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Byline: Southwest audience
AUSTIN, Texas_Two showcases were scheduled to start at the same time Wednesday night in separate rooms at the sprawling Emo's.
The rock show started on time, but the hip-hop showcase was slow to get going.
That's a good metaphor for the appetite for urban music at the mammoth South By Southwest Music Conference, a taste that is only now starting to catch on.
"It's happening slowly," says Tim Kotas, 30, who has lived in Austin for a decade and is president of the independent label Group Records.
Kotas was in the crowd for Wednesday's showcase by Rhymesayers, a highly regarded independent hip-hop label out of Minneapolis. He watched with Matt Smith, an aspiring rapper from Amarillo, Texas, who goes by the stage name Ntellect.
Smith, 25, says the Lone Star …