MadeinTYO at Empire Control Room Photo Recap

The Atlanta-via-Tokyo rapper MadeinTYO at Empire Control Room this past Saturday.

Photos by: Dipo Olagundoye @donottrip



Yelawolf Brings His 51/50 Tour To Empire Control Room

Rain didn’t stop a massive crowd from filling Empire Control Room on Thursday night as Slumerican’s Yelawolf took the stage for his 51/50 Tour. The Alabama rapper came out with a full band and DJ creating an aggressive energy that kept the crowd interactive and lively for the whole night.

The combination of hip-hop and rock ‘n’ roll, at times felt similar to a Rage Against The Machine concert in the 90’s, constantly switching from rap bangers to rock hybrid anthems. Although his stardom has slightly faded in recent years, his talent remains thriving as a great showman who knows how to work a crowd.

The southern trailer park meets rockabilly persona shows that Yelawolf is indeed who he claims to be. The bad boy attitude came in full force as he ordered the entire VIP sections to clear out and go back into the crowd angering many loyal fans.

Although he may come off as a fading artist who peaked years ago, one thing is clear; Yelawolf is an amazing MC whose dedication to his rhymes and craft shines through. If you get the opportunity to see him live, don’t miss out because he puts on an incredible show.

His third album Trial By Fire is scheduled to come out mid October.

Check out the photos below.


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Article by: Matthew Carlin

Alesia Lani Brings the Soul

Alesia Lani has straight-up been killing it lately. The sultry songstress made an amazing First Impression in 2015 with a Top 10 album and consecutive Austin Hip Hop Awards for “Best R&B Artist”. She’s strutted her soulful sensuality all over the festival circuit at SXSW, Pecan Street and most recently Solstice. Her captivating performance at 35 Denton was considered one of the event’s major highlights and excitement continues to build for Saturday’s Babes Fest show at Empire Control Room. Last month, Lani dropped ‘Intentions’, the riveting new single off her highly-anticipated sophomore project due out this fall and also appeared in longtime friend Tomar and the FCs’ recent video ‘Shine Your Light’. It seems we just can’t get enough of this vivacious vocalist.


We caught up with Alesia Lani to hear more about Babes Fest, her new single and some of her personal influences. Check out the interview below.

You’ll be performing two nights in a row at Empire with Babes Fest on Saturday and then opening for the Ohio Players on the 30th. How does that honor feel?

Gosh I feel so special!!! It’s so accomplishing really. Since Boss Babes started I just love the movement and all. So, it’s always a joy to be apart of that. But, opening for the legendary Ohio Players is just crazy!! When I told my mom (who’s musical choices molded me) she damn near cried!!

Your latest single “Intentions” has been received very well since its release. How was working with G-Jet and were you able to learn anything during the production process you may not have previously considered?

I love this song!! What’s so different and what I’ve learned while working on this song is the whole first verse and idea was from one of the producers!! That was the first time I actually collaborated with another writer & actually something I’ve always wanted to do!! I’ve always wrote my own songs but I like picking other people’s brains too!

How was that experience working with Tomar and the FCs?

It was so fun!! I’ve know the Williams since I was in elementary school so they are basically like family to me!!! It was so organic!

What are your thoughts on Austin’s evolving R&B/Soul scene and its future?

I love how much me and other R&B singers here in Austin are raising more awareness and existence. Like “hey, R&B is not dead y’all.” It might not be as trendy as rap and other genres but it’s definitely influential and I don’t want other artists and fans to forget that.

How do you feel you’ve grown since First Impression?

Wow! I fell like I’ve grown so much just as a person, a woman in all aspects…especially musically. My writing has evolved and my sound has broadened!

In honor of Babes Fest, who are some of the local ladies that have helped you during your young career?

My vocal coach Odessey Francis, she’s like my backbone. Her teaching methods are so flexible and she’s always teaching me something new. My best friend Alisha Ronez is now a co-manager of a popular rapper named Insomniac Lambs…she’s always believed in me and pushed me to go for what I know… also Nubia Emmon, Anastasia, Chakeeta B, Staci Russell.. man I can go on!! Lol

With your second album right around the corner what do you hope the near-future has in store?

What any artist would want!! Genuine success!! I’ve never toured on my own, that would be really dope!! And just reaching more of my goals like playing ACL and Blues on the Green & hitting more bigger and cooler festivals!!

Check out Alesia Lani’s hot new single ‘Intentions‘ below.

Catch Alesia Lani at Empire Control Room during Babes Fest on July 29 and opening for Ohio Players on July 30. Tickets can be purchased here and here

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Blackbird Blackbird at Empire Control Room July 22

Come vibe on the densely textured, head-spinning synth pop of Blackbird Blackbird on July 22 at Empire Control Room.

Blackbird Blackbird is the moniker of San Francisco-based wünderkind Mikey Maramag. His unique style of dreamy folktronica recalls influences from all ends of the musical spectrum; deeply textured, hypnotic songs pay homage to psychedelic pop the likes of Caribou and Washed Out, while the warmth of analogue instrumentation spliced with digital artifacts hints at contemporaries James Blake, Four Tet and Mount Kimbie.

Anthemic, dream-driven themes inspire Blackbird Blackbird’s work, where layers of electronic texture drape over organic sounds and ghostly vocals. Within elongated song structures, Blackbird Blackbird harnesses thematic elements of dynamism and composition to create depth and complexity, while never losing sight of his pop sensibilities.

For tickets and additional information visit:

Village People at Empire Control Room July 2nd

What better finale to Pride Month than a blowout celebration at Empire Control Room with the Kings of Disco, Village People, on July 2. Sure, it’s not technically June anymore, I know. But, isn’t it a point to be fashionably late?

Best known for their on-stage costumes of stereotypical masculinity and catchy hits such as ‘YMCA’, ‘Macho Man’ and ‘Can’t Stop The Music’, Village People is a one-of kind act that’s synonymous with dance music. The iconic disco band provides high-energy choreography with fun and lots of singing and dancing that amounts to great entertainment for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Catch the band that’s sold over 100 million recordings worldwide at Empire Control Room on July 2.

For tickets and additional information visit:


Devin The Dude at Empire Control Room Photo Review

Your ‘favorite rapper’s favorite rapper’ and Odd Squad oddball, Devin The Dude, hit the stage at Empire Control Room on Sunday evening floating on a purple cloud of velvet laced rhymes. At 46, the middle-aged stoner still possesses an infectious on-stage energy that gets a crowd half his age vibing from the contact-high. The rapper’s calm, easygoing demeanor and laid-back persona provide an enjoyable authenticity to his music and have helped him acquire fans of all demographics. He’s a lovable everyman…a storyteller who fills his rhyming narrative with relatable anecdotes and humorous recollections derived from a life of chasing vices. Devin’s latest album, Acoustic Levitation, is his first full-length since 2013’s Landing Gear and is an ode to the classic themes The Dude loves most…weed, wine and women. After the crowd got lit with openers Pure Pressure, 5-D and King Tez & Sukeyy, it was time for Empire to levitate with The Dude. Photographer J. Alan Love captured the cloudy highlights below.


Venue: Empire Control Room

Photos by: J. Alan Love