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Bilal strikes a synth-soul pose with new video for “Pleasure Toy”

bilal
Bilal | Photo by Kawai Matthews

Philadelphia native Bilal is back with a video for “Pleasure Toy,” a track taken from last year’s In Another Life LP that teams up the soul singer with rapper Big K.R.I.T. The clip follows up a trio of songs Bilal recorded with Common for the latter’s upcoming album that tackled mass incarceration, the existence of God, and the Civil Rights movement.

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Dream team Common and Bilal continue to impress with “Joy and Peace” and “Home”

Common (left) and Bilal (right) performing "Letters to the Free" at The White House | via NPR's YouTube page
Common (left) and Bilal (right) performing “Letters to the Free” at The White House | via NPR’s YouTube page

Just a few days after premiering the politically-charged “Letter to the Free”, Common has share not one, but two new collaborations with Philly soul singer Bilal. All three songs come off of Common’s hotly anticipated new album Black America Again and see the dynamic duo continue their winning streak. Continue reading →

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Common and Bilal tackle mass incarceration on “Letter To The Free”

Common (left) and Bilal (right) performing "Letters to the Free" at The White House | via NPR's YouTube page
Common (left) and Bilal (right) performing “Letters to the Free” at The White House | via NPR’s YouTube page

After first performing the song during his Tiny Desk Concert at The White House, Common has officially premiered “Letters To The Free”, a track that features Philly’s own Bilal on the hook. The song frames mass incarceration as a new form of slavery and features an understated, jazzy rap style. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Bilal at Johnny Brenda’s, Lushlife at Boot and Saddle, Lotus at The Mann Center and more

bilal
Bilal | Photo by Kawai Matthews

Soul / funk / rock artist and Philadelphia native Bilal headlines a show at Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown tonight. In the past, he has worked with big names like Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, and Kimbra just to name a few. His last solo release was In Another Life, released last year. Opening up for Bilal will be the fellow Philadelphian Ursula Rucker. She is a poet, activist, and recording artist who has been performing for over seventeen years. This show featuring some of Philly’s finest is not to be missed. Tickets and more information about the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Check out the video for “Money Over Love” below. Continue reading →

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Robert Glasper and Bilal reimagine Miles Davis on “Ghetto Walkin” for Everything’s Beautiful LP

Robert Glasper
Robert Glasper | Photo courtesy of the artist

Jazz/hip-hop/experimental music genius Robert Glasper has been prepping his new album Everything’s Beautiful, which combines new original recordings with various samples and inspiration from the extensive and provocative career of jazz great Miles Davis. This week, Glasper shared the video for the single “Ghetto Walkin” which features Philly native Bilal on vocals. Continue reading →

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Try to disconnect with Bilal in the “I Really Don’t Care” video

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Bilal | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

If you’re like me, one of the first things you do in the morning is grab your phone, scroll through your mail and social media and texts, and see what you missed while you were sleeping. Oftentimes this ritual is done while still in the clothes you slept in; often times, it’s done while you’re still in bed. This behavior is not unique; in this ultra-connected point in history, everybody does it to some degree, as eclectic songwriter Bilal illustrates in his new music video for “I Really Don’t Care.” Continue reading →

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Bilal, Nathaniel Rateliff and more

bilal
Bilal | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

Local singer-songwriter Bilal stopped by for this week’s Key Studio Session. He brought with him songs from his latest effort In Another Life, performing acoustic versions of “Satellites,” “Love Child” and more. Download the full session here and catch Bilal live at the WXPN-curated Red Bull Sound Select show at Underground Arts on August 20th.

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The Key Studio Sessions: Bilal

It’s been a long and wild trip for Philly singer-songwriter Bilal. He emerged with a knockout LP called 1st Born Second in 2001, an auspicious time in Philly’s music history. Being surrounded by an insanely talented family of artists, from Jill Scott to Music Soulchild to Floetry and King Britt, certainly gave Bilal a leg up and a platform to stand on. At the same time, it sort of painted him into a neo-soul corner when he was interested in all manners of music, from funk to folk, psychedelic rock to pop. Continue reading →

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Bilal, Son Little and Kate Faust will play WXPN’s Red Bull SoundSelect show on 8/20

Bilal | Photo by Kawai Matthews | via facebook.com/OfficialBilalPage
Bilal | Photo by Kawai Matthews | via facebook.com/OfficialBilalPage

WXPN and The Key are very excited to be curating the August edition of Red Bull’s SoundSelect show at Underground Arts, and we’re doubly psyched about the lineup we put together. Philly soul innovator Bilal joins futuristic singer-songwriter Son Little and electropop maven Kate Faust at the August 20th event. The bill is all-Philly, all-awesome and tickets are only $3 – you can RSVP here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ingrid Michaelson at The Mann Center, Bilal at World Cafe Live, Kansas Bible Company at MilkBoy

Ingrid Michaelson | Photo by Cameron Pollack
Ingrid Michaelson | Photo by Cameron Pollack

UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, tonight’s Ingrid Michaelson show will be moved from The Mann’s skyline stage to the amphitheater. Seating for the show will be general admission.

Pop / rock fave Ingrid Michaelson released her sixth album, Lights Out, just about a year ago, and tonight she brings the latest leg of tour in support of it to The Mann Center for her biggest Philly headlining show to date. The album is full of catchy jams, from “Girls Chase Boys” and “Afterlife” to “Time Machine.” Joining her on the bill tonight is perennial piano-led power trio, Jukebox The Ghost. Tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →