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 →


The Bul Bey and Davon let us know where they’re from

Photo courtesy of the artist.
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Philly rapper The Bul Bey has a new video for “Where I’m From,” featuring South Jersey rapper Davon. Bey has released three albums since 2010, and this new song is from his forthcoming release, Shaking hands and kissing babies. The video was shot on the streets of Philly and Bellmawr NJ, the lyrics exude neighborhood pride despite him singing about the realities of where he’s from.

“Where I live, you better lock your door,” raps Bey, “I call it home sweet home, you call it dangerous.” While the lyrics portray the challenges and dangers he’s met, Bey professes an optimistic message and with images like young kids dancing in a schoolyard, skate boarding down the street, and swinging in a playground as Davon raps “just trying to find a silver lining like a Youtube stream.”

“Where I’m From” has a catchy, breezy and undeniable musical vibe. A rhythm guitar line, which brings to mind “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5, provides a classy hook, and combined with the message of the song, makes for a jam you don’t want to miss. Watch “Where I’m From” below.