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 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.


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


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.


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 →


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.”

Continue reading →


Black Thought and J.Period performing with Reef the Lost Cauze, Mic Stew and Rowboat Casino at The Blockley on December 29th

Photo of Black Thought by Eric Ashleigh
Here’s a hip-hop show you don’t want to miss. Black Thought of the legendary Roots crew and J.Period The Mixtape Assassin are performing at The Blockley on Saturday, December 29th with Reef The Lost Cauze, Mic Stew and Rowboat Casino. Go here for tickets and more information about the show. Below, sample some of the goods including Reef’s Key Studio video session, the J.Period produced “In The Ghetto (Wake Up!)” featuring Black Thought, Rakim and John Legend and “What Is Hip Hop” by Mic Stew.


Chill Moody and Dice Raw to perform at Roots mural painting session tomorrow

The Roots have opened up another chance for Philadelphians to grab a paintbrush and help put their mark on the cityscape. This Saturday from 1 PM to 3 PM, the ongoing Roots MuralArts project at the World Communications Charter School (512 S. Broad Street) will be unveiled for the first time for the public to view. The mural, which is expected to be completed and dedicated sometime in 2013, has been called MuralArts’ “most ambitious” endeavor yet, so it’s an exciting opportunity for city-dwellers to become part of one of the city’s three thousand murals. As an added bonus, participants will be treated to performances from Chill Moody and Dice Raw; ?uestlove and Black Thought will also make appearances at the unveiling. Don’t miss this chance to let your color-by-number skills become part of Philadelphia’s history!


Photo recap: Day Two, Roots Picnic

All photos of The Roots Picnic by Eric Ashleigh. Check out the rest of the photos from the Roots Picnic here.


“Let’s Move It Philly 2012” fundraiser for Black Thought’s GrassROOTS Community Foundation

 The GrassROOTS Community Foundation is a collaborative effort of Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, co-founder and lead MC of the Roots, and sociologist Dr. Janice Johnson Dias. According to their website, the organization is “committed to contributing to the health and well-being of vulnerable populations and disadvantaged communities. Merging the talents of socially conscious artists with those of a rigorous scientific research and creative team, we are investing our energies to developing the capacity of community based organizations that offer educational and recreational services to disadvantaged women and girls.” On Saturday, February 18th, Black Thought is holding his annual “Let’s Move It Philly” charity event for GrassROOTs at Sigma Sound Studios featuring performances from Black Thought and Questlove, DJ Rich Medina, DJ Diamond Kuts, the Money Making Jam Boys and Nikki Jean. Tickets are $30 in advance, $40 at the door. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.