SXSW 2009: Charles Hamilton Brings Hip Hop To The Hipsters

By Andrew Ross Rowe

“Only [he] can get away with something like this.”

Charles Hamilton’s process of playing shows and putting out music has something you won’t find with other artists, a truly personal touch. We caught up with the rapper at the primarily short-shorts and western shirted SXSW conference in Austin, Texas. He gave us the low down on his plan for his hip hop roll out in 2009.

The self described Hamiltonization Process lays out a unique schedule of mixtapes, songs and tour dates. “I’m literally coming directly to you” said the MC. But what’s different in his approach is the nonchalant attitude and confidence he displays. “What I’ve been doing here at SXSW, is chillin’. [I'm] not looking for much attention. [I'm] enjoying the death metal bands and going to the hip hop spots here and there. [I'm] really just enjoying the environment.”

This relaxed style of interaction seems to be working. His performance at Bird’s Barber Shop on Friday only showcased three songs including “Brooklyn Girls” and “Windows Media Player” but the crowd wasn’t disappointed by the small set. They showered him with accolades and cheers to bring him back for an encore. He gave them a freestyle as a goodbye gift before making his final exit.

Hamilton laments about his approach during our interview: “I think its an aspect of the spotlight that’s really being ignored that your average ‘celebrity’ is not really ready for.”

Obviously as his popularity increases, things might change. But for right now, you can check C-Hams in the streets of Austin without a big head.


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