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Mural Arts Program to unveil new ASpire mural on Saturday

ASpire
ASpire mural at 21st and Ellsworth Streets | photo via www.muralarts.org

On Saturday, November 1st the Mural Arts Program will unveil a new mural at 21st and Ellsworth Streets.  The art piece, created by Ernel Martinez, is called ASpire and is dedicated to the late Dr. Shawn L. White.  The event will bring Mural Arts Month to a close with a street festival featuring music, food and vendors while honoring one of the cities most devoted activists.

UPDATE: Due to the rainy weather predicted for November 1, the ASpire mural dedication has been postponed. Mural Arts hope’s you can join them on Saturday, November 8.

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The Wurxs release a new single featuring Black Thought and Truck North, “Visions Polarized”

Photo courtesy of the artist.
Photo courtesy of the artist.

West Philly MC and production duo The Wurxs worked with The Roots MC Black Thought and Roots collaborator Truck North on the latest installment in their\ #WURXSWEDS series, “Visions Polarized.”

The Wurx are Gee Moolah & Trons, and have been making music together since 2009. With a handful of EP’s and singles, the duo is carving out its own unique voice in the local hip-hop scene. As producers they’ve worked with Dice Raw, Asher Roth, Peedi Crakk, and with Truck North who appears on this new single. You can listen to all their music on their Soundcloud here.

Below, over a popping and funky horn driven sample, The Wurxs trade verses with Black Thought and Truck North over a groove that you don’t want to hear end on “Visions Polarized.”

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Black Thought announces second annual Roots Rock Run 5k in conjunction with the Roots Picnic

Black Thought of The Roots
Black Thought of The Roots

In conjunction with this year’s Roots Picnic on May 31st, Roots member Black Thought has announced his second annual Roots Rock Run 5k to take place that morning.  The community event will support GrassROOTS in its efforts to aid community health programs across the city.  For more information and to register for the 5k go here.  More information on the Roots Picnic, featuring The War on Drugs, Snoop Dogg, Janelle Monae and more can be found here.

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The top 12 beards in Philly hip-hop

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

What Philly emcee has the best beard? That’s a question Examiner.com writer Michael Trampe set out to answer in his article The Top 12 Beards in Philadelphia Hip-Hop. Trampe writes:

Ask a Hip Hop fan to describe a Philadelphia Emcee only using a few words. I guarantee “Big Beard” will be in the description. Philadelphia has been widely known for it’s beards, and in Hip Hop it is no different.

Some of the top 12 beards in Philly hip-hop include Questlove and Black Thought, 4 Horsemen rappers Hollowman and Kre Forch, Tana Da Beast and Tone Trump. Our pal Reef The Lost Cauze is on the list and Freeway takes the number one spot. Reef’s got a new collaboration with producer and beat maker Emyndalbum, The Fast Way. Below, watch a Key Studio Session we did with Reef a couple years back in the WXPN studios. Check out the full list here, and let us know who’s missing from the list.

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Just announced: John Mayer, J.Cole, Ne-Yo. Jill Scott and Grace Potter join The Roots for July 4th WaWa Welcome America #phillyjam

2012 NAMM Show - Media Preview Day Questlove and Black Thought from The Roots have announced the lineup to this year’s Philly 4th of July Jam as part of the WaWa Welcome America! The lineup includes John Mayer, Ne-Yo, J.Cole, Demi Lovato, Grace Potter, and Jill Scott. You can get more information about all the WaWa Welcome America festivities here.

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The Roots Report: Black Thought to collaborate with Jim James of My Morning Jacket; The Roots finish album with Elvis Costello

questthought

Here’s a round up of some recent Roots-related news:

In an interview with Uber Urban, Roots MC Black Thought talked about several exciting projects he has in the works. These included film collaborations, “branching off” into clothing design, writing an autobiography, and recording a “blues album.” He’s also collaborating with Raheem DeVaughn, Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Tunde Adebimpe of TV On The Radio. Watch the interview below.

On The Roots front, last month Questlove told Billboard that a new Roots album called & Then You Shoot Your Cousin will be out in late 2013 or early 2014. In addition, The Roots and Elvis Costello also recorded together, and are in the final stages of mixing their collaborative record.

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Black Thought, Chill Moody performing at the Lets Move It Philly! benefit tonight at Sigma Sound

Tonight the legendary Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia will play host to the third annual Lets Move It Philly! benefit concert emceed by Black Thought of The Roots Crew and featuring performances by Marsha Ambroisus, Chill Moody, Malene Younglao, and Money Making Jam Boys’ Dice Raw, Truck North, and STS. The event’s goal is to raise funds and awareness for the GrassROOTS Community Foundation and its programs.

GrassROOTS was formed by sociologist Dr. Janice Johnson Dias back in 2010 with long time friend, Black Thought from The Roots to bring health awareness to African American and low-income communities. Based on some alarming statistics, Dr. Johnson Dias and her colleagues at GrassROOTS decided to that the best way to make a difference was to work directly within the community. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kingsfoil at Chameleon Club, By Surprise at The Barbary, Black Thought at The Blockley, Mike Doughty at The Tin Angel, Moosh and Twist at the First Unitarian Church

York County pop-rock four-piece Kingsfoil is wrapping up its 2012 with a headlining show tonight at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster. The band put out its sophomore album this year, the hooky and emotive A Beating Heart is a Bleeding Heart, and recorded a Key Studio Session with us on the eve of Hurricane Sandy. Opening the show is fellow Central Pennsylvanian Jesse Baker, whose LP Tearing Down the Walls is available as a free download here. More information on tonight’s show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar; below, watch the video for Kingsfoil’s very catchy single “What Your Mother Taught You.”

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