Tonight’s Concert Picks: Freeway at The Blockley, Rone at Kung Fu Necktie

Philly rap icon Freeway – he of #TeamEarly fame – is celebrating the release of his latest LP, Diamond in the Ruff, tonight at The Blockley. The album drops on Tuesday, and features collabos with Musiq Soulchild, Nikki Jean and Wale. The 21+ show begins at 9 p.m., more information is available here. Below, dig on the ominous “Numbers,” Free’s collaboration with fellow Philly rapper Neef Buck.

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Freeway’s album release concert rescheduled for 11/26 at The Blockley; listen to a new track, “Numbers”

Philly rapper Freeway is dropping his latest full-length, Diamond in the Ruff, later this month on Babygrande Records, and he’s been teasing us. First with music – there was “We Up” and “Jungle,” as well as the Freedom of Speech mixtape.  Then there was the question of when exactly he’d celebrate the album’s release in his hometown. His label originally announced that it was this past Monday night, the 12th, at The Blockley – but it never appeared on the venue’s calendar, and all signs on Tuesday morning pointed to “it did not happen.” Turns out it just took some time to get everyone’s schedule aligned. The venue told us yesterday that the show has been rescheduled for Monday, November 26 – a more timely date, with Diamond in the Ruff coming out the next day – and tickets will be $20 at the door. And hey, there’s new music in the mix too! Below you can check out “Numbers,” another track from the new album, and get ready to party.


The Week So Far: 14 must-read stories on The Key

Photo by Eric Ashleigh |

Interview: Talking wood nymphs and a show at Ortlieb’s with Brooklyn’s Savoir Adore. [link]

Hear a new song from Nothing, sign up to be in their Key Studio Sessions audience. [link]

Interview: Craig Hendrix of Philly’s Auctioneer on songwriting and Shaking Through. [link]

Lehigh Valley jazz-psych duo XVSK stop by to record a Key Studio Session. [link]

Photos of a spellbinding night at Union Transfer with Beach House. [link]

Breaking down the numbers of WXPN’s 885 Songs that Rock countdown. [link]

Watch a jangling new music video from Low Cut Connie, filmed at the North Star Bar. [link]

Get a taste of the new record from Freeway with his Freedom of Speech mixtape. [link]

Listen to The Dead Milkmen recorded live on WXPN…25 years ago. [link]

Download a free mixtape from Black Dub’s Trixie Whitley. [link]

Watch Rap City, the WHYY documentary on Philly’s hip-hop scene circa 1988. [link]

Couldn’t make it to Austin City Limits? Neil Young and Crazy Horse‘s entire set is streaming. [link]

Also in Austin, Philly sons The War on Drugs played a killer “Arms Like Boulders.” [link]

Jack White dances and beatboxes in his music video for “I’m Shakin’.” [link]


Today in Freeway News: Download the new Freedom of Speech mixtape

You’ve got to hand it to Freeway – the man knows how to build buzz. After announcing a tour and dropping a video, then following it up with a new track, today it’s an entire new mixtape from Mr. Team Early. Download Freedom of Speech from Datpiff below, get psyched for Diamond in the Ruff‘s November 27 release on Babygrande Records; his hometown release party is reportedly November 12 at The Blockley, but there’s still no ticket onsale information at the venue’s website. We’ll keep you posted with more info on that as we find it.


Watch a video for Freeway’s new “We Up” (playing The Blockley 11/12)

Next month, West Philly rapper Freeway releases his long-awaited new LP Diamond in the Ruff through Babygrande Records, and is hitting the road for a string of appearances in support of the new LP. His homecoming show hits The Blockley on November 12, the day a couple weeks before the record’s nationwide release. Onsale information for the show will be announced shortly. Below, watch a music video for “We Up,” one of Diamond‘s lead singles.


Best New Music: “The Reunion” by Beanie Sigel (featuring State Property)

Philly rapper Beanie Sigel is releasing a new album, This Time, on August 28th on the reformed Ruffhouse Records. The label had a ten year run from 1989-1999 with releases from Cypress Hill, The Fugees, Schoolly D, The Goats and others. Ruffhouse relaunches with Sigel’s first album since 2007, as Sigel heads off to do a two year prison stint for tax evasion. The first single from the record, “The Reunion”, is a hip-hop slammer and features State Property, the Sigel led rap group featuring Omillio Sparks, Beans, Young Chris, Peedi Crakk and Freeway. Fueled by a funky, tight sample of Sly & The Family Stone’s “You Can Make It If You Try,” Sigel and State Property trade rhymes and raps over the beats that’s an immediate classic. Listen to the song below, and check back next week for an interview with Ruffhouse CEO Chris Schwartz.


Video: Strand Of Oaks’ and A Sunny Day In Glassgow’s Black Cab Sessions performances

The Black Cab SessionsEarlier this month, we posted the trailer for the Black Cab Sessions‘ tour through the USA, which included a stop in Philadelphia and recording sessions with several local acts. The Philly-centric part of the trailer specifically lists performances by Freeway, Spank Rock, Meg Baird, Kyp Malone, Plastic Little, and Reading Rainbow; back when they were here last November, we noted that they had recorded with Grandchildren as well. For now, however, has videos of sessions with Strand Of Oaks and A Sunny Day In Glasgow. You can watch both videos below; more videos of the Black Cab Sessions’ USA tour are available on (Thanks to The Swollen Fox for posting about the videos earlier today.)


Black Cab Sessions USA featuring Philly’s Freeway, Spank Rock, Meg Baird coming soon

Last November the Black Cab Sessions folks rolled in to Philly with their, um, Black Cab and a video crew. If you’re not familiar with these video sessions, the concept is basic. Bands get in to the back of a black British cab and play while the cab drives around the city. The BCS folks have had dozens of artists perform in the back seat of their cab: Weezer, Richard Thompson, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, My Morning Jacket, Bon Iver, Brian Wilson and many others. When the Black Cab folks (based in London) came to the States, they decided to visit six cities: Athens, New York, New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville and Philly. They reached out to folks in the music scenes in each city to find out what bands they needed to check out and record. While they were in Philly they connected with music blogger Mark Schoenveld of YVYNYL and some other scenesters and put a bunch of Philly bands in the back of their cab to perform including Meg Baird, Plastic Little, Freeway and Spank Rock. The other day the Black Cab Sessions folks posted a trailer for the series which you can view below. They also launched a Black Cab Sessions tumblr here with the trailer and the words: “Coming soon, folks.” We’re excited to see how it came out.

Black Cab Sessions USA from Black Cab Sessions on Vimeo.