Get things started tonight with prolific indie rockers Guided By Voices; keep it running throughout the week with soul master Bilal, or heartrending songwriter Julien Baker; get lost in the tones of etheral soundscaper Madam Data, then wrap up with The Mountain Goats in Ardmore. Here are 16 shows you can see in and around Philly over the next seven days. Continue reading →
Jimmy Fallon is lucky to have The Roots as his house band for The Tonight Show. Pretty much every night he gets to hear the Philly legends, and for Monday’s episode, though, it was a little more amazing than usual.
The Roots had the musical performance to play out the night’s show. Their longtime collab partner and soulful wizard Bilal joined them with vocals of his own, as well as a sizeable orchestra, for a rendition of “It Ain’t Fair,” a song from the soundtrack of the new movie Detroit. I already wanted to see the movie. Now I absolutely have to. Continue reading →
Philadelphia native Bilal is back with a video for “Pleasure Toy,” a track taken from last year’s In Another Life LP that teams up the soul singer with rapper Big K.R.I.T. The clip follows up a trio of songs Bilal recorded with Common for the latter’s upcoming album that tackled mass incarceration, the existence of God, and the Civil Rights movement.
Just a few days after premiering the politically-charged “Letter to the Free”, Common has share not one, but two new collaborations with Philly soul singer Bilal. All three songs come off of Common’s hotly anticipated new album Black America Again and see the dynamic duo continue their winning streak. Continue reading →
After first performing the song during his Tiny Desk Concert at The White House, Common has officially premiered “Letters To The Free”, a track that features Philly’s own Bilal on the hook. The song frames mass incarceration as a new form of slavery and features an understated, jazzy rap style. Continue reading →
With President Barack Obama’s South by South Lawn concert going down this week, the folks at NPR Music took a unique angle into their Tiny Desk Concert series. They actually staged and shot a session inside the confines of the White House.
The video, out yesterday, features socially-minded rapper Common, who had a remarkable band backing him up. In addition to acclaimed keyboard player Robert Glasper, trumpet player Keyon Harrold, flautist Elena Pinderhughes and drummer Karriem Riggins, there were two Philadelphia natives in the mix: Derrick Hodge on bass (who just released his great new record The Second) and Bilal Oliver, who Common introduces as “an incredible vocalist, artist, writer, voice and spirit.” Continue reading →
Soul / funk / rock artist and Philadelphia native Bilal headlines a show at Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown tonight. In the past, he has worked with big names like Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, and Kimbra just to name a few. His last solo release was In Another Life, released last year. Opening up for Bilal will be the fellow Philadelphian Ursula Rucker. She is a poet, activist, and recording artist who has been performing for over seventeen years. This show featuring some of Philly’s finest is not to be missed. Tickets and more information about the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Check out the video for “Money Over Love” below. Continue reading →
Jazz/hip-hop/experimental music genius Robert Glasper has been prepping his new album Everything’s Beautiful, which combines new original recordings with various samples and inspiration from the extensive and provocative career of jazz great Miles Davis. This week, Glasper shared the video for the single “Ghetto Walkin” which features Philly native Bilal on vocals. Continue reading →
If you’re like me, one of the first things you do in the morning is grab your phone, scroll through your mail and social media and texts, and see what you missed while you were sleeping. Oftentimes this ritual is done while still in the clothes you slept in; often times, it’s done while you’re still in bed. This behavior is not unique; in this ultra-connected point in history, everybody does it to some degree, as eclectic songwriter Bilal illustrates in his new music video for “I Really Don’t Care.” Continue reading →