Watch the Philly 4th of July Jam with The Roots, Aloe Blacc, Nicki Minaj and more

Photo by Mark Stehle via
Photo by Mark Stehle via

Aloe Blacc, Jennifer Hudson, Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj and The Roots performed at the Wawa Welcome America on July 4th, hosted by Marlon Wayans. Joining The Roots were Philly R&B singer Bilal and DJ Jazzy Jeff. Earlier last week, Aloe Blacc stopped by WXPN to record a session for an upcoming World Cafe with David Dye.

Below, watch the July 4th Jam in its entirety via VH-1.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kensington Picnic, Aloe Blacc, Oldermost, Sharon Little, and Spring Standards

Summer time is for being outdoors, eating ice cream, and enjoying time with friends. You can experience that all today at the Kensington Picnic on Frankford Ave. between Susquehanna and Dauphin Street. It’s a folk-y phenomenon with performances from Meg Baird, Steve Gunn, Birds of Maya, Blues Control, and more. This free show kicks off at 1 p.m. and will go till’ it’s over. Bring your picnic baskets, blankets, and lawn chairs for a perfect summer day. You can find more info on the picnic’s event page.

American descendant of Panamanian parents, Aloe Blacc grew up in Los Angeles and became invested in the California hip hop scene. He worked in troupes such as Emanon and Jazz Liberatorz, and began his solo career in 2006. He has released two LP’s that evoke his R&B style underneath his eclectic singing and rapping skills. He plays tonight at the TLA at 7 p.m. Tickets to this all ages show are $20. Below watch Aloe Blacc’s video for “I Need A Dollar”.

Philadelphians Oldermost produce beautifully-crafted melodies drizzled with soft-spoken vocals, delicate piano strokes and steady rhythmic drumming. You can listen to their EP Lose Your Mind on their bandcamp page. Their warm energy will be flowing tonight at Johnny Brenda’s, along with Capewrath and Daniel Ryan Belski. Tickets to this 21+ show are $10, grab yours here. Doors open at 8 p.m.

The Candlight Concert for Epilepsy Awareness is a concert series taking place in Pennington, NJ. It is a chance to raise funds and awareness about the effects of epilepsy. Tonight’s feature is righteous soulful singer Sharon Little. She recently released her sophomore album, Paper Doll. Catch her tonight at the concert while donating to a worthy cause at the same time. Doors are at 7 p.m., show at 8; tickets are $15. And if you can’t make it out to the show, you can stream it live on

WXPN welcomes The Spring Standards CD Release Show to World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington, DE. They released their double EP Yellow // Gold, and it reflects their memories of growing up as folksinger children and provides a snapshot living life today in the big city. Also playing tonight is Wilmington’s own, The Spinto Band. The show starts at 8 p.m, tickets are $18-20. Below watch The Spring Standard’s official video for “Heavy Home” off the EP.


Tonight’s Concert Pick: Aloe Blacc at World Cafe Live

Aloe Blacc is a soulful anomaly on Stones Throw Records. The Southern California label is known for glitchy hip-hop, challenging beats, and a blunted, mellow sound that provides trippy soundtracks for Cartoon Network’s late night programming. Here are three reasons why Blacc is kind of the odd man out: First, Stones Throw is known for production. Blacc is a soul-singer known first for his melodies. It’s a refreshing addition to the label, which was previously carried by beat-makers like the late J Dilla. Second, though the label has an intense niche following, it’s not generally a hit-maker. Meanwhile, Aloe Blacc’s breakout hit, “I Need A Dollar,” is leading the charts all over Europe and has been featured on HBO’s How To Make It In America, a Boost Mobile commercial, and elsewhere. (Stones Throw doesn’t seem to mind, but it’s a nice contradiction to an artist like Madlib, who epitomizes underground hip-hop.) Finally, Stones Throw leads the market in difficult, experimental trip-hop. Flying Lotus is perhaps the most respected artist in that genre, creating noise-scapes with strange samples and recorded sounds. But Blacc is smooth. From his voice to his beats to his style, he’s easy, rhythmic, and accessible. Aloe Blacc performs with Tutu Sweeney And The Brothers Band at 8 p.m. at World Cafe Live; tickets to the show are $20–$30. —Dave Simpson

Also playing: Bell X1 + Jarrod Gorbel at First Unitarian Church (8:30 p.m., all ages, $18); Boy Sets Fire + Defeater, The May 4th Massacre at The Trocadero (8 p.m., all ages, $19)