After nearly a decade in the music industry, hip-hop artists Dead Poets are gearing up for the show of their life.
The three MCs, who originally started out in 2001 as a five-member group called Ronin, are performing March 17-21 in Austin, Texas, at the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference.
"It's cool we're finally getting recognized for just being us," Chris Davis said. "We've always just done our own thing."
The group's agent booked five shows on several stages during the music festival. More than 1,000 musicians perform at SXSW each year, highlighting the best kept small-town secrets.
Nathan Kitzke smiled as he recalled Kanye West and Metallica played at SXSW last year, hinting they'll likely get to meet some big names.
While this is good news, the guys are immediately tackling the bad news: It's going to cost them $3,000 to get there. "I've always said we needed the right person to hear us," Davis said. "If we just get a shot for people to hear us, that's all it takes."
Fans can come support Dead Poets at 8 p.m. Nov. 25 at Ray's Golden Lion at 1353 George Washington Way in Richland. Their album, The Obituary Mixtape, will be on sale for $5 in order to raise money for their trip. The cover also is $5.
The MCs are looking to book another venue for a benefit concert in the near future.
"If 3,000 people donate $1, that's it right there," Davis said. "We're working on another Mixtape in the first part of January. We wanted to work with local DJs on it."
The crew will be the first to tell you that its genre of music is not at the caliber it used to be.
Said Gabe Alderson, "A lot of people hate hip-hop, but we're entertainers as well as artists.
Nevertheless, their hands are always extended and are looking forward to seeing the support from the community. "It's not about making money for SXSW, but also getting reacquainted with people," Davis said. "We've never been the type to beg for people to help us. We want the community to get behind one of their own."
◗ Bethany Woo: 582-1465; firstname.lastname@example.org