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Listen as “Orange Moon” shines on singer Jacqueline Constance

Jacqueline Constance | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

It’s been three years since Philadelphia has heard any original #dopeazzmusic from singer/songwriter Jacqueline Constance. In 2014, the local scene found itself binge-listening to the Mt. Airy songbird’s EP The Jacqueline Show — not too long after, we began binge-watching her YouTube channel, filled with dazzling a cappella sound-loop videos recorded at her home. But we’ve been waiting for a new season to the Jacqueline Show since then. That ends today, as Jacqueline Constance unveiled her latest single “Orange Moon.” Continue reading →

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Jay-Z prepares for Made in America with 4:44, a blueprint for the new generation

Photo by John Vettese

Rappers from Kendrick Lamar2 Chainz, Migos, Future, Drake, Rick Ross, Big Sean, Wale, Gucci ManeBig BoiVince Staples, Joey Bada$$ have all contributed to making the first half of 2017 a great year for hip hop. And a few weeks ago, rap icon Jay-Z added his own huge contribution by releasing his thirteenth studio album 4:44.

By putting introspective, complicated rhymes over captivating instrumentals, it’s no shocker that the album has received general acclaim from critics and has already gone platinum — thanks to the assistance of Tidal and Sprint — just a week after its release. Continue reading →

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Live from The Cave with Second Womb

Second Womb | photo courtesy of the artist
Second Womb | photo courtesy of the artist

One of the most important things to do as an upcoming artist is to stay consistent no matter what. There will be trials and tribulations that make some feel alone at times, and feel like praying for the perseverance to not quit, but one’s self-confidence makes them refute the idea of giving up. That type of consistency allows the craft to be perfected, more work to be displayed and a hunger for success to constantly expands. This type of consistency can be seen by Jersey’s duo Dookie Brown, an MC, and Father Earth, a producer, collectively known as Second Womb. I recently got the opportunity to speak with Dookie Brown about the Garden State hip hop duo’s beginning, work ethic and their latest EP Live From The Cave Vol: 19.    Continue reading →

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Mir Fontane chases success on his new single “Frank Ocean”

Mir Fontane | photo courtesy of MassX

This year’s Firefly Festival is definitely going to be one for the books, especially since so many of the acts that will be performing are coming straight out of the tri-state area.

While artists such as Chill Moody, Joie Kathos, Ill Fated Natives, and Miles Chancellor will be on stage representing for the City of Brotherly Love, up and coming hip hop artist Mir Fontane will be putting on for the Garden State at the Delaware festival with hits like his new single “Frank Ocean.” Continue reading →

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Celebrating stories with Pecola Breedlove and The Freedom Party

Breedlove | photo courtesy of On Point Ink Photography

Why do they call open mics, open mics? Because open mics are invitations for artists to be open when they step up on the mic.

Imagine coming into a space that doesn’t require you to be perfect for entrance. A place where you can come to deal with shit, whether you’re an artist or a part of the audience. And when you come into the venue you instantly hear music like The Gap Band or The Backyard Band being played before the event starts. This event is none other than Pecola Breedlove and The Freedom Party. Located at A Poets Art Gallery at 4032 N Girard Avenue, Pecola Breedlove is a weekly open mic that has gained the attention of poets and fans of poetry whether they’re from the city or out of town.

Created by KP Ultra, the Pine Bluff, Arkansas poet has created a welcoming space for poets of the blue collar city of Philadelphia to share their stories on stage that has lasted for the past two years. I was able to sit down with him and to pick his brain on the Philadelphia poetry scene and discover the origins of the well-loved open mic event that has gained its city’s ears with their words. Continue reading →

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Life After Death: Revisiting The Notorious B.I.G.’s swan song 20 Years later

The Notorious B.I.G.’s Life After Death

A couple of weeks ago, Bad Boy Records founder Puff Daddy posted a couple of Instagram videos of rappers such as Fabolous, Pusha T, Jadakiss, TIP, and more spitting some classic verses made famous by his late friend and hip hop legend, The Notorious B.I.G. Seeing those videos was just another reminder of why one of Brooklyn’s finest finds his way into a plethora of top 5 MCs lists. Though the 20th anniversary of Biggie’s death — on March 9th, 1997 — is not the only thing we remember about him this month. This Saturday, March 25th, marks 20 years since the release of his second and final studio album, Life After Death, a hip hop classic that showed the growth in his artistry and would strengthen the legendary MC’s legacy for decades after his untimely demise. Continue reading →

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Vibing Out With Ivy Sole: A conversation with one of Philly’s most exciting new MCs

Ivy Sole | photo by Araba Ankuma | courtesy of the artist
Ivy Sole | photo by Araba Ankuma | courtesy of the artist

One of the best ways for an artist to create a vibe with their music is by allowing their listeners to enter their world. The feeling become genuine when the listener obtain the artist’s perspectives, stories, and even their moods. To do that the artist mustn’t be hesitant to be personable with their music. That’s exactly why Ivy Sole an artist that the city of Philadelphia should look out for.

Whether she’s getting busy on the mic or creating soulful melodies, the Charlotte, North Carolina native hip hop artist always finds ways to bring her listeners into her universe. I was recently able to sit down with the local MC to discuss her introduction to hip hop, her debut project Eden, her recent followup EP East, and her upcoming performance at Underground Arts’ International Women’s Day benefit, which is happening tomorrow evening.  Continue reading →

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From P.U.R.E. to James Weldon and The Juice Jam, the evolution of a Philly MC

James Weldon | photo by Deej Spicer | courtesy of the artist
James Weldon | photo by Deej Spicer | courtesy of the artist

It’s always great to discover good music from local artists. You get to see a seed of talent grow and watch how the artists evolve with their music, seeing how long their progression takes, and seeing how they turn out throughout the four seasons.

Philadelphia’s P.UR.E., Presence Unifies Rap Everywhere, has always been a hip hop artist/producer with raw talent, but after the release of his 4th project Silence Is The Enemy it seems that P.U.R.E. has evolved into James Weldon, a more confident MC who possesses the ability to be open and pour more emotion on his lyrics making the connection between the listener and his music stronger.

I recently was able to sit down with local MC and discuss the evolution of his music, his recent EP Silence Is The Enemy, and his upcoming jam session / open mic The Juice, which happens tonight. Continue reading →

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Twenty Years of Baduizm: A reflection on Erykah Badu’s landmark debut

Erykah Badu, flanked by Common, RZA and Method Man, during the mixing sessions for Baduizm in Battery Studio NY | via facebook.com/erykahbadu

Twenty years ago, iconic soul singer Erykah Badu released her critically acclaimed debut Baduizm. With the album, the soulful B-girl from Dallas, Texas created a jazzy type of high that manifested truth in light that is still able to grab the attention of her listeners — and will do so again this Saturday, February 11th, at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, twenty years to the day from the album’s original release date.

But besides gaining a worldwide audience for Ms. Badu, the production, lyricism, and creativity of Baduizm influenced not only hip-hop, but music at large, giving artists the ok to step outside of the box. Continue reading →

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A Journal Come to Life: Vessna Scheff translates experiences into songs

Vessna Sheff | photo via vessnascheff.com
Vessna Sheff | photo by Rohan Ayinde Smith | ayindesmith.com | via vessnascheff.com

Art is a form of expression. Many great artists, whether it’s through music, painting, or poetry, find creative ways to share how they’re feeling or how they once felt with the public. Philadelphia native Vessna Scheff is a perfect example of an artist using their work to speak for them. With the help of her ukulele mixed with the assistance of her angelic voice, the singer/songwriter recently released an EP called Come Home which can be described as a journal of poems detailing the ups and downs of love that are dedicated to a special person in her life. Continue reading →