The rain had slowed to an occasional spatter by the early evening and a young, very diverse crowded the stage on the west side of the Austin American-Statesman parking lot where Rae Sremmurd was set to play the MTVu Woodies Festival. The pair of brothers from Tupelo, Miss. burst onto the national scene in a big way last year rapidly rising from obscurity to YouTube superstardom. They’ve been one of South by Southwest hip-hop’s hottest acts this year and their high octane performance evidenced why. 

The brothers opened with the song that broke them “No Flex Zone” and the crowd went wild. They play dirty dance club rap with simplistic beats and chantable hooks that provide a perfect framework to “wild out” which is exactly what they did. In the process they got the audience crazy “turnt up” as they say. By the end of the set when they urged the crowd to chant “Sremmlife” the name of their new album they readily complied. ??As soon as rapper Action Bronson took the other stage it was clear that while the two groups both exist in the hip-hop universe they’re on completely different planets. Bronson was ushered in with lush complex grooves courtesy of mixer The Alchemist. His rhymes are straight up grimey NYC style reminiscent of Wu-Tang though he’s definitely outgrown the easy Ghostface comparison developing his own distinct style. The chef rapper’s lyrical dexterity was impressive and his newer songs show an expanded emotional depth. “Actin’ Crazy” was a big hit with the crowd and when he brought Chicago rising star Chance the Rapper out to cameo on their excellent new track “Baby Blue” the crowd went completely nuts. The song is richly produced with a catchy hook and both rappers come correct with their flows in a way that clearly establishes them both as leaders of their generation.