Your guide to Philly's diverse creative scene, nightlife, music, food & more
In case you haven’t noticed, this little thing called hip-hop is a pretty big deal. If you live in America and were born between the years of 1970 and 2000, it’s inevitable that hip-hop has influenced your life in some form or fashion--from the way you dress to the way you think.
Since the summer began, local station Power 99 has provided a platform for some of Philly’s best underground hip-hop artists via its online performance series called The Movement.
The Movement showcases artists who are considered to be the “B-side” of hip-hop. The side of the genre that doesn’t get played on traditional radio. Some of the artists who have already blessed the Power 99 performance studio include, Chill Moody, Writtenhouse, Aquil, Dave Ghetto, Hezekiah and Verso, all of whom have poured their souls into each line for a FREE show. That’s right, a FREE show.
Go to power99.com and type in the keyword, “movement” to be taken to where you can RSVP for the remaining shows, or just click here. The remaining artists are Amir Taron, Ako, and Fel Sweetenberg. All the videos from previous performances are onpower99.com.
The Movement airs on power99.com live every Wednesday at 5 p.m., at the Power 99 studio. To see the show in person, RSVP here.
Underneath the Liberty Bell, the Philadelphia Art Museum and Citizen’s Bank Park, down the block from Geno’s and Pat’s, and around the corner from The Kimmel Center, lies a scene seldom seen by travelers. Found in between the cracks and crevices of the inner city is arguably Philly’s most vibrant cultural attraction. We’re talking about hip-hop. Underground hip-hop. In an age where you don’t need mainstream media to become a national celebrity, Philly has taken full advantage by producing some of the most talented artists and most entertaining live music scenes in the country.
There are dozens of Philly acts that perform regularly at venues like the Theatre of the Living Arts a.k.a. the TLA, The Blockley and The Arts Garage--and of those acts, Writtenhouse has made it to the must-see list.
Named after Rittenhouse Street in Germantown where their studio is located, Writtenhouse combines lyrical prowess, passion and stage presence to produce the type of music that sounds great in the car and even better on stage. Their latest project While You Were Sleeping caters to fans of the rapid flow, boom-bap style of hip-hop that gained prominence in the 90s. Combining socially aware commentary with quick wit and a charismatic instrumentation, While You Were Sleeping proves to be a much needed trip back to hip-hop’s golden era.
Yet despite the reminiscent sound, Writtenhouse doesn’t come off as contrived or a forced attempt to distance itself from mainstream hip-hop. The sincerity in their music is evident in songs like Cigarette Smoke, where the protagonist raps about a personal addiction and the struggle to free himself from its hold. Writtenhouse digs even deeper on the title track While You Were Sleeping. The song (and album) is dedicated to their manager Muhammad Abdul-Sharif who had a horrible accident in which he lost oxygen to his brain. While You Were Sleeping describes the group’s fight to keep growing in their manager’s absence despite pressure to make crossover music. The title track concludes a “just push play” type of project from Writtenhouse that’s sure to be a cult classic. While You Were Sleeping is available now on iTunes.
Get to know Writtenhouse a little bit better and watch their video below.