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Listen to “The Ritual,” a new track from Philly rapper Aquil (listening party on Friday at Sanctuary Wholistic Arts Gallery)

We could tell Aquil was a forward-thinking MC when an insanely great hiphop show at Silk City this summer put him on our radar. His mix of adventurous production, thoughtful rhymes and massive catchiness continues on “The Ritual,” the first single we’re hearing from his Land of Synth LP, being released this winter. The track has the symphonic drama of a Mobb Deep cut, but comes alive with punchy beats a la Erik B and Rakim and and philosophizing on par with KRS-ONE. “This is what we call God-hop,” the refrain goes, but it’s evident listening that he’s not being preachy, religious or boastful, but rather introspective. Aquil will preview the entire Land of Synth LP in a listening party at Sanctuary Wholistic Arts Gallery this Friday, November 16; more information (and an RSVP for the show) here.

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Aquil, Writtenhouse, head up ridiculously great hip-hop lineup at Silk City tonight

If you’re not already tapped in to how vibrant and exciting the Philadelphia hip-hop scene is, tonight’s formidable lineup at Silk City could be your school. Headlined by smooth-jam philosopher Aquil (pictured), it also features the old-school flavor of Afloe and the futuristic sounds of Sëla, the production powerhouse of Writtenhouse, the fierce cold cuts of Yahzilla, Electric Lady and her haunting vocal stylings, and Arkatron and his sampler-instrumental alchemy. Listen to tracks and watch videos from each below, and get ready to party. Aquil, Afloe, Writtenhouse, Sëla, Yahzilla, Electric Lady and Arkatron play Silk City Diner, 425 Spring Garden St., tonight beginning at 9 p.m. Tickets to the 21+ show are $5.

Aquil x Yahzilla “Yahzilla Meets Metatron” produced by E Jones from Yahya Ismail on Vimeo.