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.
January 18, 2014 |
When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the 20th century's saint of civil rights, told the world about the dreams he had, the list didn't include being lionized alongside American presidents such as Lincoln and Washington. It didn't include a holiday bearing his name on which all Americans, of whatever race, would celebrate the freedoms that only racial equality provides. While most of the MLK Monday holiday is dedicated to events humble, honorable, and often tinged with spirituality, there are parties throughout the weekend that include the sort of respectable dance-centric festivity worthy of King's potent message.
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 4, 2013 |
Philadelphia's salesman-in-chief launches his international pitch Sunday at London's iconic Savoy Hotel, which boasts itself as "brilliantly reinvented for the 21st century. " That's not quite Mayor Nutter's claim for Philadelphia, but not terribly far from it. For the next eight days, first in London and then Tel Aviv, Nutter and a small armada of area agencies, boosters, and businesses will sell Philadelphia as a world-class city open, as the mayor says, for business. Nutter and his contingent, among other things, are looking to persuade overseas companies to expand to Philadelphia and consider partnerships and sales agreements with firms in the area.
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.
October 15, 2013
TOMORROW, one day after the fourth anniversary of the day he mistakenly became a good Samaritan, Douglas Baylor will move one step closer to justice. I doubt that Baylor, 51, thinks helping someone was a mistake, but his good deed started a chain of events resulting in physical pain, mental anguish and financial loss. After kicking around in the courts for a couple of years, Baylor gets a status conference tomorrow in New Jersey Superior Court. The conference is needed, because the judge needs to know if Baylor wants to move ahead with his civil suit without an attorney.
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 26, 2013 |
WHAT DO Lady Gaga and Alex Rodriguez have in common? Both are planning their return from hip surgery. Gaga's is more likely to happen. The "Poker Face" singer will make her comeback at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 25. It will be one of her first appearances since going under the knife in February. She will sing her new single at the show, which will air live from Brooklyn's Barclays Center, home of the new-and-improved NBA Nets. Her new album, "ARTPOP," will drop Nov. 11. Justin Timberlake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis lead the VMA Awards with six nominations each.
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.