Rock 'n Rap Day Party At The Paper Tiger

photo by Elizabeth Aguilar

photo by Elizabeth Aguilar


San Antonio’s music sensei (and “hip-hop tastemaker”), Ghostpizza, threw a pretty cool day-show party with Antwon and Power Trip to finish off those who hadn’t already been knocked on their asses by Fiesta. Surprisingly, the Paper Tiger popped off on a Sunday afternoon as those who had managed to survive the week crawled their way to one last hurrah on the strip.

The place flooded with tightly huddled minors, shirtless and sweaty, as the genres of rock and rap were sweetly spun together like ice cream swirled and served to them. The day (which started at 1 p.m.) slowly escalated from head bobbing to hair flipping as rappers Izaq Roland and P2 Goldma$k, and rock bands Headlock and BloodHound took their turns trying to get the crowd to come out of their hangover-induced shells.

With the early afternoon sun illuminating his shiny mask, PMG artist P2 Goldma$k held the mic in one hand and demanded a mosh pit from the crowd, starting his set off in front of the stage rather than on it. After seeing what he referred to as a “Fisher Price mosh pit,” P2 decided to pull himself out of the kiddie crowd and finish his set back on stage. 

The Cali-based rapper, Antwon, did it right making this is first show in San Antonio. With a background in hardcore and a degree in lyrical scribing, Antwon seemed to fit right in with Sunday’s scene. With a warm, husky voice and dreamy RnB mix-ins, the San Jose rapper and his right-hand man, Sad Andy, had no problem getting everyone in the crowd to show some color (despite the fact that nearly everyone there was wearing black).

No sooner did Power Trip plug in their trio of electric guitars, some shirtless kid was running around the mini mosh pit (that had just formed) wearing a helmet. Others were tossing themselves back and forth from one side of the pit to the other like a game of Red Rover. Others were spinning their arms and kicking their legs, releasing pent-up emotions that rose up and intoxicated the rest of the standing crowd. By the time the band had finished, every face was drained of life and drenched with sweat.

It made perfect sense why the left Power Trip for last.  Note: I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical when seeing the lineup for the first time. Biggie’s reincarnate Antwon and Power Trip, the hardcore shedders? Local hip-hop experimentalist P2 Goldma$k and the vicious jugular vein-popping band BloodHound? I’ll admit I had never experienced a mix of genres quite like the one created that afternoon. What was really interesting was that as I listened to each performance, I realized that this lineup wasn’t just a random mix of metal bands and rappers. Rather the lineup had been strategically put together, brilliantly placing the interchangeable elements of each genre within each one other. I definitely want to see more San Antonio lineups and shows like this in the future. 

Shout out Ghostpizza.

Sobre Spotlight: Brandon Sono

I go by Brandon Sono, I’ve lived in different parts of town and I’ve always had a love for hip hop. I felt the calling; it’s what I love to do so I make music. It’s what I like and I hope it resonates with the world. I try to implement a message in what I do just to express the concept in things and not just contribute to the watered down kind of music going on now. I just do what I want to do and how I feel.

Any musician can tell you that what they do is more than just a hobby. It’s a way of life; it’s something you pour your heart and soul into.

“I draw inspiration from the world around me, from myself, personal struggles trying to provide an escape from common reality and just what I like, and what I grew up liking like Tu Pac but I also listen to Toro Y Moi,  I’m all over the place, I just make the best music I can possibly make," Sono had told Sobre Sound.

When Sobre Sound first spoke with Sono he was fresh off of his “The Let Me Live Project”,  

“I wouldn’t even classify it as an EP or anything like that,” said Sono. “Certain type kind of described my life. It’s in a trap direction, creative trap, so I wanted to travel down that way cause that’s kind of like my first project KATONA which stands for “conquer and take on needed assets” which is like a personal thing, trying to conquer myself, take what I need. “Let Me Live” is just kind of a better understanding of what I want to take now. These upcoming projects are going to go deeper and I don’t plan to stay in one genre, I plan to push the limits on creativity.”

Sono just released  his newest track "No Luck" produced by IGNOVNCE that emphasizes just how much hard work goes into success and how it isn't all just about work lyrics such as "Fuck a ghost writer, I'm the one who wrote it," embody that frame of mind with the flavor of San Antonio with a play on words in Spanish. 

Apart from creating music, Sono also uses his skill set to help others with creative minds. He began "Nu Age" a creative platform to have other artists and musicians have the work recognized on a larger scale.  “Nu Age is a collective of different artists on different mediums it’s going to be music, painters, and all around artists and graphic designers so just trying to give back to the community in any ways artistically," explained Sono. 

Creative hubs are no strangers to the San Antonio music scene in essence, and though San Antonio was once known as "Metal Mecca" of the nation and has since developed  a strong following of music in rock genres, the rap genre in San Antonio is quite often overlooked or under appreciated despite it's uncanny drive for creativity and success. 

“I’ve been doing music on my own before, but it wasn’t until recently that I’ve dove deeper into it.  Since I’ve gotten into it, I’ve learned different things from different people who have been in it longer," Sono said on the situation, "It’s getting a little bit less about the politics because the younger generation is kind of taking it over now and are more progressive thinkers that are legitimately friends so it makes things easier to push forward and I do see the prominence in those other genres as well and it could be more of a communal thing. As a city, we should do more communal events, mixed events and that’s where I see things could help. Hip Hop [here in San Antonio], I don’t know who came before and what they did but it doesn’t have a good reputation and people don’t respect some of the venues." 

It's young bloods like Sono who are redefining the hip-hop scene here in San Antonio and pulling it away from the reputation it's had in the past. 

“I grew up with what everyone was listening to, 50 cent GRODT but I had different visions, goals with my music. I want to make the best music, I want to make music to where people remember me. Like what I do I do as me, I’m not trying to be anyone else but me and trying to help the world if possible,” he explained. 

After the release of "No Luck", Sono has shown no signs of slowing down. Sono told Sobre, "So, I got a new video coming first and foremost called "Dark Knights" which will be directed by Bryce Williams (o2 visualz) with additional help from Joshaveli & Art Guzman who are apart of Nu Age . A steady stream of music will be released via Soundcloud and I also have a couple of projects in the works with release dates to be released soon. Additionally, I have some other visual projects on the way."

.You can find Sono this Saturday Nov. 7 performing at Imagine Book Store along side The Arkeologist, The Inf, Jupiter Thief and Smith + Robot. 

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