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Watch The Roots and D’Angelo perform a tribute to Phife Dawg

Last night, some of the giants of the hip-hop world paid their tributes to the late Phife Dawg, the talented rapper and founding member of A Tribe Called Quest who passed away last month due to complications from diabetes. The event, held at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, featured performances from The Roots and D’Angelo, as well as some moving speeches by Kanye West and Andre 3000. Continue reading →

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

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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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Get a look inside last night’s star-studded Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame Gala at The Fillmore

Jimmy Fallon & The Roots - PMA Walk of Fame Gala | Photo by: Rich McKie
Jimmy Fallon & The Roots – PMA Walk of Fame Gala | Photo by: Rich McKie

For the first time in over two decades, the Philadelphia Music Alliance hosted a evening gala to celebrate its newest inductees at the new Fillmore last night.  Earlier in the day a ceremony was held to unveil their plaques, Hollywood Walk of Fame-style, in the Broad Street sidewalk along Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts on Broad Street. The gala, however, was a chance for some of the biggest names in Philly music history to fix up and look sharp to personally honor the new inductees. Continue reading →

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Watch The Roots rock out to the Action News theme at Welcome America

The Roots perform at Wawa Welcome America 2015
The Roots perform at Wawa Welcome America 2015

It was a night of many moments when The Roots played the Wawa Welcome America Festival last night. To name a few: Mayor Michael Nutter’s fierce mic drop after his performance of “Rapper’s Delight.” A surprise guest set from Cee Lo Green that included covers of Kool and the Gang and Al Green. Jeremy Ellis’ Philly-centric sampler megamix. Solid performances from Miguel and Jennifer Nettles from Sugarland.

Definitely the most talked-about moment, though, was when The Roots opened their set with their song “Game Theory,” reworked so it incorporated the iconic Action News theme “Move Closer To Your World” – a nod to 6 ABC, who was broadcasting the festivities. It’s incredible, and you can watch it below – along with Baby Flamehead’s straight-up cover of the song from the 1990s. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Roots and more at Welcome America Fest, Satellite Hearts at Tellus 360

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The Roots | Photo via Facebook.com/theroots

It’s July 4th and that can mean only one thing here in Philadelphia: The Roots will be throwing down an epic celebration on the Parkway. As previously announced, this year’s Wawa Welcome America line-up features R&B singer Miguel, country music star Jennifer Nettles (of Sugarland), Non-COMM alum Zella Day, pop duo MKTO and local acoustic soul singer Twin Ghost. There will also be activities on the Parkway throughout the day, along with special events around the city. Details can be found here. Watch The Roots perform with Common, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Queen Latifah at the 2012 concert below.

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Watch The Roots and Erykah Badu’s 20-minute hip-hop history lesson from the Roots Picnic

Erykah Badu performing at Roots Picnic | Photo by John Vettese
Erykah Badu performing at Roots Picnic | Photo by John Vettese

There were lots of standout performances at this year’s Roots Picnic, which took place at Festival Pier on May 30th. One in particular that is gaining buzz in various corners of the web is Erykah Badu and The Roots‘ 20-minute hip-hop medley. The two music powerhouses teamed up to create a tribute to Grandmaster Flash, Snoop Dogg, Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, and more, and included their individual songs in the mix as well. Watch the performance below, and read our recap of the Picnic here. Continue reading →