MKIT RAIN showed up and showed out at SXSW this year as they performed exactly one show at the festival, that show being the ERR;OR showcase with other artists like COLDE, Machina, and JVCKI WAI. They took that one single opportunity to connect with fans and show Austin just who MKIT RAIN is.
Loopy, Nafla, and the newest member of the tribe, Niahn hit the barely-lit stage and performed a classic banging set for a crowd full of hardcore fans, college kids, and scattered industry professionals. The crowd at Cheer Up Charlies was definitely a solid mix and showed enthusiasm, from the plastered party girls up front to a group of rappers who showed up incognito to catch their set in the back.
Niahn took to the stage first — young, shy, and quiet — facing an audience who watched him skeptically as he took the mic in his hands. “Hello, I am Niahn of MKIT RAIN,” he practically whispered into the mic, and with that he began the most feelsy set of emo sexy R&B tracks I’d heard all week. His voice was like a balm, soothing in every way. The collective skepticism completely melted away as he coaxed screams from the crowd and girls swooned around us. He warmed up quickly as his shyness evaporated. MKIT RAIN has always been a collective crew of hardcore rappers, but Niahn is a fresh addition to the team and brings in a bit of sound diversity with his smooth crooning and adorable stage presence.
Loopy followed up and we went from chill to raging party in the span of a single track. In a Louis Vuitton durag and massive iced-out RAINGANG chain, he hopped around stage seemingly avoiding the single non-moving spotlight. The crowd immediately moved to keep up with him as they jumped and danced, most reaching for him as he leaned into the crowd and fired shots for his targets into the mic. He was a nonstop onslaught of meticulous bars over fire beats. Loopy then hopped off stage and for a brief moment there it felt like the show was over.
Of course, it wasn’t. How could it be? Nafla hadn’t taken his place yet, and so he stepped on stage with his signature Rufio hair like a hardcore bar spittin’ sea urchin. In a plain white t-shirt and single low-slung iced-out spiral emblem minimalist chain, dude proceeded to snatch the wigs off of every single scalp in the outdoor venue like an angry gust of wind. By then the temps had dipped and we should have all been freezing. But the reality was we were too busy jumping around screaming and partying to even feel the temps, most of us hot from the exertion. Nafla drove the crowd as he dropped molten lava all over the stage, his presence alone eliciting screams that could be confused for a crime scene.
Loopy then rejoined Nafla, and even Niahn shuffled around the edges of the stage as they performed hard-hitting hits for the crowd that was now in maximum overdrive. Cheer Up Charlies was packed around the outdoor stage, overshadowing whatever sounds were playing inside the bar, and people from all over were partying hard as MKIT RAIN practically brought the sky down on us with their energy alone.
They touched hands, gave high fives, and even signed albums right from the stage edge, all during the finale of the show.
After the show, the guys conducted an impromptu meet and greet with fans. They huddled into a small tent on the side of the stage and met with as many as they could within the small amount of time they had before everyone was kicked out due to the lateness of the night. They handled it like champs as they signed albums, talked, and laughed with fans, coming off kind, down to earth, and very chill with the massive crowd that had developed as people waited to see them. And when they left, they walked out through the same doors everyone else did to cheering fans and smiles, waving as they headed to their SUV.
MKIT RAIN was on a tight schedule complete with jet lag and yet they still handled the event, their fans, and the general chaos of SXSW so well it was impressive. Next time they come back, they need to bring the whole crew!