album will follow, probably 2 or 3 weeks after that.

["Roll Call" drops] probably end of this month or early April.

It's definitely a banger… I'm excited about the album as a hip-hop fan and I think everybody gave 110%…

Sorry nobody's going to be nude or prank anybody, it's just good music.

Pre-save the GUTRR album here with your choice of streaming service.

Pre-order the GUTTR physical CD and merch here.

Check out CHHK here.

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