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Philly rocks with DJ Lean Wit It

DJ Lean Wit It
DJ Lean Wit It | photo by Sannii Crespina-Flores | courtesy of the artist

The blue collar energy that Philadelphia provides builds character for its local artists. It takes a certain type of talent and dedication to win the attention and the heart of Broad Street but once it’s captured, it strengthens your confidence to shine outside of your of city.

That’s something DJ Lean Wit It has learned throughout his years behind the turntables. Whether was on Temple University’s campus, a Heineken Green Room event or even a local bar, the North Philly DJ has spent years perfecting his craft to capture the attention of not only his hometown, but in other cities and countries as well. And as DJ Lean Wit It prepares for a really huge set for the upcoming No Place Like Home event at The Fillmore on Saturday, August 18th — not to mention his warm-up gig at Spruce Street Harbor Park this Thursday — I was able to sit with him to talk about his early stages as a DJ and how a Philadelphia crowd separates itself from any other crowd in the world. Continue reading →

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The enormous transition of Philly’s Dayne Jordan

Dayne Jordan | photo by Maggie Elizabeth | courtesy of artist

 

The great thing about artistic growth is that each step brings a creator closer to feeling comfortable with being themselves.That type of comfort allows one to discover what they bring to the table, following with the confidence to grab their own seat. It is this reason why hip hop artist Dayne Jordan has been able to transition into something bigger than the city limits of his hometown of Philadelphia.

Since 2009 the north Philly MC, formerly known as Dosage, has been making noise in the underground hip hop scene in Philadelphia with mixtapes such as Sand and Foam, 3D11 and In Due Time. So much noise that he was able to gain the attention of Grammy Award winning hip hop artists, Lupe Fiasco and legendary Philadelphia hometown hero DJ Jazzy Jeff, as well having Complex claiming him to be one of the next biggest things to watch out for coming from his city.

However the desire to be bigger than just a star in the city of brotherly love caused the rapper Dosage to transition to hip hop artist we now know as Dayne Jordan. Since this transition, Dayne has joined his mentor DJ Jazzy Jeff and traveled across the world performing at least 200 shows a year while dropping quality projects such as Memoirs of Dayne Jordan and In Transition. I recently was able to sit with him to talk about the origins of his transition as well as recent single “Enormous” and his thoughts about the Philadelphia local scene. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Summer Block Party brings Jill Scott, Boyz II Men and DJ Jazzy Jeff to the Mann

Jill Scott | photo via the artist’s Facebook page

A Block Party…at the Mann Center? Well, with a lineup like this, count us in. This June, Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and poet Jill Scott will headline the first annual WDAS Summer Block Party, along with long-running Philly R&B faves Boyz II Men and DJ Jazzy Jeff, plus special guests still TBA.

It’ll be something of a hometown celebration for all performers. Scott got her start in Philly’s Black Lily open mic scene in the 90s, and still calls the city home, and Jazzy Jeff lives in the Philly region as well. Boyz II Men got its start when its members were students at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. Though they no longer reside in Philadelphia, their legacy lives on — a section of South Broad Street was recently designated “Boyz II Men Boulevard.” Continue reading →

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Firefly on the Fly, Day Three: Chance the Rapper, Bob Dylan, Mondo Cozmo, Kesha, Bishop Briggs, DJ Jazzy Jeff and more

Chance The Rapper | Firefly Music Festival 2017 | Photos by John Vettese

Day Three of the Firefly Music Festival brought out superstar performances from Bob Dylan, Chance The Rapper, and The Weeknd, but it also brought out some of Philly’s finest including Mondo Cozmo, Chill Moody, Hardwork Movement, Vita and the Woolf, and a DJ set from the legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff. Some great sets by Bishop Briggs, Sunflower Bean, and Kesha. Continue reading →

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DJ Jazzy Jeff challenged a world-class team of artists to create Chasing Goosebumps in a week, and they delivered

DJ Jazzy Jeff | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
DJ Jazzy Jeff | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

“You put creative people in the room and I’ma show you what can happen…” – DJ Jazzy Jeff

For the past few years, Philadelphia music ambassador DJ Jazzy Jeff has hosted a gathering at his Wilmington-area home called the PLAYlist Retreat. Utilizing his influence as a respected, world-class DJ, Jeff calls together an all-star cadre of some of the world’s finest musicians, producers, DJs and songwriters for a weekend of music making and sharing knowledge. For this year’s edition of the Retreat, Jeff presented the team with a heavy task; to compose, produce, mix, master and release a full-length album in seven days. If that weren’t interesting enough, there’s a twist; a crew would film the entire process and broadcast it live via social media, allowing fans an insider’s “fly-on-the-wall” look into the creative process.

Loose jam sessions evolved into fully realized songs, recording and mixing sessions, downtime conversations about music and life, and viewers were there every step of the way. By the time the album was completed, an entire community of music lovers had blossomed around the project. With a cast of players that includes singer-songwriter Glenn Lewis, The Roots’ James Poyser, DJ Rich Medina, rapper Dayne Jordan, hip-hop / soul wunderkind Stro Elliot and more, the music on Chasing Goosebumps is soulful, evocative and timely. It hits at both the new ways in which contemporary music can be made while reflecting the message of self-determination, love and community, that we need. Continue reading →

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Boiler Room brings the heat to The Fillmore with DJ Jazzy Jeff, Kur and more

DJ Jazzy Jeff | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
DJ Jazzy Jeff | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Normally, a chilly Tuesday night in January would not be the most ideal setting for a raucous dance party, but when the renowned music and lifestyle brand Boiler Room descends upon the city of Philadelphia, a party is sure to jump off. For the past four decades Philly has been (rightfully) celebrated as a breeding ground for elite DJ talent. This reputation along with a thriving hip-hop and dance music scene made this Budweiser-sponsored meeting with Boiler Room a match made in nightlife heaven. Continue reading →

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Meet Killiam Shakespeare, listen to Killiam Season 1

Killiam Season 1 mixtape cover | via Bandcamp
Killiam Season 1 mixtape cover | via Bandcamp

Killiam Shakespeare is Philly-based collective, led by drummer and producer Steve McKie and keyboardist and producer Corey Bernhard. Having released their debut album in 2015, they’re back with a new mixtape that they worked on in collaboration with Philly’s DJ Jazzy Jeff, Killiam Season 1. Continue reading →

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Vita and the Woolf, Lil Dicky, Joie Kathos, DJ Jazzy Jeff and more to play an #AmplifyPhilly SXSW showcase

Lil Dicky | Photo by Morgan Smith for WXPN | phobymo.com

The folks at RECPhilly are once again packing up and heading to Austin for the SXSW music festival, and they’re bringing a roundup of artists to rep the Philly music scene along with them.

The SXSW Philadelphia showcase takes place on Tuesday, March 15th at 8 p.m. at The Main, a venue at 610 E. 6th Street in downtown Austin. The lineup features the piano driven-soul pop of Vita and the Woolf and the fierce flow of rapper Joie Kathos, along with the charismatic Lil Dicky, local legend DJ Jazzy Jeff spinning a two-hour set. Continue reading →

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Snowbound Jams: Hear what DJ Jazzy Jeff and James Poyser did during Winter Storm Jonas

DJ Jazzy Jeff | Photo courtesy of the artist
DJ Jazzy Jeff | Photo courtesy of the artist

Inspired (or trapped?) by the Winter Storm Jonas, two Philly legends – DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Roots’ keyboardist James Poyser – were holed up in the studio and took it upon themselves to craft a wonderfully chill little EP of hip-hop / future soul instrumentals. Composed in about four hours and mostly consisting of live drums, spacey synths and electric pianos, Snow Beats has the feel of an early 2000’s Black Lily-era winter jam session. Continue reading →