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Required Listening: Reef the Lost Cauze makes his voice heard on “Radio Suckas”

Reef The Lost Cauze | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | hellerhound.com
Reef The Lost Cauze | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | hellerhound.com

Philly rapper Reef the Lost Cauze has never been one to mince words, and his latest record, Furious Styles – out now via Soulspazm – sees him and a cast of friends, from producer DJ Bear One to STS, Peedi Craak and Truck North, doing just that.

Exhibit A: the fierce and furious “Radio Suckas,” which meditates on the homogeny of corporate media, and the barriers it creates – particularly for black artists – when it comes to getting voices heard.  Continue reading →

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The High Key Portrait Series: Reef The Lost Cauze & DJ Caliph-NOW

ReefCaliph-9762_horiz

High Key” is a series of profiles conceived with the intent to tell the story of Philly’s diverse musical legacy by spotlighting individual artists in portrait photography, as well as with an interview focusing on the artist’s experience living, creating, and performing in this city. “High Key” will be featured in biweekly installments, as the series seeks to spotlight artists both individually and within the context of his or her respective group or artistic collective.

In the Summer of 2015, Spotify published a survey of 1000 cities internationally, analyzing some 20 billion tracks, and concluding that hip hop was the highest consumed genre of music worldwide. That’s maybe no surprise to its fans, especially in New York City and in Philly, the two cities where the genre was conceived and first took root in the late 1970s.

Philly’s own Sharif Lacey is better known as Reef The Lost Cauze. Together with friend and producer Todd McConnell, known onstage as DJ Caliph-NOW, Reef has earned his status as a prominent steward of that legacy.

Informed by influences as diverse as Killer Mike, to Jadakiss, to Phantogram, to local compatriots The Roots and the late Philly rapper Viro the Virus, Reef’s prolific catalog offers eclectic tastes of a full spectrum of hip hop’s evolution, including an upcoming release with producer DJ Bear-1 on the Soulspazm label that the rapper considers to be his “most accessible, most gutter record” to date. He notes, “I’ve never really done something that I think dudes that hustle in the streets of Philly would really fuck with, and [Furious Styles] is that record.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: George Clinton at Sands Bethlehem, Reef the Lost Cauze at Voltage Lounge

George Clinton
George Clinton | photo via Facebook

Legedary funk man George Clinton performs at Sands Bethlehem tonight. Leading a number of incarnations of his bands Parliament and Funkadelic since the 50s, Clinton became known as the Grandfather of Funk after catapulting the genre into popularity. Now running a solo act, Clinton performed “Uptown Funk” with Mark Ronson, Mary J Blige and Grandmaster Flash at Glastonbury just last week. Pick up tickets for tonight’s concert here and watch the video for his song “Atomic Dog” below.

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Reef The Lost Cauze and King Syze strike fear in the opposition with “Sigel”

Reef the Lost Cauze | photo via www.facebook.com/lostcauze
Reef the Lost Cauze | photo via www.facebook.com/lostcauze

As if Philadelphia legend Reef The Lost Cauze had any other reason to be more menacing.  The new track “Sigel” with fellow underground Philadelphian King Syze displays the two trading bars in a video that’s shot in various locations around the city.  The Snowgoons remix is believed to be part of Year of the Hyenas, a collaborative album between the two artists that’s due out July 2nd. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Vaselines with Amanda X at Johnny Brenda’s, Mic Stew and Reef the Lost Cauze at Underground Arts, Arc Iris at Tin Angel and more…

The-Vaselines-1

Scottish outfit The Vaselines visit Johnny Brenda’s with Amanda X tonight. The indie pop veterans first released material in 1987 on an EP called Son of a Gun. Seven more efforts followed, culminating in last year’s V for Vaselines LP which was partially a nod by The Vaselines to the sound of the Ramones. Tourmates Amanda X kept busy last year with shows near and far while recording a new 7″. Tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here; watch The Vaselines’ video for “High Tide Low Tide” below.

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Listen to “Sacred Papercuts,” the first single from Dumhi’s Soft Pretzel Power Ballads

Dumhi | via facebook.com/dumhi
Dumhi onstage in 2011 | via facebook.com/dumhi

Philly hiphop collective Dumhi returns this month with the latest installment of its Loosies series, amusingly titled Soft Pretzel Power Ballads. It’s a funny title, but these dudes are for serious – producer Haj at the helm and his regular bevy of collaborators, including Reef the Lost Cauze (his January single “Early on my Born Day“), Random, Murs, Burke the Jurke and more. Continue reading →

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Jam to Dumhi’s latest mixtape, Loosies v.2, The Midnight Salad Sessions, feat. Reef the Lost Cauze, Mic Stewart and more

In the early hours of this morning, South Philly production mastermind Dumhi dropped his latest project, the second installment of the Loosies mixatape series. Whereas volume 1 focused solely on collaborations with Philly rap icon Reef the Lost Cauze, the second volume opens it up to a large cast of collaborators – some who have appeared on past Dumhi efforts (Side Effect, Random, Burke the Jurke) and some who are making their Dumhi debut (Mic Stewart, Mirage512). The set keeps the rhymes rapid-fire while the overall pace is laid-back, making for a unique blend of intense tracks for chill moments. Listen to Reef’s “’92 Flow” below, and get the entire mixtape as a name-your-own-price download at Bandcamp.

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The top 12 beards in Philly hip-hop

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

What Philly emcee has the best beard? That’s a question Examiner.com writer Michael Trampe set out to answer in his article The Top 12 Beards in Philadelphia Hip-Hop. Trampe writes:

Ask a Hip Hop fan to describe a Philadelphia Emcee only using a few words. I guarantee “Big Beard” will be in the description. Philadelphia has been widely known for it’s beards, and in Hip Hop it is no different.

Some of the top 12 beards in Philly hip-hop include Questlove and Black Thought, 4 Horsemen rappers Hollowman and Kre Forch, Tana Da Beast and Tone Trump. Our pal Reef The Lost Cauze is on the list and Freeway takes the number one spot. Reef’s got a new collaboration with producer and beat maker Emyndalbum, The Fast Way. Below, watch a Key Studio Session we did with Reef a couple years back in the WXPN studios. Check out the full list here, and let us know who’s missing from the list.

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Reef the Lost Cauze releases new single “I Woke Up Early On My Born Day”

 

Reef the Lost Cauze | photo via www.facebook.com/lostcauze
Reef the Lost Cauze | photo via www.facebook.com/lostcauze

Reef the Lost Cauze celebrated his birthday last week with the release of a new single “I Woke Up Early On My Born Day.”  Opening with a string of thank-yous to Haj (of Dumhi, the producer of the track), his fans, family and son, the song covers broad Philadelphia territory name dropping LeSean “Shady” McCoy, Riley Cooper and Amaroso’s rolls just to mention a few.

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The Week So Far: 10 must-read stories on The Key (incl. Jessica Pratt, Northern Arms, Gene Shay)

Father John Misty | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com
Father John Misty | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com

Get caught up on the week’s shows with reviews and photos from appearances by Miguel, Pearl Jam and more [link]

Congratulations to XPN Folk Show host Gene Shay, who will be inducted into the Philadelphia Walk of Fame today [link]

Read XPN host Mike Vasilikos’s review of Dr. Dog‘s B-Room, this week’s featured album [link]

San Francisco’s Jessica Pratt performed unreleased songs for this week’s Folkadelphia Session [link]

The Wonder Years’ Nick Steinborn will release a solo EP next month; listen to a new song now [link]

Blayer Pointdujour & The Rockers Galore are throwing a Kompa party at The TLA with T-Vice in December [link]

Delco Pacers will celebrate the release of Stereo Streets at Milkboy on 11/14 [link]

Reef the Lost Cauze has announced a free show at Hard Rock Cafe tonight and a free song called “92 Flow” [link]

Northern Arms stopped by for a mysterious and powerful Key Studio Session [link]

Local rock band Rob, Lately has released a new EP called The Liar [link]