As SXSW descends upon Austin, Texas, this year one of Central Texas' most renowned rap duos looks to capitalize on the influx of Hip-Hop listeners and tastemakers enjoying the two-week long movie, music and art festival.
Meet V.I.P., made up of Pimpin Pen and K-Paul, long time best friends and cousins, who have made the most of SXSW as it has gotten bigger and bigger every year. Expanding their contacts, meeting new fans and developing a buzz this duo is primed for radio, touring and can hang with the best when it comes to features. Having toured with Mike "5000" Watts and having got the official co-sign from the big homie, V.I.P. is as good oil in Texas, and we're not talking about the black oil.
With "stay flow" double cups in hand, V.I.P. has been making its runs across the South for years, developing a cult-like fan base in Central Texas and the surrounding regions. Dealing with health scares and the trials and tribulations of being incarcerated, Pimpin Pen and K-Paul have been through it all just to get this point. Now with a yet to be titled EP which has a host of features including Freddie Gibbs, Doughbeezy, Propain and many more, V.I.P. is on the verge of reaching what many said would impossible.
AllHipHop: Tell us a little bit about Central Texas and how your home town has shaped your music....
Pimpin Pen: Austin is what I call a BIG COUNTRY TOWN. You have The University of Texas the center point of the city but so much grit under the city lights. Most of the population here comes from various parts of the world so its a big melting pot. We are born and raised here so our roots run deep. We have a big family here that's well known from sports to just being real good folks. With that being said our support system is crazy. Like a machine within the machine. Growing up in the environment we grew up in makes our music how we are. From the block to the church house you can't miss us. We are V.I.P.
AllHipHop: What is the history of V.I.P and how did K Paul and Pimpin Pen come together?
Pimpin Pen: K Paul and myself are first cousin's. We ended up writing a Christmas song with our older cousin Shell for our moms. That was my first rap I ever wrote. Didn't think the Christmas song would come to this. K and myself always freestyle on the block and wrote verses until one day K introduced me to some folks back in 99 when we then became a group (V.I.P.) and signed our first independent deal.
AllHipHop: Who were some of your influences growing up and developing your rap style? Who is popular where you are from?
K-Paul: Pac, DJ Screw (S.U.C), U.G.K, Outkast, Snoop, Each other. U gotta show love to Drew Brees, Chris Houston, James "Mandingo" Kirkland, LOEGZ, DJ Hella Yella, GO DJJB, Eleven8, Kydd Jones, V.I.P Always is reppin for the hometown!! We love Texas Hip-Hop and support it.
AllHipHop: You released Bottom of the 9th on Live Mixtapes.com recently, can you tell us about that project?
K-Paul: Bottom of da 9th is our latest work since 2006. It features European Grammy Award Winner El Axel, KiiKii Star, J Kapone and More. Production by Platinum Producers Nasty Kutt, TJ Music, Teddy Bladde, Hassan TMF and a few others that we been f*ckin with for a while. It's just a preview to our EP which has a bunch of dope artists on it. From the midwest word flipper Freddie Gibbs we got a host of talent on that tape. Then not to mention Doughbeezy, Propain and Big Chief this upcoming EP is going to be epic.
AllHipHop: What is the title of the next project that you will be releasing?
K-Paul: The next project is Untitled but currently in the works with features from Freddie Gibbs, Bo Roc of Dove Shack, Big Chief, Bluu Suede and a couple of TOP SECRETS.