Editor’s note: This article was originally published June 19, 2014

In a new Austin360 tradition we’ve taken the occasion of Juneteenth, a day in which African Americans across the state celebrate liberation from slavery, to check in with a local artist about Texas hip hop, a genre that traditionally speaks to the struggles of black folk. Reggie Coby, emcee and producer with Austin crew the League of Extraordinary Gz thinks Texas hip-hop is in a great place, more cohesive than it’s ever been, yet still marked by broad diversity. He urges his fellow hip hop artists to keep striving to push the scene forward.