MUSIC

With a 'D' not a 'T': An Interview with Magna Carda

This is the coolest hip-hop act you haven't heard of.

The room is only half full, but the energy onstage is spilling out into the street, the steady thrum of Dougie Do's beats shaking the bottles at the bar.

"We're Magna Carda with a 'D' not a 'T'" spills matter-of-factly from Megz Kelli lips as she finishes up another song at Rockwood Music Hall. The live band holds and waits for Dougie Do's signal before launching into a miniature jam session replete with guitar and drum solos, Megz dancing and clapping on stage, enjoying the moment and never rushing. This is Magna Carda.

Born in Austin, Magna Carda's style floats somewhere between Rapsody and Esperanza Spalding. Their arrangements are complex, drawing influence from all over the musical landscape. The main difference between them and other hip-hop groups however, is live instrumentation. There are no trap snares or hi-hats, just a drum kit and a bunch of dudes with instruments. That said, the undisputed star of the show is Megz Kelli, a performer and artist who's completely comfortable in her own skin, tackling a wide range of subjects from interpersonal dramas to the current political climate.

Magna Carda has shared the stage with rap stars like Raekwon and Joey Bada$, and is at the forefront of Austin's bourgeoning hip-hop scene. With the last show of their first headlining tour wrapping up last night, we figured we give Megz and Dougie (aka Chris Beale offstage) a call to talk hip-hop, brands, and Kanye West in this PopDust extended interview.

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Zelda Williams

This weekend, Eric Trump gleefully shared a video of the late Robin Williams making fun of presidential candidate Joe Biden that bore the caption, "Robin Williams Savages Joe Biden."

Zelda Williams tweeted in response, "While we're 'reminiscing' (to further your political agenda), you should look up what he said about your Dad. I did. Promise you, it's much more 'savage.' Gentle reminder that the dead can't vote, but the living can."

Robin Williams, who would have turned 69 last month, had certainly poked fun at Joe Biden. In the clip shared by the younger Trump, Williams quips, "We still have great comedy out there, there's always rambling Joe Biden, what the f***... Joe says s*** that even people with Tourette's go, 'No. What is going on?'" He continued, "Joe is like your uncle who is on a new drug and hasn't got the dosage right...I'm proud to work with Barack America — 'He's not a superhero, you idiot — come here!'"

His comments about the current president were far more incisive and far-reaching. For example, in 2012, he referred to Trump as "a scary man" and "the Wizard of Oz" because "he plays monopoly with real f***ing buildings."

Of course, these jokes are based in very real calamities. Many of Trump's real estate projects and business ventures have notoriously fallen through or crash-landed completely, landing him in massive debt. Yet time and time again he was bailed out by his father, Fred Trump, who paid millions to keep his son's delusions of glory alive. He was also bailed out by a variety of banks (and still owes Deutsche Bank an outstanding $350 million). In some ways, it's no surprise that Trump will leave America sick, in debt, and in crisis.

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