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SXSW Dispatch: Reppin’ Philly with RECPhilly, What Scene, Freeway, Moosh and Twist, Ground Up, Chill Moody and more

Moosh and Twist  at the RECPhilly showcase | Photo by John Vettese
Moosh and Twist at the RECPhilly showcase | Photo by John Vettese

It was a rainy night in Austin on Friday, making it the perfect time to stay indoors, off of the 6th Street melee and hang with a stacked lineup of Philly hip-hop and R&B musicians. The party at Old School Bar – thrown by promoters What Scene? and record label / artist development upstart RECPhilly – mixed up-and-comers with established names, and kept the room packed with an enthusiastic crowd across the night. Continue reading →

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Ground Up discuss organic beginnings, songwriting and tour with OCD

Ground Up at Union Transfer | via facebook.com/skilloverswag
Ground Up at Union Transfer | via facebook.com/skilloverswag

Philly’s Ground Up may have jumped into the realm of major exposure in recent years with songs like “Got Damn” and “Daps,” whose video views boast over 200,000 views. But it’s their summer smash “Lets Ride” that has captivated audiences and the those of us at The Key’s office. Bij Lincs, the mastermind and the creator of the group’s sound, is matched perfectly by MCs Malakai and Azar, whose lyrical prowess is both intuitive and witty. The guys are currently on tour but I caught up with them to ask where the inspiration on their newest songs came from and what they’re looking forward to about their upcoming hometown show. Continue reading →

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Hometown Throwdown: Moosh and Twist and Ground Up will tear down The TLA

OCD: Moosh & Twist | Photo by Kelsey Stanger
OCD: Moosh & Twist | Photo by Kelsey Stanger

In three weeks, a pair of Philadelphia hip hop groups will bring their tour back for a hometown blowout. On Friday, February 27th, OCD: Moosh and Twist and Ground Up will tear the house down at the Theater of Living Arts. Moosh & Twist’s enthusiasm blended with Azar & Malakai’s (Ground Up) laid-back demeanor not only gives Philly a great mixture of sounds during the show but it also displays the variety that the Philadelphia hip hop scene has to offer. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: DakhaBrakha at Arden Gild Hall, You Do You at Bourbon and Branch, Ground Up at Union Transfer and more

DakhaBrakha | Photo via facebook.com/DakhaBrakha
DakhaBrakha | Photo via facebook.com/DakhaBrakha

After a well-received showing at this summer’s Philadelphia Folk Festival, Ukrainian four-piece DakhaBrakha returns to the area tonight for a headlining gig at Arden Gild Hall. The band calls their sound “ethno-chaos,” but what that really means is they’re a melting pot that transcends easy descriptions. You’ll hear a little bit of Eastern European folk music with sounds from India, Africa, Russia, the Middle East and Australia in the mix tonight. To get an idea what that sounds like, check out their Take Away Show below and pick up tickets and more information here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Damned at The TLA, Will Sparks at District N9ne, Philly Tapes Philly at Ortlieb’s

The Damned
The Damned | photo via www.officialdamned.com/gallery

English rockers The Damned bring their Hallow-East tour to The TLA tonight.  Formed in 1976, the influential punk rock stalwarts are credited with leading the punk crusade by releasing the genre’s first single and LP.  In 2008 The Damned released their most recent effort So, Who’s Paranoid?, a record that plays more towards the band’s 1980s gothic heyday than its 70s punk roots.  Listen to The Damned’s first single, “New Rose,” below and pick up tickets here.

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The ever-evolving Ground Up is making its way to the top

Ground Up | via facebook.com/skilloverswag
Ground Up | via facebook.com/skilloverswag

It’s always interesting to see how an artist grows throughout its career. It’s like following a great television series; every season, you’re watching to see what’s different, hoping your favorite program doesn’t fall off, or worse, get cancelled. Fans of Ground Up haven’t had to worry about that too much. The hip hop group from Philadelphia has done a great job in the past three years with keeping their fans engaged and also generating a buzz that catches new listeners. What’s interesting about MCs Azar and Malakai is their knack for adjusting their sound to fit the state of hip hop in its present form, yet at the same time remaining who they are. Continue reading →

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New Ground Up video for “Let’s Ride” features water guns, Bentleys, and a monkey in a Phillies jersey

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Photo via https://www.facebook.com/skilloverswag

Ground Up is back with a new music video for their single “Let’s Ride.”  This song is serious fun and the Philly rap trio made an equally fun video to bring the track to life (hat-tip to The Deli for the heads up earlier today).   Although they are in the middle of the woods, they do it up big driving in Bentley’s filled with girls dancing and drinking champagne.  At around 1:20 a monkey sporting a Phillies jersey shows up to join the party.  Why not?  Soon after a water gun fight breaks out.  What else could possibly happen?  Watch the full video below to find out.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kopecky Family Band at TLA, Jose James at World Cafe Live, Luscious Jackson at Union Transfer, and more

Kopecky Family Band | via Facebook

The Nashville natives of Kopecky Family Band will be headlining the TLA tonight, just one stop on a tour that is taking them around North America for the remainder of the year. Their full indie sound is created with the use of keyboards, horns, and cello in addition to the basic band set up. Their somewhat recent releaseKids Raising Kids, opens with the spunky lyrics “Oh! my wandering eyes / nothing’s gonna take me by surprise!” that are delivered in harmony over bluesy riffs and slowly marching drums. Sure to be an upbeat performance, get out to see Kopecky Family band, especially since they’ll be supported by California-bound locals Cheers Elephant. Find tickets to the show here, and pick up their album here.

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Stream (and download!) Ground Up’s new Promiseland EP (playing Allentown’s Crocodile Rock on Saturday)

Ground Up

Local hip-hop trio Ground Up just released their awesome Promiseland EP today, and it’s all available to stream and download through SoundCloud. It manages to have both a catchy mainstream rap sound with unique hip hop beats; “Reality” (ft Rebecca Perl) is an especially great track. You can check out the EP below, and catch Ground Up live this weekend: they’re playing at the Crocodile Rock Cafe in Allentown on July 13th with Moosh & Twist.