Monday, September 21, 2009

M.C. Overlord: Austin Music Staple to Play His Last Show

It is truly a new Austin now in comparison to when I moved here in 1995. There is even more traffic on I-35, ridiculous noise ordinances imposed on the Live Music Capital's best street, legendary venues gone the wayside and now one of Austin's music staples is playing his last show. Yes, Ten Time Austin Music Award Winner M.C. Overlord is playing his last show this Saturday. It is just another sign that the times, they are a changin'.

Originally from St. Louis, he moved to Austin in 1987. M.C. Overlord is known to his family and friends as Don Robinson. He once told me at a show sometime in the '90s when I was in high school that his name comes from a cartoon show called "Blackstar". Around that same time I remember buying his CD, House Funk, from him at that same show. The CD was not as good as his live show, particularly because he was one of the only local MCs at the time using a live band to back him instead of just a DJ. He wasn't going to be a superstar, this I knew even then. He was talented enough to give a good show and his magnetic stage personality was what made him exceptional. Everyone always had a good time at his shows.

M.C. Overlord

The single most impressive thing to me about M.C. Overlord was not his sack of Austin Music Awards (10 strong) but rather what he did for local hip hop in a time where Austin, whether it wants to admit it or not, didn't exactly embrace local hip hop. He somehow played venues where only the white crowds would go see shows, like Steamboat and  the club that used to be Bob Popular before it was Bob Popular. (If anyone knows the name, email me. I'm kicking myself for not remembering something I should know. I never went because I wasn't old enough, but lots of people used to talk about it back then.)

Recently, Overlord was part of "The Incomparable Boombox" who played every Tuesday at Lucky Lounge. I remember reading something about him leaving, but never followed up on it. I am just not interested in gossip like that. Even more recently, I saw flyers for him playing at The Dirty Dog Bar on 6th. Just the other day I heard him on 101X with Toby Ryan. Now I guess he's hanging it up. That's too bad, but it isn't like he didn't leave his mark on this town before "retiring". Austin and especially local hip hop artists owe him tons for the doors he helped open. For those who don't know or want a quick trip down Austin's memory lane, check out this video for M.C. Overlord's song "Remember". It is only fit.

Joining M.C. Overlord on Saturday will be St. Louis rapper, Nite Owl. According to Overlord's Myspace blog, fans who attend his last show will receive a free EP never before released material from the Austin M.C.There is no cover charge for the show. One2One Bar is located on 5th and Brazos St. Be sure and vote for it here on Do512.

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