The Key Studio Sessions: The Bul Bey

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The Bul Bey is, hands down, one of our favorite rappers in the city right now. He’s sharply observational, witty, catchy and charismatic. His single “Where I’m From” caught our ear when it dropped last year and provided local listeners a slice-of-life lesson about embracing and showing love for your hometown – even when it can it can be kind of a rough town. In the time since, Bey teamed up with Illvibe Media to drop his full-length Shaking Hands and Kissing Babies – a dual reference to a Murs lyric as well as a practice among politicians acting smooth and savvy on the campaign trail. Appropriately, he’s been hitting the live music scene hard in the time since then, which is where we find him during this week’s Key Studio Session.

Beyond being a great rapper, Bey is an outstanding performer, and this week’s session captures in full effect. He jumps around, he grooves but he doesn’t miss a line in his fast-paced lyrics. Over on the turntables and mixer, Illvibe’s Mr. Sonny James provides commentary via hype man vocals and gnarly scratches.  The new cut “Preview” guides us in, immediately followed by the infectious deep jam “All I Need.” The nightclub banger “On” hits hard, and of course “Where I’m From” brings it to a high energy close.

Check out the video for that last one and download the entire session below, and don’t miss any of The Bul Bey’s live shows in Philly this summer. On July 23rd, he performs at the Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest for The Key’s Waterfront Sessions, with an Ortlieb’s gig following in August. Meanwhile, you can find him at Kung Fu Necktie every third Saturday hanging out for Illvibe’s Friends and Fam night (the next one hits on July 18th). Get details at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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