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Janelle Monae, Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill and Miguel top Made in America lineup

Janelle Monae
Janelle Monae | still from video

The Made in America lineup is finally here, and this year, the highly-anticipated annual festival will bring a diverse, dozens-strong roster of artists to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The festival will take place September 1 and 2 — just about 90 days away, not that we’re counting.

Up in the top headlining slots are rappers Nicki Minaj and Post Malone, but this is the kind of festival lineup that merits more than a glance at the smaller print. Some of the standouts include the eclectic and awesome Janelle Monáe, fresh off the release of her new album Dirty Computer, as well as R&B star Miguel, and pop singer-songwriter Alessia Cara. Meek Mill, who has become somewhat of a hometown hero lately, will also appear for what is sure to be a triumphant set. Continue reading →

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Lord Willin’: Reminiscing on the impactful debut of The Clipse

Clipse’s Lord Willin’

August 20th, 2002: two street poets from Virginia Beach released their debut album, telling the tale of the journey of young hustlers from poverty and crime-infested neighborhoods. With the assistance from two highly respected hip-hop producers, who happened to be childhood friends of theirs, the two southern rappers created lyrical theatrical visuals of the good, bad and ugly sides of the route of a gangster.

That timeless hip hop album is known other than Lord Willin’ based on the life of The Thornton brothers Pusha T and Malice better known as hip hop duo Clipse. Continue reading →

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Jay-Z prepares for Made in America with 4:44, a blueprint for the new generation

Photo by John Vettese

Rappers from Kendrick Lamar2 Chainz, Migos, Future, Drake, Rick Ross, Big Sean, Wale, Gucci ManeBig BoiVince Staples, Joey Bada$$ have all contributed to making the first half of 2017 a great year for hip hop. And a few weeks ago, rap icon Jay-Z added his own huge contribution by releasing his thirteenth studio album 4:44.

By putting introspective, complicated rhymes over captivating instrumentals, it’s no shocker that the album has received general acclaim from critics and has already gone platinum — thanks to the assistance of Tidal and Sprint — just a week after its release. Continue reading →

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Listen to Queen of Jeans cover Gwen Stefani’s “Cool” on Sophia Coppola film cover comp

Queen of Jeans | Photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

The music featured in filmmaker Sophia Coppola’s films always have a major purpose. These carefully-selected songs work with the scenes rather than just sitting idly atop them. In tribute to Coppola’s musical reverence, indie label Superfan 99 have released a cover compilation of songs that have found new homes in Coppola films throughout the years. Continue reading →

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Heavyhitters Jay Z and J. Cole join Solange, Sampha, Lizzo and more at Made In America 2017

Photo by John Vettese

Christmas comes only once a year? False. See: Made in America announcement day. Philadelphia’s Labor Day party is back for another round, and with the announcement of this year’s lineup, we imagine the entire city is excited.

Headlining performances from Jay Z (obviously), J.Cole and The Chainsmokers top of the list of 50+ artists, with featured performances from Run The Jewels, Solange, Lizzo, SamphaMigos, and a heck of a lot more. The local scene is also well represented, as PNB RockBeach Slang, Mannequin Pussy and Queen of Jeans nab some earlier spots.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Loose Tooth at Kung Fu Necktie, Queen of Jeans at Eris Temple Arts, Made In America Day One

loose tooth
Loose Tooth | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN

Local outfit Loose Tooth join their friends in Shelf Life, Blue Smiley and Poppies at Kung Fu Necktie tonight. The folks in LT caught our ears with last year’s excellent Easy Easy East, so it was exciting to hear what the four-piece had up their sleeves as a follow-up when they stopped by for a Key Studio Session earlier this summer. Check out a video of new number “Roach Motel” below and get more information for tonight’s 21+ show here.

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Missed Gallant at Firefly? Catch him around town this summer

gallant
Gallant | photo courtesy of the artist

Los Angeles R&B artist Gallant wowed the Firefly crowed in Delaware last week, performing two sets of songs from his breakthrough Ology LP. But if you missed out on the three-day gathering (or if you just want more Gallant in your summer) you’re in luck – he’ll be in town a few more times before we say goodbye to hot days and music festivals.

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Watch Hop Along cover Beyonce circa 2009, pray for a Bey x Hop Along collab at Made In America

Hop Along at Titan House | by Jackie Nevin
Hop Along at Titan House | by Jackie Nevin

If you’ve been following Hop Along for a while, you know that frontwoman Frances Quinlan is an unironic, unapologetic fan of pop music. We’ve seen her cover La Roux at solo gigs in the past, and we know the when she talks about being excited for sharing a bill with Beyonce at Made in America, she’s actually legitimately excited. Continue reading →