SXSW Austin Locals: Blastfamous USA

With clear socio-political commentary on the current state of this divided nation, the Austin-based hip-hop group, Blastfamous USA has taken a step out of the disgruntled subconscious of the American youth and have set themselves center stage with a defiant fist raised high. Austin hip-hop star Zeale provides an unprecedented lyrical prowess reminiscent of the greats of the early 90s such as Mos Def, an Illmatic Nas and a less racial-fueled Dead Prez. Backed by the hard hitting duo NGHT HCKLRS, comprised of tribal percussionist DJ Murda Gloves and producer extraordinaire Dnak, Blastfamous USA is guaranteed to blow your mind moments before blowing out your speakers. Track Rambler found a moment in these musical marauder’s crazy SXSW schedule to sit down and shed some light on the group.

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What has your experience been as a local band playing SXSW?

BUSA: “The experience for us in SX has been great because we’ve been able to hit every pocket of the city and perform for different demographics. Also, we were able to hit the ‘right’ demographics because of the people pulling us onto their showcases; such as Do512 and 101X. Every show has been solid in its own way.”

Did you start out with the intentions of having such a socio-political statement or did that develop as the group did?

BUSA: “In a way, yes. We did start out with it initially as our direction because the music can be so aggressive. But also, Zeale wanted to branch out and tap into another side of himself that at the time he didn’t have the platform to explore. Our first song, ‘Air Raid on America’, was written in a day and at the time we hadn’t decided on a name yet. We wanted something that fit the message of our only song at the time. That is how the name developed as well as a product of the time when we started this group. We were creating something for how we felt in that moment surrounding the debates and rodeo that was the 2016 presidential election. We don’t want to be pigeon-holed as that angry political group and only people who are like that can listen to us. That just alienates a whole population that we would like to reach and it’s not what we are about. We want to party with politics.”

Blastfamous has a magnetic energy that, show after show, has a way of pulling people to the stage. How do you explain that?

BUSA: “It wasn’t contrived at all. It was a very organic element of the group. It’s the beats Dnak provides, the energy brought to the drums by DJ Murda Gloves, and Zeale just fit perfectly with-in that vibe. Ultimately, we want people to have a good time. We could make it heavier. We could make it darker but that’s not what we want. We’re not stiff assholes. We party too and it’s about finding that balance.

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Blastfamous USA’s self-titled debut album can be found everywhere from Spotify to Apple iTunes. During the month of April, you can catch Blastfamous USA at the Swan Dive in Austin where they’ll be holding down a residency. Track Rambler will be holding up a fist with pride as we watch this band of musical misfits destroy modern hip-hop and lay the mumble rap scene to rest.

Photos and article by: Demetrius Judkins @wolfspiritofthesun

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