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A Very Gritty Playlist: What is Philadelphia’s favorite freak listening to?

Gritty the young bul

In an incredible dose of irony, the most unifying thing to emerge from this dumpster fire of a week is something that looks like it crawled out of an actual dumpster fire.

Gritty, the googley eyed dust mop you see above, went from being universally mocked upon his debut as the newest mascot in the NHL, to being universally memed by thousands of folks with Photoshop and free time, all the way to universally beloved — at least in his home city. I mean, the best donut shop in Philly is selling a limited edition Gritty glazed today, and a Bristol brewpub reportedly already has Gritty beer on tap (although, those familiar with the lengthy brewing process realize this is either opportunistic marketing of a beer already in the works, or something coordinated with the Flyers long before the announcement).

So many questions about this character. What is he, exactly? What are his recreational drug preferences? Does he have a good relationship with the city’s other dayglo colored fuzzy sports freak, the Phanatic? And here at The Key, we’ve been pondering a big one all week — what music does Gritty rock to? Continue reading →

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Did you know Childish Gambino’s “Feels Like Summer” video is the product of Philly animator Justin Richburg?

Childish Gambino’s “Feels Like Summer” video | still from video

Justin Richburg is the 29-year-old, Philadelphia-based animator behind the video of Childish Gambino’s “Feels Like Summer.” Richburg is credited for the character designs, and collaborated with co-director Ivan Dixon for the animation work. Directed by Donald Glover, the video is coated in the balmy haze of summertime and depicts Childish Gambino strolling down a suburban neighborhood street beneath rosy-tinted skies. There are cameo appearances of hip hop artists and icons such as Drake and Future, Nicki Minaj and Travis Scott, Solange and The Weekend, but the most talked-about scene was that of a crying Kanye West in a Make America Great hat being hugged by Michelle Obama.

Despite his rising fame, Richburg remains draped in privacy and anonymity. In interviews he appears nonchalant and shruggingly perfunctory in responses to questions, never diving too deeply to reveal his own motives. Perhaps the statement on his website captures his attitude best: “What can I say about my art is that it’s inspired by life, the media, New Jack Swing and to kill the game point blank.” Continue reading →

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Made In America round two was a mixed bag, but Kendrick Lamar, Miguel and Alessia Cara saved the day

Kendrick Lamar | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

On paper, the second day of this year’s Made In America festival was the stronger lineup — it had Kendrick, Nicki, Pusha, Miguel, and those were just the top-billed names. The way it played out was a bit different, with equipment malfunctions (and wardrobe malfunctions) scattered across the day. It felt at a point like we were alternating between artists who had their act incredibly together, and those who did not, and though it was a mixed bag, it was a lot of fun to sort through. Here’s what we heard and saw.
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20 artists you didn’t realize are playing Made In America this weekend

Saba | photo by Tom Vin | via NPR Music

It’s less than 24 hours till the official kickoff of the seventh annual Made In America festival, and while we’re extremely excited to see headliners Janelle Monae, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill over the next couple days, we’re equally excited for the reliably vibrant festival undercard. We dug into the lineup to see what surprises it contained; many of the artists in this list were new to us, many we know and love and had no idea they were in the mix. Read on, and see you on the Parkway this weekend!  Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Hardwork Movement, Ivy Sole, YallaPunk, Made In America and more

Hardwork Movement | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN | dylaneddingerphoto.squarespace.com

We’re in the last week of summer, people. Even though the season officially continues for another three weeks, with school starting this week and Labor Day on the horizon, this is pretty much it — so let’s make it count. Here are 12 concerts you can see in and around Philadelphia this week, starting out tonight at Johnny Brenda’s with rapper Kuf Knotz’s classically-oriented new project, and wrapping up with the giant party on the Parkway that is Made In America.
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Made in America adds Kendrick Lamar to the lineup

Kendrick Lamar | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

After appearances at the BB&T and Firefly earlier this summer, Kendrick Lamar is about to make his return to Philly, this time as the just-announced headliner of next month’s Made in America Festival. The festival announced its initial lineup back in June, and with names like Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill and Janelle Monae at the top of the bill, the addition of another extremely high-profile headliner just a few weeks before showtime comes as a bit of a surprise — albeit a very welcome one. Made in America also announced last week that several additional acts, including Pusha T, 6ix9ine and Daniel Caesar, will also appear. Continue reading →

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Pusha T, 6ix9ine, LilSkies, and Daniel Caesar added to Jay Z’s Made In America lineup

Pusha T
Pusha T | Photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN | brightloud.com

There has been a great deal of conversation surrounding Jay Z’s Made In America on whether or not the annual music festival would continue to be held on the Ben Franklin Parkway. Luckily the city of Philadelphia decided to keep the festival in place (read about it here), and in further good news, the festival announced a bunch of new artists this week. 

Joining the Labor Day Weekend event are Pusha T, Tekashi 6ix9ine, Lil Skies and Daniel Caesar. They will be performing alongside powerhouse artists such as Nicki Minaj, Post Malone, Meek Mill, Diplo and more. Continue reading →

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Listen to the debut album from 16-year-old Philly rapper Zah Sosaa, Already Paid

Zah Sosaa | photo by Morgan Smith | phobymo.com | via The Fader

Philly’s rap scene has been wildin’ out lately with so many up and coming rappers popping out of nowhere, this includes 16-year-old Zah Sosaa. These new artists are experimenting with more funky melodies similar to Lil Uzi Vert’s style rather than Meek Mill’s old school strictly bars-only scene. It’s crazy to think how music is almost solely focusing on the melodic aspect rather than the lyrical side. Hey, I’m not one to judge though, because songs like Lil Uzi’s are hype. Continue reading →

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Made In America will remain on the Ben Franklin Parkway, says Philly Mayor’s office

Made In America | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Made In America is remaining in the heart of the Philadelphia. The future of Jay-Z’s annual music festival was in doubt last week, as word got out that the city did not want it located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway beginning in 2019. But following a national backlash, both parties have come to an agreement, announcing today that the festival will remain in place at the foot of the Art Museum Steps. Continue reading →