Austin hip-hop

Shout Out to the Women

Confucius and Fresh debate whether or not women are saving New York rap, and try and figure out if hip-hop fashion is better now than it was in the past.

You’ll learn Hip-Hop Facts about what R&B girl group passed on the Britney Spears hit “Baby One More Time,” the time Lloyd Banks almost signed with Kanye’s “Good Music” label, what Case is really saying at the end of “Missing You” and more.

Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that artists actually do need exposure.

Confucius talks about the Sriracha shortage, the Supreme Court’s ruling against affirmative action, and the implosion of the Ttan submersible on Confucius Reads the News.


No Austin Without Us

Confucius and Fresh talk to Jonathan “Chaka” Mahone about DAWA, the Black Live Music Fund, and the Sonik Frootz showcase at Antone’s.

You’ll learn Hip-Hop Facts about how ODB made it on Pras’ song “Ghetto Superstar,” the weird way Montel Jordan got signed to Def Jam, how Erykah Badu’s song “Honey” became a single, and more.

Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that Lil Wayne’s “A Milli” is a very overrated song.

Confucius talks about the disappearance of the Titan submarine, the House of Representative’s vote to censure Adam Schiff and more on Confucius Reads the News

Crew Love

Confucius and Fresh interview Austin comedian Jordan McDonald about his comedy, the scene in Austin, and his upcoming show “The Wonderful Unixorn Experience” at Rozco’s Comedy Club on June 23rd. Then, inspired by BET’s competition,  they debate which hip-hop crew is the greatest of all time.

You’ll learn Hip-Hop Facts about Steve-o’s run-in with Raekwon, which apparel brand was the first to be blurred out on Yo MTV Raps, the run-in between Samuel L. Jackson’s wife and Tupac on the set of Juice, and more.

Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that the 90’s sitcom Family Matters didn’t age well.

Confucius talks about the revelations around Trump’s handling of classified documents, the vandalism at the former Montopolis Negro School, and the Supreme Court’s decision on gerrymandering in Alabama in Confucius Reads the News.

Do Austin Artists Deserve Opening Slots

Fresh and Confucius talk about whether more touring shows should feel obligated to put Austin artists on their bills. And they debate the importance of deep cuts on albums.

You’ll learn Hip-Hop Facts about the story behind Ginuwine’s “Same Ol’ G,” why Aaliya’s “Come Over” almost didn’t happen, what record Tina Turner holds, and more.

Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that Snoop Dogg’s “Doggiestyle” is better than Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic.”

Confucius talks about Ron DeSantis botched presidential campaign announcement on Twitter Spaces, the movement on the deal to raise the debt ceiling, what’s been happening during the Texas legislative session and more on Confucius Reads the News.


Time > Money

Confucius and Fresh discuss Swizz Beatz recent comment that for him, time is more important than money. Then they discuss whether being a public figure makes dating more complicated.

You’ll learn Hip-Hop Facts about Dr. Dre’s and Ice Cube’s un-released record “Helter Skelter,” who the role of Rob was originally written for in the movie “3 Strikes,” what the highest-grossing hip-hop tour of all time is, and more.

Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that it is beneath Lil’ Kim to do a Verzuz with Nicki Minaj.

Confucius talks about the alleged assassination attempt on Vladimir Putin by Ukraine, Ron Desantis’s recent trip to Israel and his ongoing troubles with Disney, the recent bill that passed through the Texas Senate that would allow the Secretary of State to overturn elections in Harris Country, and more on Confucius Reads the News.

Stop It Melle Mel!

Confucius and Fresh discuss Melle Mel’s comments about Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, and Eminem. Then they debate whether or not best-of lists are an attempt to keep New York hip-hop relevant.

You’ll hear a special “What If?” version of Hip-Hop Facts where they ask what would have happened to Method Man’s debut album if RZA’s basement hadn’t flooded, what if Pimp C hadn’t gone to jail, and more.

Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that Melle Mel was right that Kendrick Lamar being named as one of the greatest rappers of all time is a bit premature.

Confucius talks about how US music retail revenue is up, the House’s investigation of Twitter, Tucker Carlson’s real feelings about Donald Trump, and more in Confucius Reads the News.




SXSBreaks is Back!

The Breaks talk about why Cardi B has stayed relevant, and reveal the lineup for SXSBreaks, the SXSW showcase featuring Austin’s best hip-hop and R&B Acts.

You’ll learn hip-hop facts about how Wu-Tang was the first rap group to do a worldwide tour with a rock band, who was D’Angelo’s “Devil’s Pie” originally belonged to, how good the original version of  Dr. Dre’s The Chronic really was, and more.

Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that Odd Future is the most underrated rap collective in history.

Confucius talked about the Eagles losing the Super Bowl, the recent UFO sightings in the states, and more in Confucius Reads the News.

Grammys So Black

Confucius and Fresh Interview Austin hip-hop artist Vintage Jay about his upcoming album and his other projects. Then they discuss the recent Grammy Awards, which featured a celebration of 50 years of hip-hop.

You’ll learn Hip-Hop Facts about the connection between Kanye’s song “Big Brother” and Prince, how Jay-Z ended up on Joe Budden’s “Pump it Up” Remix, why 50 Cent once played the Delco Center in Austin, and more.

Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that concerts, as we know them, may be winding down.

Confucius talks about the upcoming Super Bowl, Biden’s State of the Union address and the recent ice storm in Austin in Confucius Reads the News.


Advice for Austin Artists

This week Fresh and Confucius get real about what they think artists in the city should do career-wise. They talk about the importance of music videos, and when artists should try to start performing outside of Austin.

Plus, they celebrate Love Austin Music Month by playing an interview with J Soulja from ACLfest.

Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that paying for features by bigger artists isn’t always the best way to get your music out there.

Confucius talks about the recent involuntary manslaughter charges against Alec Baldwin, the debate over the debt ceiling, and Dr. Dre’s $200 million catalog sale in Confucius Reads the News

A Love Letter to Austin Blogs

Confucius and Fresh discuss Dez Bryant’s statement that Drake made Houston rap famous, and talk about how excited they are about the new batch of hip-hop platforms in Austin, TX.

You’ll learn Hip-Hop Facts about how Gerald Levert got Cam’ron to leave the streets alone, how DJ Quik helped on 50 Cents’ song “In Da Club,” how Aaliyah made it on a Kriss Kross song, and more.

Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that record labels don’t owe anything to artists who’ve broken the law.

Confucius talks about the recently recovered documents at President Biden’s house, TCU’s recent loss, Dre Dre’s showdown with Marjorie Taylor Greene, and more in Confucius Reads the News.

6 Years of The Breaks!

Confucius and Fresh celebrate The Breaks’ 6th anniversary by telling the story of the show’s origin and talking about their proudest moments from the last 6 years. Then they talk about why women are pulling ahead in Austin’s hip-hop scene.

You’ll learn Hip-Hop Facts about why Nipsey Hussle turned down the opportunity to play Snoop Dogg in Straight Outta Compton, who André 3000 originally wrote “Prototype” for, what NWA song Ice Cube wishes he was on, and more.

Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that DJ Khaled’s over-the-top aesthetic has run its course, and Confucius respectfully disagrees.

Confucius talks about Tory Lanez recent conviction for shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Keven McCarthy’s trouble getting elected as Speaker of the house, and his own deep need for the Eagles to win the Superbowl in Confucius Reads the News.






Merry Listmas!

It’s the last Breaks podcast of 2022! To celebrate, Confucius and Fresh debate the importance of end-of-the-year lists and discuss their hopes and predictions for 2023.

You’ll learn Christmas Hip-Hop Facts about the songs “Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto,” “All I Want For Christmas is You,” “This Christmas” and more.

Fresh States the Unpopular Opinion that people don’t have to be formally trained in hip-hop to be considered professional rappers.

Confucius talks about the trial of Megan Thee Stallion and Torey Lanez, the outcry over Brittney Griner‘s release, Gunna’s release from prison, and more.


Is Rap Dead?

Confucius and Fresh discuss why some artists are so selfish and delusional. Then they try and nail down what makes an album a “classic.”

You’ll learn Hip-Hop Facts about how Prodigy and Busta Rhymes almost ended up with the beat for Jay-Z’s “U Don’t Know,” what happened when Michael Jackson met Princess Diana, how the Lox almost got signed by Suge Knight, and more!

Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that hip-hop is dead.

Confucius talks about the death of PnB Rock, Lindsay Graham’s proposed 15-week abortion ban, Cardi B’s plea deal, and more on Confucius Reads the News.

State of the Austin Union

Confucius and Fresh talk about the current state of the Austin R&B and rap scene. They also discuss whether radio is still important and what needs to change for it to stay relevant.

You’ll learn Hip-Hop Facts about how Joey Bada$$ really feels about his song “Devastated,” how Dipset ended up with an office in the Def Jam building, who gave Irv Gotti his name, and more!

Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that Megan Thee Stallion might be a little overrated.

Confucius talks about the Uvalde School Board’s decision to fire police chief Pete Arrendondo, Offset’s lawsuit against his record label, the Biden administration’s decision to forgive some student loans and more in Confucius Reads the News.

Tribe Mafia: “We Matter”

With only one month of reflection and healing between the racially-targeted attack in Buffalo and the second official observance of June 19th as a Federal Holiday, Juneteenth came amidst an especially complicated sociopolitical context in 2022. On a day meant to celebrate the power and resilience of Black Americans, the troubling juxtaposition forced us to once again reexamine the seemingly-institutionalized norm of anti-Black violence in our country. That scrutiny also gave Black Texans (the same demographic who first commemorated Juneteenth) a national spotlight to chime in from our deeply divided state, our microcosm of the nation.

Among those who contributed to the discourse? Austin duo Tribe Mafia. Chinasa Broxton and Carlos Moore formed Tribe Mafia as high school friends back in 2010 and they’ve built up a chiefdom of acclaim and support over the dozen years since. Tribe Mafia refined their subdued R&B/Latin-trap formulas on the 2017 EP For You before going even harder for 2018’s The Come Up. And although TM went straight up southern trap on their 2020 eight-track Tee Pee Gang, since opening for Akon to a São Paõlo crowd of 60,000 the previous year, they’ve also incorporated dancehall elements so well that the Island Boys sound like kindergarten castaways in comparison. But going back to Juneteenth…Tribe Mafia seized the moment of Kairos masterfully and left little room for misinterpretation in the process. With a haunting refrain that repeats the bare bones title, crushing Caribbean riddims, and completely candid lyrics, “We Matter” is Tribe Mafia’s boldest statement to date. If you’ve got the stomach for it, we cautiously recommend checking out the corresponding music video. “We Matter” weaves archival footage of unrest with poignant visual recreations for a chilling document that’s less a piece of commentary and more of a tortured last ditch cry for compassion.

Rest in Power DJ Kay Slay

Fresh and Confucius celebrate the life of DJ Kay Slay, and debate whether Future really is the best rapper alive.

You’ll learn Hip-Hop Facts about DJ Kay Slay, DJ Drama’s Gansta Grillz, and more!

After T-Pain called out the city of Dallas over low ticket sales, Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that artists can’t be mad about low ticket sales.

Confucius talks about the fall of Netflix, Future’s comments about whether he wants more kids, Florida’s decision to revoke Disney’s special status,  Jerry Seinfeld’s friendship with Wale, and more on Confucius Reads the News.

All About Samples

This week on The Breaks:

  • Confucius and Fresh take a deep dive into samples and hip-hop. You’ll hear about the samples in  MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This,” Big Krit’s first two albums, Joe Budden’s “Pump it Up,” Sisqo’s “Thong Song,” Puff Daddy’s “Been Around the Word,” Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby,” Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life,” Biggie Small’s “Juicy,” and more!
  • Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that Frank Ocean’s cover of the Isely Brothers of “At Your Best (You Are Love)” is better than Aaliyah’s cover of the same song.
  • In his Confucius Reads the News segment, Confucius talks about Cardi B’s recent legal win, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement announcement, the recent SWAT raid on NBA Youngboy’s house, and more!

You can hear the latest full broadcast of The Breaks Saturday night show.

Confucius Talks Depression

In this episode of  The Breaks

You can hear the latest full broadcast of The Breaks Saturday night show

Kydd Jones: “TV On”

As our hip-hop specialty program The Breaks celebrates five years on the air, we can’t help but give extra kudos to one of the shows’ main staples, Austin renaissance man Kydd Jones. On top of his never-ending drive in the hip-hop R&B realm, be it producing, writing, singing, or rapping, Jones has been dipping his feet into fashion and comedy (with a show at Antone’s next Thursday). Mayor Steve Adler even named Jones a Creative Ambassador in 2019 but it’s safe to say the distinction hasn’t gone to his head or slowed down his production flow. Kydd Jones just celebrated the release of his latest LP, Onyx D’or (No More Waiting), a towering sixteen-song collection that shifts from unapologetic club bangers to headier serenades like “TV On” with the drop of a hat. And when you’ve heard the record in full, catch Kydd Jones at the tail end ofLove Austin Music Month on Saturday January 29th with UGK legend Bun B at Antone’s.

5 Years of The Breaks

This week on The Breaks:

You can hear the latest full broadcast of The Breaks Saturday night show.