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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hardwork Movement at Underground Arts, Circa Survive at Electric Factory, Deadfellow at Johnny Brenda’s, and more

Hardwork Movement | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN

Known for their energetic performances, Philly hip-hop collective Hardwork Movement will bring the party to Underground Arts tonight; Kuf Knotz also plays. The band recently released For The People, their first recording as a full band. Hardwork Movement members Becca Imani and Dani Gershkoff recently joined The Key to perform an a cappella rendition of “Don’t Block the Sun” — listen below, and watch the full band Key Studio Sessions performance of “Walk It Off”. Find tickets and more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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The Key Presents: Hardwork Movement

Hardwork Movement | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

Sunday, October 8th, 2017. It’s technically autumn, but the weather is still warm, comfortable — if a little wet, care of a lingering shower from the morning hours. Philadelphians are exploring the nooks and crannies of City Hall, at the nexus of Broad and Market Streets — from the Dilworth Plaza Oktoberfest market to installations of Mural Arts’ Monument Lab project.

In the catacombs of the building’s east passageway, Becca Imani and Dani Gershkoff of Hardwork Movement find a resonant alcove to perform a song a cappella. Normally, they’re part of the instrumental sprawl of local hip-hop collective Hardwork Movement, playing trumpet and flute and contributing vocals to their bandmates’ fierce rhymes. But for one song — the elegant “Don’t Block the Sun” — they take center stage, and them alone. And it always slays. Even as the sounds of the city’s cars and subway trains provide a rumbling accompaniment, Graham and Gershkoff are locked in the serenity zone, singing about (and radiating) inner strength. Continue reading →

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Dig in to Hardwork Movement’s first full-band EP, For the People

Hardwork Movement | photo by Danny Gevirtz | courtesy of the artist | via instagram.com/dannygevirtz
Hardwork Movement | photo by Danny Gevirtz | courtesy of the artist | via instagram.com/dannygevirtz

Hardwork Movement are for the people. If you need any convincing, throw on their new EP, appropriately titled For the People. After a performance-filled Summer to remember for the Philly nine-piece, the group is kicking off the Fall by giving back to their fans in the form of their first EP with the full live bandThe 9-member neo-soul infused hip-hop group held things down at Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival this past June, blessed the stage at our own XPN Fest the following month, and capped the summer off with a headlining set at Underground Arts this past weekend to celebrate the release of the EP. Continue reading →

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Hardwork Movement returns with “Like This,” a new song from their first full-band EP

Hardwork Movement | photo by Danny Gevirtz | courtesy of the artist | via instagram.com/dannygevirtz
Hardwork Movement | photo by Danny Gevirtz | courtesy of the artist | via instagram.com/dannygevirtz

Tomorrow night, Philly hip-hop luminaries Hardwork Movement headline their biggest hometown show to date at Underground Arts. Tomorrow morning, they’re dropping a new project — For The People, their first collection of songs recorded as a full band.

Tonight, the Movement gave us their first taste of that record in the form of “Like This.”  Continue reading →

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Listen to Cities, the new solo mixtape from Hardwork Movement’s Sterling Duns

Hardwork Movement | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Of all nine members of Philly hip-hop family Hardwork Movement, Dwight Dunston — aka Sterling Duns — seems to relish the spotlight the most. That’s no small feat, considering how much energy and charisma everybody in the crew has, from hook-masters Jeremy Keys and Dani Gershikoff to cool-as-ice MCs R.B. Ricks and Rick Banks, suave horn section Martin Gottlieb-Hollis and Becca Graham, and energized rhythm section Jeremy Prouty on bass and Angel Ocana holding it down on drums.

What gives Duns the edge? Dude requires a minimum of three wardrobe changes per set; and outfits are rarely repeated from show to show. What can we say? He’s got a flare for fashion and a knack for grabbing our attention. So it makes sense that’d he’s the first member of the Hardwork crew to branch out with a solo joint. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Hardwork Movement will headline Underground Arts on 9/15

Hardwork Movement | photo by Danny Gevirtz | courtesy of the artist | via instagram.com/dannygevirtz
Hardwork Movement | photo by Danny Gevirtz | courtesy of the artist | via instagram.com/dannygevirtz

Okay, seriously, can we talk for a minute about how great Hardwork Movement was at XPNFest yesterday? From the opening “City Bars” to a freestyle over an Anderson.Paak bassline, Chill Moody and Joie Kathos joining in to cover Future and the always incredible closer “Living Legend,” the Philly hip-hop crew brought a ridiculous amount of energy to the Marina Stage for only 12:30 in the afternoon. (Seriously — listen back here.)

The good news is it doesn’t end there. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: Hardwork Movement is all positive energy and community on the Marina Stage

Hardwork Movement | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN

Hardwork Movement is a hip-hop ensemble rooted in community and positivity, and they definitely showed up with the good vibes flowing for their performance on the last day of this year’s XPN Fest. As the performance began, those in the audience not familiar with the group would be excused for thinking it was one-man show with a backing band. That is, until a second emcee joined in. Then another…then another. By the end of the first song the whole of Hardwork Movement had joined on the stage nine performers strong. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jill Scott at Sands Bethlehem, Hardwork Movement at Spruce Street Harbor Park, Rosali and the Middlemen at Johnny Brenda’s and more

Jill Scott | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com

Philly soul queen Jill Scott brings her 2017 summer tour to the Sands Bethlehem arena tonight. After building her name in Philly’s Black Lily open mic scene in the late 90s — and writing the hook for The Roots’ immortal “You Got Me,” and touring with them in the late 90s — Scott stepped to center stage with 2000 with Who Is Jill Scott?: Words and Sounds Volume 1. The record was universally acclaimed, and holds up to this day; I had it in heavy rotation earlier this week, just because, and it’s amazing the amount of new sound and nuance you discover with each revisit. Scott has had a successful run in the decade and a half since, building her profile from local star to global star, and her fifth album, 2015’s Woman, found her as knockout as ever with the hooks, vocals and introspective words. Tickets and information on tonight’s concert can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Revisit “The Way” below. Continue reading →

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Firefly on the Fly, Day Four: The Shins, Phantogram, Muse, Hamilton Leithauser, Hardwork Movement, Busta Rhymes and more

The Shins at Firefly 2016 | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Our ears are still ringing from this weekend’s tremendously fun excursion at Firefly 2017. A review is coming later this week, but for today, we bring you photos from our final day in the Woodlands of Dover, Delaware…from Busta Rhymes kicking off the day to Philly faves Hardwork Movement in the campground, Hamilton Leithauser soldiering through string breakage on the main stage and Bishop Briggs playing a dynamic set on the festival’s Treehouse stage, dueling stints from top-form indie rockers The Shins and the always-compelling electro rock royalty Phantogram, and an over-the-top energized closing set from Muse. Continue reading →

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PHOTOS: Hardwork Movement, Aphra, ILL Doots and Maitland threw down at NPR’s Tiny Desk Philly concert

Hardwork Movement | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | <a href="http://racheldelsordophotography.com" target="_blank">racheldelsordophotography.com</a>
Hardwork Movement | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

To kick off the month of May, the folks at NPR Music brought their #TinyDeskContest tour to Philadelphia for a terrific night of music for a sold out crowd at World Cafe Live upstairs featuring some of our favorite artists from the city: high-energy hip-hop bands Hardwork Movement and ILL DOOTS, ethereal electronic singer and songwriter Aphra and expressive rockers Maitland. Check out scenes from the night below, care of our photographer Rachel Del Sordo.
Continue reading →