My Morning Download: “Enemies” by Adrian Younge Presents The Delfonics

Adrian-Younge-and-William-Hart-web-620x413 In Philly, la la will always mean I love you. “La La” refers to the classic “La La (Means I Love You)”, the very first hit that the Philly soul group The Delfonics had in 1968. It’s been many years since William Hart, lead singer of The Delfonics recorded an album. However, a new record on Wax Poetics, “Presented” by Adrian Younge, has been released that sounds like it was recorded back in the late Sixties, except it’s very 21st Century. Frannie Kelly of NPR Music writes has this to say about: Adrian Younge Presents The Delfonics.

If you listen to hip-hop, you’re listening to The Delfonics — a singing group from Philadelphia whose members are now in their 80s. When Lauryn Hill sings the hook in Nas’ “If I Ruled the World,” she’s lifting a couple lines from their 1972 song “Walk Right Up to the Sun.” Her group, The Fugees, reworked The Delfonics’ “Ready Or Not, Here I Come (Can’t Hide From Love)” on The Score. Ghostface asked The Delfonics’ William Hart to sing backup on his debut album, in “After the Smoke Is Clear,” and years later he rhymed over the entirety of “La La (Means I Love You)” in a song called “Holla.” Biggie, Missy Elliott, Gang Starr and Nicki Minaj have sampled the group’s songs.

Tapping the veins of The Delfonics’ emotive ballads has made for intensely dramatic tracks. Hart sings most often in the thin air of his upper register and, when his voice has been paired with gruff rappers telling scary stories, the effect is unnerving and memorable. Adrian Younge Presents The Delfonics is 13 new songs written by producer Adrian Younge and William Hart and recorded with Younge’s band. Their cross-generational link results in songs that capture the relationship between The Delfonics’ music and hip-hop — songs that get under your skin and stay there.

For more on the story about the album and how it came to be, read this interview with Younge and Hart from Wax Poetics.

Listen to the album in its entirety here.

Purchased the album here.


15 reasons why Philly’s music scene will go from 10 to 11 in 2013

DRGN KNG Photo by Nicky Devine
As far as the local music scene goes, we thought 2012 was an excellent year. Our hats go off to the dozens of bands across an impressive, diverse range of genres for notching things up last year. Roll call: Dr. Dog. War On Drugs. Meek Mill. Hop Along. Cheers Elephant. Arc In Round. Toy Soldiers. Hezekiah Jones. Lushlife. Work Drugs. Chill Moody. Sun Airway. The Stray Birds. Purling Hiss. Free Energy. The Fleeting Ends. Aaron Brown. Res. Low Cut Connie. Spacin’. Swearin’ (there’s a double bill we want to see). Shark Tape. In The Pocket. DRGN KNG. Cold Fronts. Moosh & Twist. Nothing. RJD2. Night Panther. Reef The Lost Cauze. Buried Beds. Vacationer. Ape School. Adrien Reju. The Spinto Band. Ground Up. Vintage Kicks. Pissed Jeans. The legendary Roots crew. Santigold. Birdie Busch. Zilla Rocca. Scot Sax. Man Man. Schoolly (don’t need the “D” anymore, he’s just “Schoolly”). Freeway. Strand of Oaks. Good Old War. King Britt. Heyward Howkins. Arctic Splash. White Birds Chiddy Bang. GrandeMarshall. Meg Baird. City Rain. Juston Stens and The Get Real Gang. The Money Making Jam Boys. Nicos Gun.

Who’d we forget? Probably dozens more. Our apologies if we left you out. We hope you get the point though; these days, Philly is miles deep and miles wide with talent and creativity. If 2012 was a “ten,” here’s 15 reasons why Philly’s music scene is about to go to 11 in 2013. Continue reading →