The South by Southwest (SXSW) event, held annually in Austin, TX, has grown leaps and bounds, and has become the premier destination for discovery with its unique offering of original music, independent films and emerging technologies.
This year, the event has grown even more, as President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will both appear as keynote speakers at the event. Houston native and Rap-A-Lot Founder and CEO James Prince will also be a Keynote Speaker.
This marks the first time in the 30-year history of SXSW that a sitting President of the United States and the First Lady have participated in the event.
Year after year, SXSW serves as a launching pad for new creative content, new media presentations, music showcases and film screenings that allow attendees to be exposed to the creative genius of many of the world’s greatest entertainers, artists, tech-leaders and inventors. Conference panel discussions present a forum for learning and business activity thrives at the Trade Shows. The event sparks global networking opportunities, intellectual and creative intermingling among industry leaders and discussions that spark new ideas and carve the path for the future of each ever-evolving field, even after the events are over.
On Friday, March 11, President Obama will have a sit-down conversation about civic engagement in the 21st Century before an audience of creators, early adopters and entrepreneurs who are defining the future of our connected lives. The President will call on the audience to apply their ideas and talents to make technology work for every American, especially when it comes to tackling big challenges like increasing participation in the political process and tackling major issues like climate change.
On Wednesday, March 16, First Lady Michelle Obama will appear at SXSW Music to discuss the Let Girls Learn initiative, which aims to break barriers for the 62 million girls around the world who are not in school today – more than half of whom are adolescent. The SXSW Music Conference brings the global music industry together and offers the perfect platform to celebrate Women’s History Month, as the First Lady provides her call to action to support girls’ education.
“I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate our event’s 30th year than to welcome both the President and First Lady to SXSW,” said SXSW Co-founder Roland Swenson. “As each new generation comes up at SXSW they look for ways they can be of service, and it’s important to reflect and support that message. President and Mrs. Obama’s visit here will inspire attendees to that purpose.”
On Friday, March 18, Rap-A-Lot Founder and CEO James Prince will deliver a keynote interview with Rap-A-Lot artist Bun B, which will take place at 11am in Ballroom D of the Austin Convention Center.
James Prince, often referred to as J. Prince, is a visionary entrepreneur and pioneer in the hip-hop music industry. He founded the prolific and iconic Houston-based label Rap-A-Lot Records in 1986, partially as an incentive to keep a group of neighborhood teenagers in school and off the streets of Houston’s notorious 5th Ward.
The label has produced more than two-dozen Gold and Platinum records from artists such as the Geto Boys, Scarface, Do or Die, Big Mike, Bun B, Tela, Devin the Dude, Z-Ro and many more. This year, Rap-A-Lot is celebrating 30 years in business.
In the early 2000s, J. Prince partnered with his son, Jas Prince, to elevate future hip-hop superstars like Drake, who has become one of the most recognizable artists of this generation.
Prince has taken full advantage of his success at Rap-A-Lot, by developing several other business endeavors that extend far beyond the music industry.
Prince currently manages boxers through his company, Prince Boxing Enterprise. He has managed the boxing careers of championship fighters like Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Andre Ward and many more. He is also well known in the Greater Houston area for giving back to the community via his Care-A-Lot Foundation and the Prince Complex.
For over 15 years, J. Prince has given away toys for Christmas, turkeys at Thanksgiving, back-to-school supplies for students and much more. He even had a tremendous honor bestowed upon him by former Houston Mayor Bill White, because of his great contributions to the city of Houston. Mayor White declared January 30 of every year to be James Prince Day in the city of Houston, and J. Prince has lived up to that honor every year since. This year, he fed and supplied sleeping bags to hundreds of homeless people for the 2016 celebration of James Prince Day in Houston.
At the upcoming SXSW Conference, J. Prince will be interviewed by rapper Bernard Freeman, a.k.a. Bun B, who got his start as one-half of the iconic southern rap duo UGK, alongside the late Pimp C. Bun B has gone on to build a fruitful solo career, most recently releasing “Trill OG: The Epilogue” on Rap-A-Lot Records in 2013.
Bun B has made forays into areas outside of music, most notably serving as a co-lecturer at Rice University and the release of Bun B’s Rap Coloring Book in 2013.
If you are in the city of Austin for the 2016 SXSW event, be sure to swing by and check out President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and the phenomenal conversation between two of Houston’s best and brightest in the entertainment industry, James Prince and Bun B. More details regarding location, time, streaming, and access to all events can be found on the SXSW website.