Key Fest At-A-Glance: A set of simmering Philly hip-hop and R&B with Brielle, The Bul Bey, Jacqueline Constance and Tiani Victoria

Brielle | Photo by Reji B. |

I kind of see our first-ever Key Fest as a tour of the Philly scene, from the basements to the coffeehouses and ending up in thenightclubs. Since the concluding night of the series happens to be on a Saturday, we had to make it a party by getting together some of our favorite voices in Philly hip-hop and R&B and bringing them to the MilkBoy stage. Here’s a look at what’s in store. Continue reading →


The Bul Bey added to night three of Key Fest

The Bul Bey | via
The Bul Bey | via

The first ever Key Fest is just around the corner, with three nights worth of impressive local artists curated by The Key kicking off at MilkBoy starting April 23.

The latest hype is that Philly rapper The Bul Bey will be joining us for the third day of the fest, alongside Brielle, Jacqueline Constance and Tiana Victoria. Unfortunately Sugar Tongue Slim had to drop off the festival due to a scheduling conflict, and while we’ll miss him, this is still a lineup you can’t miss. Continue reading →


Meet The Bul Bey: Philadelphia’s underdog MC performing at Ortlieb’s next week

The Bul Bey | via
The Bul Bey | via

Amir Richardson might come off as an underdog. That’s because he is. Known in the Philly hip hop world as The Bul Bey, he recently released his debut album with Illvibe Media, titled Shaking Hands and Kissing Babies. And although he’s been making, writing and releasing music since 2007, he refers to this album as his “formal introduction to the masses.”

He’s coming out of his shell and Richardson, 27, admits that he sometimes thinks it took him a while to get to this point.

Without completely cuing the Fresh Prince, Richardson is a homegrown West Philadelphian who’s been shaped and molded by his experiences in the city, both good and bad. Shaking Hands and Kissing Babies is largely a product of this upbringing – one laced, quite honestly, with paranoia and fear. Continue reading →


Obscura celebrates local talent at West Philly’s A-Space

Obsucra | Photo by John Vettese
The Bul Bey | Photo by John Vettese

The latest in the semi-regular Obscura series brought a stellar lineup of local talent to the A-Space anarchist community center in West Philly on Saturday night. Founded by local writer and promoter Lissa Alicia Simpsons, the series aims to spotlight local independent artists who are all too often overlooked in the Philly music scene. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Obscura at A-Space, DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist tribute to Afrika Bambatta at The TLA, and Cassavetes at the First Unitarian Church

Photo via Kieko Photography

After a successful debut showcase in June, the Obscura series is returning to A-Space. The brain child of journalist and promoter Melissa “Lissa Alicia” Simpson, Obscura‘s goal was to gain recognition for hip-hop artists in the West Philadelphia area that had unfortunately slid under the radar. Local rappers Verbatum Jones and The Bul Bey are featured on the bill, as well as Luci Rising, an eclectic songwriter and poet. Click here for tickets and more information. Below, watch The Bul Bey’s music video for “Where I’m From.” Continue reading →


The Obscura showcase gives hip-hop and indie a new voice in West Philly

Photo courtesy of Kieko Photography

For many local music fans, “West Philadelphia” is synonymous with DIY ethics and dingy basements, guitar howls and lost hearing. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, those whose predilections lean towards hip-hop and breathing room might feel short-changed.

Obscura creates a space for those others, building off of the Cedar Park neighborhood’s rich diversity and deep-rooted progressivism to create a space where incendiary hip-hop and indie music can find a home. Continue reading →


Illvibe Collective’s new monthly party launches at MilkBoy with STS, Hezekiah and more

S.T.S. | Photo by John Vettese
S.T.S. at the Illvibe Collective party | Photo by John Vettese

“The Philly hip-hop scene needs something fresh,” Hezekiah told the audience at MilkBoy. The Philly MC was in literal master of ceremonies mode at the center city venue last night, hosting the launch of a new party organized by Illvibe Collective that had clever wordsmith S.T.S. (Sugar Tongue Slim) in the headlining spot. Hezekiah explained to the crowd that their goal was a new showcase of the city’s emerging talent that also celebrated its established names on a planned monthly basis. Last night’s kickoff was modestly attended – decent for a Wednesday night though – but the people who went were pumped to be there. “We’re family,” Hezekiah and DJ PHSH said throughout the night, and indeed there was a warm and engaged vibe among the people on the floor, and the talent on stage did not disappoint. Continue reading →