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Meek Mill flexes his increased social consciousness on Championship

Meek Mill | photo via facebook.com/MeekMill

In a recent New York Times op-ed, South Philly-born, North Philly-raised rapper Meek Mill laid out a harrowing first-person account of how he has been railroaded by a lying cop and a judge with a grudge. Reading through this sad and horrific account, a broader question begs to be asked: if this could happen to a rich and famous Black Man, how many others have had their lives swallowed up by an unfathomably cruel and racist justice system?

Since his dramatic helicopter-led release from prison before game five of the Sixers vs. Heat playoff series, Meek has (metaphorically) hit the ground running. Dropping new music, spearheading several charitable efforts in the city, and refashioning himself as an advocate for criminal justice reform. Earlier in the year, his song “Dreams and Nightmares (Intro)” served as the official soundtrack of the Philadelphia Eagles storied Super Bowl run. As he sat in a cell, the streets were filled with his music while the people organized mass rallies demanding he be freed. Meek Mill had become the spiritual symbol of a city’s ambition and determination, but more importantly, his celebrity and (most of) his music would come to represent something bigger. Continue reading →

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Kofie Carter flips negativity into shine on his new single “No Shade”

Kofie | photo courtesy of the artist

Emerging Philadelphia rapper Kofie Carter has been developing a distinctive style for himself over the past year, whether you’re talking about the prominence of bright yellow in his wardrobe choices, or the heady mix of U.S. trap textures with rhythmic patterns and vocal cadences inspired by the pop music of Ghana, where his family hails from.

Earlier this month, Carter released “No Shade,” a single teasing the full-length project 7%, which he plans to release in January. On this one, mellow and meditative synths offset the wind-up hi-hats and thunking kicks as Carter trades vocals with B’chillz, an MC from Lusaka, Zambia, the two of them meditating on living one’s best life and fighting disrespect with shine.

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Phoebe Bridgers shares melancholic “Christmas Song” cover featuring Jackson Browne

Phoebe Bridgers | photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Last year, Phoebe Bridgers shared a harrowing cover of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” Continuing the tradition, the singer has released a cover of “Christmas Song” by Omaha country act McCarthy Trenching. The cover features backing vocals by folk icon Jackson Browne, who Bridgers met after playing the song live for the first time at a show in L.A. Continue reading →

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Meet Evita Colon, a multifaceted underground rapper and poet from Lancaster

Evita Cole | via speak2mysoul.com

Evita Colon does a little bit of everything — she is a poet/spoken-word artist, playwright, actress, rapper and a mom. Colon grew up in Lancaster, but recently moved to Philadelphia to pursue her artistic ambitions in a new space. In 2014 she founded Speak To My Soul, which serves as a platform for artists of color and uses the performing arts to empower, educate and elevate the community. Continue reading →

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Puppy Angst introduces themselves to the scene with new single “meet at the show”

Puppy Angst | via puppyangst.bandcamp.com

Philly’s Puppy Angst just made their full-band debut with the release of a single, “meet at the show.” Formerly the solo project of musician Alyssa Milman, the band recorded the new tune as a four-piece and is out on Bandcamp via Good How Are You Records. Self-described as “a quiet solo project turned noisy bummergaze,” Puppy Angst captures universal feelings of confusion and frustration with “meet at the show,” pairing the song’s themes with a bright, poppy sheen underscored with classically DIY grit. Continue reading →

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Orion Sun showcases her influences and sketches in test: experimental tape continuous mix

Orion Sun at Made In America | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Philly singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Orion Sun has a new album in the works, but ahead of that release she’s sharing some new material in the form of a 19-minute Soundcloud compilation. According to the artist, the new release, which is titled test: experimental tape, features a combination of mostly self-produced remixes and unreleased songs that Orion Sun decided didn’t fit with the new record but wanted to share anyway. Continue reading →

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Listen to the latest from The Retinas, “Back Alley Brats” and “Come On Over”

The Retinas | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

It’s been an explosive year for prolific Philly rockers The Retinas — first the band wiped their Bandcamp clean in order to focus on new material, and then they released two EPs over the course of a few months. Their latest EP, Yellow Rocket, was just released in September, but The Retinas are already back with their next recording, a pair of new singles, “Back Alley Brats” and “Come On Over.”

The two tracks follow the band’s penchant for stylistic fuzzed-out garage rock, but are set apart from the band’s other works in the way they tie together seamlessly with their laid-back, steady groove. Listen to the two new songs below; as of right now The Retinas don’t have any upcoming shows scheduled. Continue reading →

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C. Hundreds is eerie and nostalgic on debut EP Nauset Tapes

Craig Hendrix | photo by John Evin Groome for WXPN

Local musician Craig Hendrix may be best known for his work as a drummer and producer with Japanese Breakfast, but lately he’s been striking out on his own with some solo material. Hendrix records under the name C. Hundreds, and just released his debut EP Nauset Tapes on Bandcamp. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: It’s a family affair with Huffamoose at World Cafe Live

Huffamoose | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

The new release from long-running Philly rockers Huffamoose was only 12 hours old when the band took the stage at WXPN’s Free at Noon today. To celebrate the release of …And That’s When the Golf Ball Hit Me in the Head, out today on Delco label Winding Way Records, the local four piece spent most of the concert showcasing the album’s heartfelt, midtempo rock songs with a couple throwbacks to their back catalogue. Continue reading →