June 6, 2014 |
Despite all its pomp and circumstance, Baz Luhrmann's 2013 movie The Great Gatsby was hardly the most innovative iteration of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 masterpiece. Unlikely as it seems, that honor may well belong to Power (9 p.m. Saturday on Starz), a contemporary crime drama that counts Curtis Jackson, a.k.a. rapper 50 Cent, as one of its executive producers. Created by Courtney Kemp Agboh, the Emmy-nominated writer/producer of The Good Wife , and fueled by a powerful yet understated performance by Omari Hardwick, the series captures the spirit of Fitzgerald's novel while telling a story that's very much of our time.
April 16, 2014 |
Jose James mixes it up. And he's bringing that great mix to World Cafe Live Tuesday evening. His first independent release, 2008's The Dreamer , was filled with sauntering originals and Rahsaan Roland Kirk covers. James also has done collaborations with jazz pianist Junior Mance and drummer Chico Hamilton. In his work, the 33-year-old singer summons the earthiness of hip-hop, the lofty swing of jazz, and contemporary recording techniques for a bold, individual sound. And he will not be pigeonholed.
January 21, 2014
THE GUYS from Hip Hop Fundamentals don't look like the performers who used to show up at my school assemblies. They arrive in fly Kangol bucket-style hats and mock turtlenecks. On their feet, they rock Adidas Gazelle sneakers or Clyde Frazier basketball shoes, by Puma. And if I say they dance their butts off, I'm not exagerating. Trust me. These dudes can pop lock, head spin and floor rock with the best bboys around. Watching them perform on YouTube videos, I couldn't help but wonder why they aren't big stars doing their thing on VH1 or Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" instead of leading school assemblies.
December 21, 2013 |
Mainstage Center for the Arts presents its annual Holiday Concert & Family Festival this weekend at the Dennis Flyer Memorial Theatre at Camden County College. The two-day festival will feature performances by the Harmony and Encore Show Choirs, members of the Mainstage Dance Company (and the School of Dance), and the Mainstage Hip Hop performance group. Featured vocalists will be opera soprano Robin Wilson, who has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera, and country recording artist Sherry Lynn, who has performed with Crystal Gayle.
November 2, 2013 |
MEDIA Tyrone Gilliams Jr. billed himself as a man of many callings: A skilled commodities trader specializing in gold, oil, and diamonds. A hip-hop promoter with top-shelf connections. An up-and-coming philanthropist and former starter for the University of Pennsylvania basketball team. And, should circumstances warrant, even a part-time online preacher. But there was one job title the 46-year-old Media resident conveniently left off his resumé: Crook. On Thursday, a federal judge in New York City sentenced Gilliams to 10 years in prison for his role in securities and wire fraud schemes that bilked investors out of more than $5 million.
August 23, 2013 |
Become a doer, dream pursuer, purpose-driven Past meets the future in between no longer and not yet Rise up, young buck, never forget - From MK Asante's "Buck" MK Asante always seems in a rush, on the run, in pursuit. He had plenty of time to talk in a recent phone interview. It's the way he speaks and the way he thinks that fascinates. It's his extraordinary energy, his remarkable gift for thinking on his feet. He can hardly catch up with himself. The Philadelphia-raised poet, hip-hop artist, filmmaker, and university professor, who at 31 has accomplished more than some do in a lifetime, will be in town Thursday to read from his extraordinary page-turner of a memoir, Buck (Spiegel & Grau $25)
August 10, 2013 |
Run the Jewels is a band, and it's also 2013's best hip-hop collaboration. Rapper Killer Mike and producer/MC El-P are Run the Jewels, and their new eponymous album is both teamwork and a project that asserts its own identity, without sacrificing lyrical excellence or their usual whack grooves. Run the Jewels , the album, is not as seriously sociopolitical as El-P's Cancer 4 Cure , or Killer Mike's R.A.P. Music (which El-P produced). But with the exception of a fleeting few hard-line songs, Run the Jewels is a frank but funny friend-on-friend album - hip-hop's 2000 Year Old Man - that finds two of America's finest underground rappers convivially smack-talking.
July 18, 2013 |
Villa has been in the hip-hop fashion game since the baggy days of Cross Colors and Fubu. So execs of the retail chain figured if anyone could help designers from "the block" make fashion, they could. In winter 2012, Patrick Walsh, vice president of marketing, launched a contest calling on designers from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and surrounding states to submit their best work. More than 250 entered, and the winner, Khaleel Salaam, 30, saw his collection of men's fitted T's, hoodies, and tanks produced by the Philadelphia-based company.
April 6, 2013 |
Do you remember the pulsating beat and powerful lyrics of Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, or LL Cool J? Those artists were some of the key figures of old school hip-hop. They had a message, a unique style, a following, and no doubt a contract with a major record label. Today, the pioneer rappers have been replaced by Lil Wayne, Kanye West, and Big Sean. The message, the style, and fans may differ from the past, but the biggest change from old school to new school is the use of social media.
March 20, 2013
I LIKE Mayor Nutter. He's always been nice to me. Our kids go to the same school. We exchange pleasantries when we see each other. That's why I felt so bad watching city union members jeer him as he tried to deliver his budget address last week. Maybe if he'd reprised his inauguration performance of the Sugarhill Gang classic, "Rapper's Delight," things would've turned out differently. Because, frankly, it's hard to boo a brother when he's delivering lines like: "I said, a hip-hop the hippie to the hippie The hip hip a hop, a you don't stop The rock it to the bang, bang boogie Say up jumped the boogie To the rhythm of the boogie, the beat.