Reported by SwanoDown
While SXSW has the undeniable status as the launching pad for music's hottest new acts, rap has long been under-represented on official SXSW stages leaving the door open for independent showcases to shine the light on the genre's next mega-stars. These unofficial stages range from big budget corporate events like FADER Fort to discovery-driven underground stages like Scumbag Season, which in previous years showcased current superstars such as DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion, Young M.A., and Desiigner in the years immediately preceding their blow up. This year it was Shah’s Scumbag Season performance that created an electric atmosphere suggesting this was a moment you’re witnessing rap's next breakout star, similar to Da Baby in 2017 and Megan Thee Stallion in 2018. The show had been listed as one of the ‘must see concerts of SXSW 2022’ and it did not disappoint.
The other undeniable breakout star of SXSW 2022 was Lola Brooke, who's show at Peckerheads also lit up Austin instagram. Yet the online hype paled in comparison to the energy of the live crowd on Friday afternoon of the Scumbag Season showcase. Of course two years of pent up pandemic energy helped, but when you consider that Austin is the live music capital, and how many newly famous rappers have gained reputation as poor live performers who just adlib over their songs, it was a thrill to see both Lola Brooke and Shah each put on a show for the ages. Salute these 2 breakout stars of SXSW 2022.