The Obscura showcase gives hip-hop and indie a new voice in West Philly

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Photo courtesy of Kieko Photography

For many local music fans, “West Philadelphia” is synonymous with DIY ethics and dingy basements, guitar howls and lost hearing. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, those whose predilections lean towards hip-hop and breathing room might feel short-changed.

Obscura creates a space for those others, building off of the Cedar Park neighborhood’s rich diversity and deep-rooted progressivism to create a space where incendiary hip-hop and indie music can find a home. The showcase is curated by Melissa “Lissa Alicia” Simpson, a local journalist and promoter who hosted the first Obscura in June at A-Space in order to showcase area hip-hop artists who otherwise weren’t getting much attention (hence the showcase’s name). She found the response to sets from rappers VISTO, Kno Picks, and others was so tremendous that she turned Obscura into a recurring event.

The Key has been ecstatically following the ascent of local rappers Verbatum Jones and The Bul Bey, both of whom are performing this time around. This installment also features performances from Omar OriginalMan Samir (of area rap collective Hungry Ghosts) and genre-bending singer/poet Luci Rising. DJ John Morrison, a prolific DJ who is perhaps best known as the man behind the ROCKERS!, will be commanding the 1s-and-2s throughout the night. While a future showcase has yet to be announced, the first instillation’s enthusiastic reception is a promising sign for this new series’s survival.

Obscura returns to A-Space this Saturday at 7 PM with Luci Rising, Verbatum Jones, The Bul Bey, Omar OriginalMan Samir, and DJ John Morrison. Click here for tickets and more information.

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