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Meek Mill reigns, Janelle Monae dazzles, Orion Sun and Armani White rep Philly at Made In America Day One

Meek Mill at Made In America | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Grey skies hugged the city of Philadelphia earlier in the day before the sun peeked out from the clouds, sending relief to everyone at Made in America who was geared up for the possibility of rain. From there, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway was flooded with people from all walks of life, ready to dance and party ’til dusk. From amazing early sets by local artists Armani White and Orion Sun, to incredible performances from Sabrina Claudio and Saba, a massive throw-down from Janelle Monae and a tremendous homecoming from rapper Meek Mill, the first day of the festival was a blast. Continue reading →

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Philly rapper Armani White’s textured video for “casablanco freestyle” will keep your eyes glued to the screen

Armani White | via facebook.com/armaniwhitemusic

In May, the one and only Armani White gave us yet another banger titled “casablanco freestyle” produced by Seattle’s own Sango. Now, he’s back with a music video to match. The concept of the video is simple, with all focus being on the West Philly rapper while he spits his bars. What makes the whole thing is the editing. It’s wild. Filmmaker Jared Marston incorporates so many elements of color and visual texture that they keep your eyes glued to the screen. It complimented the quick location changes, shot by DBDS & JoshyGonz, and Armani’s body language. Continue reading →

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West Philly rapper Armani White returns with “Casablanco Freestyle” featuring Sango, a followup to “Public School”

Armani White | via facebook.com/armaniwhitemusic

Is it a hit or miss? Well, every track from West Philly contemporary rapper Armani White has been nothing but a hit. White makes music to express rather than impress, he talks about real struggles. He gained the attention of many important figures in the music industry at the start of his career, but when his father passed, he had to take a step back. Now, newly based on the West Coast, he’s back with some new tracks.

In March, White released the lead single off of his upcoming full-length project titled, “Public School” and let’s just say he has not lost his touch. Then two days ago, he dropped another single titled “casablanco freestyle’, which features Soundcloud producer Sango. The simplicity of the beat laid out by Sango does a perfect job complimenting White as he spits some fire verses. The track has this old-school hip-hop vibe where all your attention is focused on the words rather than the beat. Continue reading →

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Watch Armani White perform “Stick Up” live in WXPN Studios

Philly rapper Armani White dropped jaws in the XPN studio earlier this year when we hosted a concert / Key Session in front of a live studio audience, produced in collaboration with the good folks at RECPhilly. One of the tracks performed was the minute-and-a-half blast called “Stick Up,” a track White says “changed my life” when he dropped it earlier this year. At 245k plays and counting on Soundcloud, we can see what he’s talking about. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Joie Kathos and Armani White

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Joie Kathos and DJ Bear One | Photo by John Vettese

Like I said the other day: one thing Philly music industry startup RECphilly is amazing at is inspiring artists to collaborate. We saw that happen the first time we worked with them on a live audience Key Studio Session this summer; we saw it happen in a bigger way the second time around, which we present to you today.

Featuring an intimate crowd of about 50 fans and two rising stars of the Philly hip-hop scene, Joie Kathos and Armani White (plus a set from Milton and his band, which we’ll release a little later this fall), it was a hugely positive night of charismatic performance and impressive skill. And that’s before the improv cypher even began. Continue reading →

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Kick off RECPhilly’s trip to A3C with Milton, Armani White and more

Milton | Photo by Hayley Mansfield
Milton | Photo by Hayley Mansfield

Bringing a crew of grassroots musicians from the Philly hiphop scene on a week-long bus trip to Atlanta for the A3C conference is a big undertaking in itself; Will Toms totally understands that their local fans might not necessarily be able to tag along.

“Most people who know about us and care about the project are not able to make the trip down there,” says Toms, creative director of RECPhilly, who is sponsoring the Support Philly Music showcase at the 11th annual hiphop conference next month. “So this is our way of giving back to Philly, giving it a chance to see what we’re showcasing down there.” Continue reading →

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Marian Hill, Armani White and more tackle Drake’s “Hotline Bling”

Marian Hill | Photo by Matthew Shaver | brightloud.com
Marian Hill | Photo by Matthew Shaver | brightloud.com

Seems like Sam Smith and Disclosure aren’t the only ones fascinated with Drake’s latest single, “Hotline Bling.”

This morning, Jeremy Lloyd of Philly favorites Marian Hill shared a remix of the song as covered by LA artists Charlie Puth and Oakland’s Kehlani. The Cali folks dropped their rendition of the song a few weeks back (predating Smith and Disclosure’s higher-profile version), and Lloyd’s remix features the addition of a particularly badass verse by Armani White, one of our favorite rappers on the Philly scene right now. Continue reading →

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Download Armani White’s anthem of twentysomething restlessness, “Young Adults”

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Armani White | Photo via twitter.com/armanilegendary

Philly rapper Armani White caught our attention earlier this year with a very distinctive, rapid-fire flow and a gift for pointed lyricism. On his new single, “Young Adults,” the pace of his rhymes is matched with slow, slooooooow beats, an incredible juxtaposition that makes the song both laid-back and invigorating. Armani describes the song on his Soundcloud page as a reflection of twentysomething restlessness: “‘Young Adults’ thrives off of the cultural waithood that rests between adolescence and adulthood.” Continue reading →

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20 artists you didn’t realize are playing Made In America this weekend

Saba | photo by Tom Vin | via NPR Music

It’s less than 24 hours till the official kickoff of the seventh annual Made In America festival, and while we’re extremely excited to see headliners Janelle Monae, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill over the next couple days, we’re equally excited for the reliably vibrant festival undercard. We dug into the lineup to see what surprises it contained; many of the artists in this list were new to us, many we know and love and had no idea they were in the mix. Read on, and see you on the Parkway this weekend!  Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Emmylou Harris, Kimya Dawson, Strange Parts, York Street Hustle and more

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Strange Parts | photo by Adam Haney | courtesy of the band

What’s that you say? It’s a holiday week, it’s a heat wave, everybody’s going down the shore or hiding out in A.C.? Guess what, friends: the music doesn’t stop for any of that, and this week we bring you 14 shows to see in the next seven days — from the all-local Chill Moody stage at Wawa Welcome America to a heavy dose of punk to close your weekend at West Philly’s Lava Space.  Continue reading →