September 26, 2015 |
Weeks after the hip-hop-heavy Made in America weekend, this year's most adventurous rap lineup sneaked into Philly while the rest of the world was concentrating on the pope's arrival: Wednesday's gig with A$AP Rocky, the madcap likes of Tyler, the Creator, and Danny Brown, and dread MC Vince Staples on Festival Pier. "We're not about fake pop [expletive]," yelled Rocky, the headliner, talking about the underground nature of the night's quartet of rappers (Rocky is signed to Sony/RCA for big money, but one man's underground is another's pocket change.)
September 4, 2015 |
In the 1993 film A Bronx Tale , Calagero asks Sonny: "Is it better to be loved or feared?" Taylor Swift manages both. Whether it's removing her entire catalogue of music from Spotify or gathering in four awards at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday (including a controversial Video of the Year), Swift is a formidable - and, yes, feared - force in music and the music industry. As for love, when Swift and Nicki Minaj embraced on the VMA stage on Sunday, it was just the latest of many intriguing public displays of affection between Swift and the hip-hop world.
August 25, 2015 |
Now that "Straight Outta Compton" has proven to be a bigger hit than anticipated, would it surprise anyone if there's a rush of hip-hop biopics? How about "Don't Believe the Hype," the Public Enemy story. What about " Biggie vs. Tupac ," or Run-DMC 's "Walk This Way. " There's nothing that Hollywood likes better than finding a new potential sweet spot of filmgoers where it had never looked previously. "Compton" is an unquestionable hit. The movie finished in the top spot for the second weekend in a row with an estimated $26.8 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates yesterday.
August 21, 2015 |
Rapper Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" has become the black joy anthem of 2015. The lyrics, "We gon' be alright!" are chanted in protests, shouted at house parties, tweeted in solidarity, and spewed in fierce rebuttal. Now the proclamation of joy in the face of adversity is the inspiration behind the "Be Alright" college scholarship launched by Oogeewoogee.com . The Philly-based online publication, founded by entrepreneur Tom Stafford, is a "global multimedia outlet with an emphasis on Hip Hop and counterculture, and how those two intersect with society and current affairs," while stressing financial, technological, and multicultural unity.
July 22, 2015 |
The whole rap-metal/punk-hop thing is a fragile musical ecosystem. One overstep - too much thumb-popping bass, guitars crunching too clearly - threatens to turn you into a '90s dinosaur. No one wants to be tragically tagged as a Limp Bizkit wannabe, not even Limp Bizkit. So why did 311 - the 25-year-old Omaha ensemble - work so well when they raged Sunday across the AstroTurf lawn of Borgata Park in Atlantic City? Well, singer/guitarist Nick Hexum is still one of pop's best, most-underappreciated vocalists, and guitarist Tim Mahoney is a king of crisp garage fuzztones.
July 20, 2015 |
Alicia Montague-Keels likes the coffee shop in her apartment complex, the outdoor lounge with twinkling lights and a fire pit, the exposed brick and high ceilings that come with living in a converted 19th-century dye works. But that's not why she moved to Oxford Mills in South Kensington. "I love it because people are fighting for the same things that I'm fighting for," said Montague-Keels, who teaches fourth grade at a Philadelphia charter school. Oxford Mills is the first development of its kind in the city, billing itself as an "urban oasis for teachers and nonprofits.
June 26, 2015 |
The lineup for the fourth annual Budweiser Made in America festival has been announced, and the big star headliners are pop queen Beyoncé, who also headlined in 2013 (and who is married to festival curator Jay Z), and Canadian crooner the Weeknd (a.k.a. Abel Tesfaye) who was also recently featured at the Roots Picnic. Those two acts will top the bill on the Labor Day weekend fest on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway Sept. 5 and 6. This year, it's more of a hip-hop and R&B festival that includes other genres but does not emphasize them equally.
June 1, 2015 |
Long before they became late-night TV stars with Jimmy Fallon or were enshrined in the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame - which happened Thursday - the Roots tasted mainstream success with "You Got Me," a 1999 hit whose chorus was sung by a then-hugely popular neo-soul singer named Erykah Badu. On Saturday night at the ninth annual Roots Picnic at a sold-out Festival Pier, the Philly hip-hop heroes - who were introduced by Mayor Nutter - were reunited with Texas soul woman Badu, who jointly headlined the all-day event.
May 28, 2015 |
SURPRISE! The Roots are performing again at the Wawa Welcome America! Festival's Philly Fourth of July Jam. The Roots, performing at the festival for the seventh straight year, will be joined by co-headliners Miguel and Jennifer Nettles. With past performers who include high-profile names like Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and John Mayer, some observers have questioned the uniqueness of this year's acts. "In an incredibly diverse city like Philadelphia with a wide range of tastes in music, on the one hand it's probably virtually impossible to make everyone happy," Mayor Nutter said at a news conference yesterday at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.
May 4, 2015 |
One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities. When it comes to squishy boundaries, Fishtown's are among the squishiest. The 19125 zip code of which this Philadelphia neighborhood is a part "encompasses several different civic associations for whom boundary questions can be an issue," says Chris Somers, broker/owner of Re/Max Access in Northern Liberties, who sells and invests in Fishtown. No matter where the neighborhood begins or ends, however, it is "an extremely vibrant, hot real estate market, with new construction and renovated properties in high demand but with extremely low inventory," Somers says.