Tribe Mafia

Tribe Mafia: “Take Me” (feat. Erik Goca)

It’s beyond satisfying to hear a homegrown Austin artist not just outside the local city limits, but in a piece of media that gets global reach. And while it may be impossible to top White Denim in the official Nintendo Switch trailer, we gotta give it up to Tribe Mafia for their recent induction into the world of film. Following a formidable debut in 2016, this Austin-based hip-hop/R&B duo’s dropped at least an EP’s worth of singles each year, save for an understandable lull between their March 2020 LP Teepee Gang and last Valentine’s Day’s “Sound of a Heartbreak”. But now, on the other side of the pandemic, Tribe Mafia’s once again in tip-top shape and sharing their gifts at an impressive rate. And it’s not just a matter of quantity over quality; no, these songs could only be sourced from two well-seasoned sonic shaman. And there’s proof in the pudding! One of Tribe Mafia’s latest and greatest found its way not only into the trailer for My Partner, but as an emotional centerpiece of this groundbreaking queer artistic accomplishment. So even if you haven’t seen My Partner yet, if you take a minute to sit black, close your eyes, and let the Erik Goca-featuring “Take Me” paint a picture behind your eyes, you’ll quickly pick up on its intrinsically provocative cinematic pop character, not unlike Swae Lee and Post Malone’s Spiderverse “Sunflower”.

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.

How Austin’s housing market helped build the music scene, and how it could destroy it

In the latest episode of Pause/Play, we’re looking at how the housing market helped build Austin’s music scene, and how it could be the thing that destroys it.  You’ll hear from Austin artists about how the housing market has changed for them over the years and why some of them have decided to leave. You’ll also learn about the connection between cheap housing and thriving music scenes, musician incomes, and Austin’s housing market from experts Nicky Rowling, Michael Seman, and Audrey McGlinchy.

In this episode you’ll hear from:

Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel
Robert A. Kraft
Laura Mendoza from Cosmic Chaos
Gina Chavez
Chinasa Broxton 

Listen to the documentary “Back Home to the Armadillo”

Laura Mendoza of Cosmic Chaos is pictured on Dec. 3, 2021, at her home north of Austin. Michael Minasi/KUTX


To Play, or Not to Play?

In the latest episode of Pause/Play we tackle the question “To Play, or Play or not Play?” We asked 15 Austin Musicians the same questions — Have you performed during the pandemic?  Are you ready to perform now?  What would it take to make you feel comfortable performing the way we used to pre-pandemic? Their answers provide insight into what it’s been like to be a musician during COVID and what kind of decisions artists are faced with now that more people are getting vaccinated and COVID restrictions are loosening.

AUSTIN, TX. May 7, 2021. Pause/Play. Tameca Jones is pictured in Central Austin. Michael Minasi/KUTX

In this episode you’ll hear from:
Tameca Jones
Chinasa Broxton from Tribe Mafia
Daisy O’connor
Topaz McGarrigle from Golden Dawn Arkestra
Yin & Yang
Gina Chavez
Corey Baum from Croy and the Boys
Megz Kelli and Dougie Do from Magna Carda
Sara Houser
Chris Conde
Daniel Fears

Let us know your thoughts! Take the Pause/Play Survey!

AUSTIN, TX. May 4, 2021. Pause/Play. Jaeh Ross is pictured in South Austin. Michael Minasi/KUTX

Listen to the Songs featured in “To Play, or Not To Play?”

AUSTIN, TX. May 4, 2021. Pause/Play. Topaz McGarrigle, of Golden Dawn Arkestra, is pictured at his home in East Austin. Michael Minasi/KUTX