Detroit rapper and overall madman Danny Brown brought Red Bull Sound Select 4 Days In Austin to an end last night. With headlining performances by Earl Sweatshirt (with appearances by Schoolboy Q and Tyler, The Creator), Jagwar Ma, Twin Shadow, and Sleigh Bells, it's been a wild, exhausting, but ridiculously fun week. What better way to say goodbye (until next year) than with a crazy set by Danny Brown? How about a crazy set by Danny Brown with special guests Ab-Soul and then Mannie Fresh?
But first. Last night's opening performances provided a good sampling of up-and coming rappers, starting with Austin's own Kydd Jones, who knew how to work the local crowd, and who brought out Top Dawg Entertainment rapper Ab-Soul for his first appearance of the night. Ab-Soul did not lay down a single bar. But that would come later.
A.Dd+, the Dallas duo of Paris Pershun and Slim Gravy, followed Kydd Jones and delivered a wide-ranging set, rapping over beats that sometimes leaned heavily on the '90s and sometimes crashed into electronic dance. A.Dd+ are polished in their songwriting, and their set exhausted every bit of the stage and then some. During their finale, Slim Gravy charged into the middle of the audience. A crowd huddled around him and jumped to the finish.
Chicago's 17-year-old up-and-comer Lucki Eck$ took the stage next with a contrasting set. He didn't bound on stage. There was no blasting beat. He walked slowly to the microphone stand, held onto the mic with two hands like a rock frontman, and calmly settled into the spotlight with a slow-tempo set. Lucki has a distinct voice and an even more distinct style: it's slow and psychedelic, open and personal, perfectly exemplified by his recent song, 'Boomin',' which opened the set. Lucki's goal was not to stir things up but the delivery was no less engaging.
Which brings us to Danny Brown, who brought the party to Austin. With his 100 mph verses, he clearly did not need any help in getting the crowd -- most rapping along -- into the air with every beat. But after a few songs, Ab-Soul returned. This time, he didn't remain silent. He performed his song 'Terrorist Threats,' which originally featured Danny Brown.
Ab-Soul was not the only special guest of the night. When Danny Brown finished at around 12:45 a.m. Sunday morning, it was announced that New Orleans legend Mannie Fresh would take the stage to close out the night and 4 Days In Austin.