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Send off the summer with Voss and friends at Pub Webb

Voss | photo courtesy of the artist
Voss | photo courtesy of the artist

Between his run of mixtapes over the past few years and his writing for The Key, it’s pretty clear: Voss knows hip-hop. So it’s cool to see the Philly wordsmith curating an interdisciplinary showcase up Temple way to close out the summer on Saturday, September 16th.

Joining Voss onstage at Pub Webb is Malakai (formerly of Ground Up), Jo Rivers, BooB Mile$, with sounds in the mix from DJ Dommis, DJ Andrew Kent, and DJ Hoove and visual art care of Told By Soul and Reji B. Photo, the latter of whom often pairs up with Voss on his concert reviews.
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Voss shares music video for “Respect My Mind” ft. Milton, holding album release party in May

Voss
Voss| Photo by John Vettese

Philly rapper Voss has shared his new music video for the song “Respect My Mind” from his album Insatiable, featuring Milton.

On “Respect My Mind,” Voss speaks of understanding and appreciation for others at the same time telling people not to fuck with him, while Milton takes slick hook duties. The video features performances by the duo along with a humorous interlude of them sitting down with a rude record exec before telling him off. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: John Vettese’s Top 5 Philly music discoveries of 2015

Chelsea Sue Allen | via chelseasueallen.bandcamp.com
Chelsea Sue Allen | photo by Jason Stewart | photo courtesy of the artist

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. To kick off the series, Key editor John Vettese recaps five of his favorite Philadelphia music discoveries from the past 12 months.

You know it’s been a solid year of Philly music when squeezing it into a list of five feels like an injustice. True, I review the scene every year at the start of our #YearEndMania series, and yes, it’s almost always an “incomplete” list. But this year in particular, it could have handily been fifteen or twenty discoveries instead of merely five, and reeling the number in today was totally a challenge.

Some general observations: Philadelphia had a higher-profile musical year than ever before. A slate of solid releases emerged from the 215, from the amazing Painted Shut from Hop Along, which topped our critics’ poll yesterday, to Kurt Vile’s dreamy latest b’lieve i’m goin’ down; heavy rock and roll by The Districts and an ace live album from Dr. Dog; a hotly anticipated return from Meek Mill (hopefully that Drake beef didn’t do too much damage to his rep); timeless offerings from Jazmine Sullivan and Jill Scott; and so much more. Then there was the amount of attention Philly recieved from the outside world, including Stereogum’s scene report in June – it got a mixed reception in musician circles, but it was nonetheless cool to see those guys watching us from afar. We also saw increased coverage of Philly musicians in Impose, Noisey and Brooklyn Vegan, all the way up to Rolling Stone (which freakin’ loves them some Alex G.).

It’s all exciting stuff, but those artists I mentioned are doubtless very familiar to our regular readers at this point. With this in mind, I set my sights back to January to remember the names and faces that were pretty much new to me over the course of the year, or new-ish but making a big impression. Looking over the five, my listening habits were clearly eclectic but notably on the downbeat side. But don’t cast this crop of emerging musicians as mellowed-out, maaan – they may be quiet on the surface, but each works on a very nuanced level, delivering intoxicating tones and intricate textures that teeter on the verge of exploding. In many cases, that’s what they ultimately do, in a sonic sense, and next year I’m hoping to see some of these artists explode in that other cool kinda musical way: their profile. Let’s dig in. Continue reading →