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Throwback Spotlight: A ‘best of’ compilation from Philly artist Bahamadia resurfaces ten years later

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

Ten years ago, self-proclaimed “hip hop queen” Bahamadia released a retrospective record B-Girl Sessions – The Best of Bahamadia 1993-2004. The limited-run compilation resurfaced this weekend on Bandcamp, and features the Philly rapper’s original tracks as well as remixes of popular songs that she appeared on, ranging from Erykah Badu’s neo-soul classic “Love of My Life” to Britney Spears’ inescapable pop gem “Toxic”. A few guest spots with local hip-hop kings The Roots (on “Push Up Ya Lighter” and “Proceed III”) also appear on the collection, as well as collaborations with Talib Kweli and King Britt. As far as the present goes, Bahamadia released a phone-recorded track called “Dialed Up” as a teaser for her anticipated fourth album Here.

(Hear More – Philly hiphop queen Bahamadia returns with Dialed Up, an 11 minute mix made entirely on her phone)

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Philly hiphop queen Bahamadia returns with Dialed Up, an 11 minute mix made entirely on her phone

BAHAM

She might not be a household name, but Bahamadia was a much-respected mainstay of the Philly hiphop community in the late-90s, releasing music at a steady clip well into to the 00′s (and even appearing at the first incarnation of Ladyfest Philly in 2003).

From her 1996 debut LP Kollage (produced by Guru and the legendary DJ Premier, and streamable on Spotify if you’ve never heard it), she landed several choice collaborations – with major national players like Talib Kweli, Mr. Lif and Erykah Badu, as well as local names like Army of Pharaohs and Jedi Mind Tricks. A couple releases followed up – including 2006′s Good Rap Music – and her modus operandi throughout them has always been a mix of funky, body-moving rhythms with a globally-conscious lyrical perspective.

This week brings a flurry of activity in Bahamadia’s world, with good reason – she just released her first new collection of music in almost seven years. Dialed-Up is a fierce, tightly-packaged eleven minute continuous mix that she produced, wrote and recorded entirely on her handheld mobile device. I’m not sure what’s more impressive – the way this EP was made or the fact that it sounds light years better than any record produced under those circumstances reasonably should. It also signals that the release Bahamadia’s long in-the-making LP Here might be just on the horizon. Give Dialed Up a listen below, and download it for $1 at Bandcamp.

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