photos by Jesse DeFlorio and Amanda Hatfield

Soul/funk/rap hybrid Anderson .Paak was one of the artists we were most excited to see at SXSW. I caught him twice, including a set for a packed house at the massive Mazda + Hype Machine’s Hype Hotel on Friday night, and he more than lived up. Like I've said before, Anderson sings, raps and drums, and he's genuinely great at all three of those things. He's got an ace band, including a guitarist, a bassist and a DJ, and they're not just impressive on a technical level, they're genuinely fun too. The cheering crowd on Friday night would probably agree.

Hype Hotel was also quite the scene in general this year. Again, it was a massive room, and it also included an outdoor area with lots going on besides live music. There were light-up Mazdas on display, a makeshift recording studio set up in a see-through box where bands could spontaneously record a song while anyone stopping by watched, and a Don Julio truck with various tequila drinks. (On the drinking note, everyone who came to Hype Hotel got two tickets for free Bud Light or Tito's vodka, and that's really what SXSW is about, right?) Music was playing over the speakers in the outdoor section too. It was really just a nice place to hang if you needed a little escape from the rest of SXSW craziness.

Meanwhile, Anderson, who also caught up with Nardwuar at SXSW, appears on "Dapper" on Domo Genesis' debut LP Genesis, which is out today. Check out the video for that song, which also stars Tyler the Creator and other Odd Future members, with more pictures of Anderson at SXSW, below...

Hype Hotel

Brought to you by Mazda, presenting sponsor of Hype Hotel at SXSW. #MazdaSXSW #HypeON