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THRDLBL: The Third Year

by Alyssa Bunting 

They say good things come in threes, and though THRDLBL has implications of a trinity and well, a label, there are so many other factors at play when it comes to the THRDLBL collective.

First and foremost, they are a group of producers and rappers that collaborate on various projects, have a concrete support system and an insane Twitter presence that is inescapable within San Antonio and extends all the way to California.

Their sound is generally Trap but made up of smaller sample components that transition throughout the instrumentals, not the same repetitive rapping of a drum machine or the ever so tiresome garageband beats wrapped up in altered tempos. I would characterize the sound as  refined Trap.

The first time I spoke with the group, they were just about to release their album BARBADOS and gave me a glimpse into the Hip-Hop scene here in San Antonio. They told horror stories from the seediness of how some promoters work to 16 performers being on one bill in one night. They also described how they wanted to break away from all those situations. THRDLBL began booking their own shows and approaching venues instead of waiting for opportunities to fall on their lap.

Each member of the group has the right party component in their sound that results in a puzzle of pandemonium that landed them a sponsored warehouse party.

This past Tuesday, marked the anniversary of the THRDLBL collective. They celebrated by performing and DJing at Faust equipped with a lively crowd. Despite a speaker on the fritz, they kept the room electric; after their set, they laid down some 90’s Hip Hop for the remainder of the night. It was interesting to see them appeal to the younger crowd as well as the older.

Producer for the group, XANAXFANCLUB shared the story behind the anniversary, “On March 3, 2012 Joshua Springer [live] released a project called ‘White Lighter’ people started catching on and it was guerilla promoted. The show happened in the back of an old tattoo shop, there were over 200 people that came out and it was the first real successful event.”

The show also doubled as a last hoorah as they are going to tone down throwing gigantic events to focus on creating more music and working with different artists.

For example, XANAXFANCLUB is exclusively working with local rapper WHIZKIDDA, who used to produce exclusively for local rapper Millie Mars, on a project for local artist Abysss.

“He’s kind of like my mentor,” he admitted. “I met him about a year and a half ago and he’s taught me to be a better producer and really hone in on my skills.”

Another example is rapper Jeremy Kingg, currently working on an untitled album that is described as “more soulful” and personal and going in a direction that is uncharted territory for him.

Apart from throwing cray shows, cray parties, filming music videos, recording, producing and writing, XANAXFANCLUB let slip that THRDLBL is in talks of actually becoming a label.

The collective is an example of hard work and the love of music not declining among the younger musicians in the city, especially from within a genre that is not very well recognized here. When asked where he saw the group being on March 3, 2016, XANAX replied, “I honestly see us on a tour. By this time next year, hopefully we will be touring cramped up in a shitty van doing shows, with our original music in other cities. I really want to do a show in New York.”

Which seems suitable, New York is the city that never sleeps and THRDLBL is a collective that stays woke.