DJ Funkmaster Flex’s show on NYC station Hot 97 is something of a proving grounds for rappers to showcase their skills on the mic, those on the rise and established names alike. Last Wednesday, Philly MC Tierra Whack dropped by Funk Flex’s studio to take part in his freestyle series, and over two minutes of the beat from Busta Rhymes’ “Put Your Hands Where I Can See,” she was fierce, funny and filled with Philly love. Continue reading →
When her stunning 15-minute visual album Whack World was released earlier this year, the world took notice of Tierra Whack. The Philly-born 20 something effortlessly blends traditional songwriting chops with Eminem’s syllable-bending technical prowess and Missy Elliot’s bizarre surrealist aesthetic. Despite what some may think, Tierra did not appear out of nowhere. Since 2012, she had been making a name and building her skills in Philly’s underground rap scene. We’ve compiled a beginner’s guide to one of the music world’s brightest creative lights. Continue reading →
Bri Steves has had a pretty eventful year, between being signed with Atlantic Records — home to Cardi B, Bruno Mars, The War on Drugs and more — and releasing her debut track “Jealousy” along with a music video filmed right in our backyard. Steves returns to the Philly stage tomorrow, July 26, to perform at Power 99‘s Peace On The Streets concert series at Festival Pier with Georgia’s TK Kravitz, Jamaican-born emcee Hoodcelebrityy, and rising star Tierra Whack.
If you’ve ever caught Philly rapper Tierra Whack in concert, you probably walked away with the hook to “Toe Jam” rooted in your noggin; “CRACK KILLS IF IT DON’T GETCHA WHACK WILL.” The song had the same effect on Philadelphia soundscaper and beatmaker Kilamanzego, who chopped up the hook and folded it into her latest musical collage, “red light green light.” Continue reading →
When iconic singer/rapper Ms. Lauryn Hillannounced her upcoming tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of her debut solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, it seemed too good to be true. She’ll be playing the classic album in full, but if that isn’t reason enough to attend, we now know the opening acts for the Philly stop on the tour, happening at Festival Pier on July 13.
Two well-loved and long-running rappers are lined up for the show — Busta Rhymes, who recentlyappeared at the Firefly Music Festival for the second consecutive year, and M.I.A., whose last album was 2016’s AIM. Also in the mix is reggae artist Jo Mersa Marley (who just happens to bethe grandson of Bob Marley). But perhaps the most exciting part of this announcement is the addition of a local act — Philly-based hip hop artist Tierra Whack. She released a new visual album, Whack World, last month, and recently appeared at Roots Picnic and Firefly. Continue reading →
I don’t have a FitBit, so I can’t tell you how many miles I actually walked around the Firefly Music Festival yesterday, but it was undoubtedly a lot. What can I say? There was so much great stuff to see — and some clunkers, admittedly. Continue reading →
On Wednesday, Philly hip-hop artist Tierra Whack introduced her surreal visual album, Whack World. Whack combines the attitude of Missy Elliot with the sultry synth beats of Blood Orange, but ultimately curates a unique persona that separates her from predecessors.
The album is a compact fifteen minute set, every song running a minute each. In it, Whack guides the viewer through the carnivalesque spheres of her universe. The cartoonish settings morph into a nail salon, veterinarian office, Chinese takeout joint, pet cemetery, and a living room trashed with the remnants of a child’s birthday party. With each changing scenario, Whack shifts through moods with correlating colors and outfits to match. Continue reading →
Firefly Music Festival has announced its daily lineup for this year’s festival, annually hosted at The Woodlands in Dover, Delaware. The inaugural festival took place in 2012 as a 3-day festival and has continuously grown with each passing year, creating one of the biggest summer festivals on the East Coast. From the campgrounds to the festival’s main stage, Firefly is a highlight of the summer for many music fans. Continue reading →
Today, NPR Music has released a list of 20 Slingshot Artists To Watch for 2019 – including Philly singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Orion Sun. WXPN’s John Vettese speaks to why she deserves a spot on the list: Continue reading →
Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2018 incredible. Today, Key photographer Senia Lopez breaks down some of the best album covers of the year.
I used to intern for The Key as a photographer over the summer. It was an incredible time to build my music portfolio and to learn so much more about music (especially local artists). When the time came for Year-End Mania I knew I wanted to be involved, but wanted to leave the music reporting to the professionals at The Key. I wanted to talk about something more in my wheelhouse, visual art. I wanted to talk about some the best album covers of the year.
When approaching this list, I thought about what covers made the viewer stop and look at the art longer, which covers made the viewer more interested in hearing the music, and images that were unique or impressive as just visual art pieces alone. This list has nothing to do with the content of the music (though some of these albums did make my top list this year). I tried to be as unbiased as possible, but I cannot help but be drawn to more photographic works. Continue reading →