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Listen: J.Cole and Kendrick Lamar’s “Forbidden Fruit”

KendJAlthough J.Cole’s sophomore album is set for mid-June release, a recent leak will give fans a pretty promising sneak peek of Born Sinner. Listen to “Forbidden Fruit,” a track which features Kendrick Lamar, the critically-acclaimed rapper from Compton who made a splash in 2012 with good kid, m.A.A.d city. Although his contribution is slight, it’s the perfect addition to the slower groove — which echoes none other than A Tribe Called Quest’s classic “Electric Relaxation” from Midnight Marauders.

Lamar will be performing at Budweiser’s Made in America Festival, the second annual mega-concert produced by Jay-Z. The concert will be held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on August 31st and September 1st.

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Heavyhitters Jay Z and J. Cole join Solange, Sampha, Lizzo and more at Made In America 2017

Photo by John Vettese

Christmas comes only once a year? False. See: Made in America announcement day. Philadelphia’s Labor Day party is back for another round, and with the announcement of this year’s lineup, we imagine the entire city is excited.

Headlining performances from Jay Z (obviously), J.Cole and The Chainsmokers top of the list of 50+ artists, with featured performances from Run The Jewels, Solange, Lizzo, SamphaMigos, and a heck of a lot more. The local scene is also well represented, as PNB RockBeach Slang, Mannequin Pussy and Queen of Jeans nab some earlier spots.

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Listen to local emcee MilLionZ’s “No Tomorrow” and join him for Saturday’s video shoot in response to violence in Ferguson

Photo by Kate McCann | www.katemccannphotography.com

As the country and world turn their attention to the turmoil that has engulfed Ferguson, MO, in the wake of Michael Brown’s death at the hands of police, the music world has responded in its own way. Unforgiving and stark musical messages from respected hip-hop artists like J.Cole and Ms. Lauryn Hill contribute to a conversation that also sees Killer Mike, Talib Kweli, Frank Ocean, and St. Louis native Nelly taking to social media and the press, attempting to address a community and nation at odds with how to handle the violence. The responses bare some similarity to the ways in which hip-hop addressed the post-Rodney King verdict violence in Los Angeles almost two decades ago, providing the rest of the country with a sobering look into the realities of violence and racism in the American inner city.

Gifted Overbrook Park-based rapper and singer MilLionZ, who burst onto our radar last year with a searing guest verse during singer-songwriter Ryan Tennis’s “Fight Song” (check out Tennis’s Key Studio Session to listen to the track), is adding his unique voice to that conversation. Continue reading →