August 22, 2012 |
There's not going to be a giant fence surrounding the big Made in America music festival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway during Labor Day weekend. There will be two. And city officials say that will be sufficient to provide concertgoers with a safe, enjoyable experience and to keep out those who don't buy tickets for the Parkway's first-ever paid event. Twelve days before the first chord is to be struck, the City of Philadelphia on Monday released preliminary details about how the event will function and promised to release more throughout the week.
August 21, 2012 |
LOS ANGELES - Tip "T.I. " Harris has spent considerable time in recording studios and a prison cell. He's now occupying an entirely different kind of box: Your TV set. The Grammy-winning rapper is building an acting career by appearing alongside Kelsey Grammer in Boss, the Starz drama that kicked off its second season Friday. For those who have seen T.I. in the feature films American Gangster and Takers , it's no surprise that Harris, playing a former gangbanger trying to take new turf in City Hall politics, is good.
August 8, 2012 |
When Chuck D, front man of the seminal hip-hop group Public Enemy, proclaimed that rap music "is CNN for black people," he spoke a truism of the time. By the late '80's, the Reagan years had stripped poor communities bare, crack cocaine had seeped in, police brutality ran rampant, and socially conscious groups like PE spit out the 'hood's hard-core truths with all of the delicacy of a sledgehammer. But try to find a CNN MC today. For every Mos Def or Talib Kweli, there's a surplus of Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj wannabes - all puffed-up and profane style rather than socially charged substance.
August 4, 2012
'We got a lot of feedback last year about the music programming" for the 2nd Street Festival, says Levi Landis, executive director of the Philadelphia Folksong Society. "And one thing we heard over and over from people was that they wanted more music. So this year, we've staggered the start times from stage to stage so that no matter where you are during the festival, there's going to be someone performing live music very close by. " There are a lot of great acts to catch. Here are five: Man Man (5 p.m., Piazza Stage)
July 30, 2012
Shouldn't the first question be "Is Frank Ocean good?" rather than "Is Frank Ocean gay?" Of course, it should, so let's start off by answering that query. Frank Ocean, the 24-year-old R&B singer, songwriter, and producer who took the frequently homophobic hip-hop world by surprise July 4 by revealing on his Tumblr blog that his first love was a man, is very good. When he played a sold-out show at Union Transfer in Philadelphia on Wednesday, Ocean made abundantly clear what was already obvious to anyone who has been listening to his music, starting with nostalgia, Ultra , the 2011 mixtape that was released (and remains available)
July 16, 2012 |
If alternative hip hop ever went looking for heroes, it could have thrown a rock and hit two of them on Saturday night when producer/rapper EL-P and MC Killer Mike packed the Trocadero. Not to be confused with progressive-rock elders ELP (Emerson Lake and Palmer), the Brooklyn-raised Jaime Meline has been making noncommercial, noisily low-fidelity music with harsh lyrics since the 1990s with his Company Flow trio. After going solo, he put his money where his mouth was in the early 2000s when he started the Def Jux label and released equally adventurous offerings such as Aesop Rock and Philly's RJD2.
July 11, 2012 |
A NORTH PHILLY preacher isn't offering an "amen" to a Philly rapper's most recent offering. The Rev. Jomo K. Johnson is calling for a boycott of Meek Mill, one of Philly's most popular hip-hop artists, after being offended by the lyrics of Mill's new single. The song's title? "Amen. " The song, which also features Canadian rap superstar Drake, is blasphemous because it thanks God for what many would consider rather ungodly things, says Johnson: freewheeling sex, money, violence.
June 11, 2012 |
There's something not quite right about Drake. The 25-year-old Canadian hip hop sensation went multiplatinum with 2010's Thank Me Later and his recent Take Care. His multi-rapper show on Saturday at Camden's Susquehanna Bank Center, performed under the umbrella concept of Club Paradise, was packed with rabid fans. Drake should be enjoying himself, right? He talked up going to that Club, meeting ladies, getting drunk like his daddy and uncles once did (?!) on anything that was liquid.
June 2, 2012 |
Between a calendar of multi-act festivals and single-name attractions, it's going to be a busy summer concert season, outdoors and in. Besides the shows highlighted below, there are several fests worthy of attention - from the Metallica-headlined Orion + More fest in Atlantic City on June 23 and 24 to the free Global Fusion fest on the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, whose R&B headliners include Estelle, Melanie Fiona, and Marsha Ambrosius....