Andy Bothwell looks like just another tow-headed, vintage-T-shirt-wearing college guy you might see weaving through Deep Ellum, looking to score another round. As Astronautalis, one of the growing breed of hip-hop performers who dress more like indie rockers, Bothwell has been called a cross between Eminem and Atom and His Package. But this ain't a novelty act. Astronautalis--formerly of Dallas, currently of Jacksonville, Florida--combines a Southern drawl, clever wordplay, vivid imagery and unconventional rhythms into poetic songs with both the sentiment of indie rock and the urgent beats of hip-hop. On "Gaston Ave.," he softly chants, "Your letters are the ladder I climb rung by rung/To claw my way up to the gates of heaven." His freestyle is also renowned--not only because he's a skinny white dude.
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Shannon Sutlief