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Warren Acosta, Marfan Rhymesayer

Warren Acosta (right) at Marfa Public Radio on a previous visit in 2013 with Brian LeBarton, who produced and released his early material.

Warren Acosta is a West Texan through-and-through -- he's a Marfa native and college student at Sul Ross University -- but his rap nom de plume Coastadoesn't have a clear home.

Which you could say about a good portion of other rap today too. Regionalism -- the vernacular, the sound of an area, the product of scenes -- has been undergoing a slow collapse because of cross-pollination across the country. Thank, or blame, the Internet for this, particularly sites like Soundcloud and Youtube. Influences rarely come through word-of-mouth exchanges or local record stores anymore.

Acosta's Down and Out, a recent EP-length project, embodied this thought well, as has the slow trickle of one-off songs he's released since. At times he recalls the technical corners of the Internet underground -- The Underachievers from Brooklyn or Azizi Gibson from Los Angeles. At others he comes across as a ready populist, willing to step into bigger fishes' shoes. See his reworkings of Drake, Fetty Wap, and Young Thug songs. (Note the geographic diversity of all of the above.)

Acosta, 20, came by Marfa Public Radio as part of West Texas Talk to freestyle on-air, discuss these ideas about rapping in West Texas, his formative influences, and upcoming projects.


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