The Key Studio Sessions: ReeK Da Rookie

I’m not a lyrics-first listener. By that I mean that while lyrics are undeniably important to music, and most of my favorite musicians are also incredible lyricists, the initial thing I listen for when putting on a piece of music for the first time is, well, the music. So when I put on Philly rapper / producer ReeK Da Rookie‘s debut mixtape F.a.n.T.a.s.Y. for the first time, I was struck by the way he structured the songs, the way he paced the album. The way he mixed highly accessible pop with seriously introspective rhymes, the sentimental in-between-track samples of children and families, the general sense of warmth as he explored themes of dreams and aspirations, the challenges of life, and personal identity. As the album faded down in my headphones, I thought “Wow, this reminds me so much of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.”

The next time through, the point of listening when lyrics usually begin jumping out at me, I noticed a line on the opening title track that I had not heard on the first go-round: “With Lauryn Hill’s ‘Zion’ on repeat I can’t thank you enough for not deciding to retreat.” My read was right; he pretty much spelled it out for me and I didn’t realize. Continue reading →


Philly rapper Reek sings the blues

reekPhilly’s Reek (aka Rookie McFly) was the voice of the lovelorn this past Valentine’s Day with his new release “Singing The Blues”.

Set to appear on his forthcoming F.a.n.T.a.s.Y LP, the track is built around a rich old school soul sample over which he laments in a style similar to Jay-Z’s “Song Cry”. About halfway in, we get a bluesy guitar riff and by the end Reek somberly concludes that “love is misery.”

The Philly MC and producer is relatively new to the performing end of the game; he played the Philly Sound Sessions show at Voltage Lounge earlier this month, and then on Monday night hit the stage at The Barbary, performing with Astronauts Really Fly (check the photo at left via Reek’s Instagram).

He’s also developing a budding production resume, having worked with the established (Chill Moody) and emerging (Tiana Victoria.)

(See More –  Philly rapper Tiani Victoria will melt your face in her new “Million Dollar Flow” video)

(Read More – Get to know Philly producer / MC Reek)

Check out the new “Singing the Blues” below.


Philly rapper Tiani Victoria will melt your face in her new “Million Dollar Flow” video

TVPhilly is buried under a foot of snow today, just about everything around us is closed, shows are getting canceled left and right – including the awesome NoLibs Winter Music Festival lineup with Cee Knowledge at The Fire – and we’re using the spare time to dig through as much new music as we can.

This video hit our radar a little bit earlier, thanks to a tweet from rapper / producer Rookie McFly (aka Reek), and it’s a great place to start. Tiani Victoria is an emerging Philly rapper with a razor-sharp delivery and a fierce flow that would melt icy sidewalks as easily as melting faces. We previously heard her on a Halloween track with Reek, and this instudio performance video of “Million Dollar Flow” is the first single from the Young Bob / Headshot Records mixtape Ladies First Vol. 2; it was directed by videographer Doe Boy and produced by Reek.

(Read More – Get to know Philly producer / MC Reek, listen to his Halloween track with Reef the Lost Cauze, Freeway and Tiani Victoria)

It’s a quick clip, but sets an incredible tone – Victoria’s confidence is unwavering, her lyrics are clever and she handily establishes herself as a powerful new voice on the Philly hip-hop scene. Check it out below, and keep an ear out for Victoria’s Nothing Gonna Stop Me EP coming out in March.


The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Chris Forsyth and The Solar Motel Band, The Lawsuits, Reek

Photo by Allison Newbold |
Photo by Allison Newbold |

Chris Forsyth and his Solar Motel Band recorded this week’s Key Studio Session.  Drawing from the experimental guitarist’s latest record, the set of three songs includes two off of the album and a new one.  Download “I Ain’t Waiting” below and get the full set here.

Philadelphia native Vikesh Kapoor (now based in Portland) released his beautiful debut LP The Ballad of Willy Robbins last week.  The singer-songwriter was a recent guest of Folkadelphia and recorded a live session.  Below, get a free download of the studio versions of “I Dreamt In Blues” from Kapoor’s new record, and see him live at Kung Necktie on November 8th.

Continue reading →