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M.I.A., Busta Rhymes, Tierra Whack and more will join Lauryn Hill at Festival Pier next month

Busta Rhymes | photo by John Vettese for WXPN // M.I.A. | still from video // Tierra Whack | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

When iconic singer/rapper Ms. Lauryn Hill announced her upcoming tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of her debut solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, it seemed too good to be true. She’ll be playing the classic album in full, but if that isn’t reason enough to attend, we now know the opening acts for the Philly stop on the tour, happening at Festival Pier on July 13.

Two well-loved and long-running rappers are lined up for the show — Busta Rhymes, who recently appeared at the Firefly Music Festival for the second consecutive year, and M.I.A., whose last album was 2016’s AIM. Also in the mix is reggae artist Jo Mersa Marley (who just happens to be the grandson of Bob Marley). But perhaps the most exciting part of this announcement is the addition of a local act — Philly-based hip hop artist Tierra Whack. She released a new visual album, Whack World, last month, and recently appeared at Roots Picnic and Firefly. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists at Union Transfer, Ms. Lauryn Hill at BB&T, Bastille at The Fillmore, plus more

Ted Leo | photo courtesy of the artist

Ted Leo is back and bringing his trusty crew, the Pharmacists, with him to Union Transfer tonight. This past week, Leo smashed his seven year hiatus with the new record, The Hanging Tree, which was funded through the generosity of his fans via a successful Kickstarter campaign. Watch his latest video for “Can’t Go Back,” below, then find info on tonight’s show here. Continue reading →

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Ms. Lauryn Hill spans genres and cultures for a fired-up Diaspora Calling show at The Mann

Ms. Lauryn Hill | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN
Ms. Lauryn Hill | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Eighteen years almost to the day after the release of her landmark solo album, Ms. Lauryn Hill played to a fired-up crowd of fans at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts in West Philly. Her multi-platinum albums, both solo and with Fugees, still stand as hip hop and neo-soul titans, an achievement certainly worth an evening of anniversary acknowledgement.

Saturday’s show in Philly was the opening night of Hill’s MLH Caravan: A Diaspora Calling! Concert Series, touted as an ensemble event celebrating the artistic and cultural legacy of African disapora.
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