Prezi at SXSW: It’s a Rap


For a few weeks each year, Austin, Texas, is transformed into a Mecca for technology enthusiasts, musicians, filmmakers, educators, and more. That’s right, it’s the South By Southwest festival. They have a saying down there, “Keep Austin Weird,” and during SXSW, it gets especially so.

This year, we set out to try and do something completely different. We’d heard about SaulPaul, the Houston-based rapper, youth mentor, and entrepreneur. After talking with the man himself, we agreed to collaborate on an experimental project dubbed the “SXSW Recap Raps.”

Each day, SaulPaul was to record a song to “rap-up” the keynote speech, immortalizing the speaker’s message in rap form. Then, our lead prezi designer, Steve, would take the audio and produce a rapid-response prezi to accompany it.

The result was five SXSW Recap Raps:

1. An intergalactic, 3D prezi to illustrate PayPal founder, Tesla Motors CEO, and space travel innovator Elon Musk’s talk about bringing commercial space travel to humanity.

2. A playful rap about designer Tina Roth Eisenberg, alias SwissMiss, and the 11 rules she lives by.


3. A recap prezi of OUYA founder Julie Uhrman’s talk about her crowd-funded, open-source Android gaming console that will be coming out later this year.

4. A comic strip style prezi that pays homage to The Oatmeal, the popular web comics series by Matthew Inman, who shared his recipes for hilarity and his awe of Nicola Tesla.

5. A prezi for Dave Grohl, ex-Nirvana drummer cum Foo Fighter, and his keynote encouraging people to just “do it for the music.”

Our hope was that these Recap Raps would provide a more spontaneous and fun way to experience the goings-on at the SXSW festival. We tried to go beyond the traditional journalistic summary and create a unique and entirely new audio-visual form that would amplify and complement the ideas being shared in the live presentations. A big thanks to SaulPaul for his amazing raps. We hope y’all enjoy!

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