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.
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.
Earlier 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, babelgum.com 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 babelgum.com. (Thanks to The Swollen Fox for posting about the videos earlier today.)
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.