Your guide to Philly's diverse creative scene, nightlife, music, food & more
On the eve of the Jay Z's Made In America festival, Kontraband 215 and BASSic Black Entertainment (BBE) will join forces to present Philly Made. Held at The TLA on South Street, Philly Made will present our city's hottest emerging musical talents — live and on one stage.
The event masterminds, Adam Blackstone, founder of BBE and musical director for Pharrell, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna and more, and Darrell Robinson, musical director for K Michelle, N.E.R.D and Kontraband 215, have teamed up with ReverbNation to offer one up-and-coming Philly talent the chance to be added to the show's lineup.
Say what? Yes, one local act will win a chance to perform alongside the all-star lineup of our city's freshest talents, showing the world exactly what it means to be Philly Made.
You can click here to get more details on the contest — just make sure to enter by the August 5 deadline. And, stay tuned into Philly 360° for more details on this show.
Trust us, it's definitely going to be a dope show.
Hailed as “the black Sundance” by Ebony magazine, the 2014 BlackStar Film Festival makes its return to Philly next week for a third round of cinematic awesomeness. This year the festival theme is "Music is the Weapon," and the BlackStar buzz is definitely building. The festival continues to gain attention, and accolades, from movie lovers, industry creatives, and press in Philly, around the country, and beyond.
World premieres, interviews with filmmakers, in-depth workshops, mixers and more — BlackStar 2014 has got it all. So, to get you started, we've pulled together a few of our top picks. But, seriously — with a lineup like this, you'll want, and need, to see it all.
Now, grab a friend (or three), spread the world and get out this experience this Philly treasure firsthand. #ByIndieMeansNecessary Let's go!
Arthur Jafa: In Process
12 p.m. | Scribe Video Center, 4212 Chestnut Street | $20
Filmmaker, cinematographer, intellectual, and visual artist Arthur Jafa will talk about the creation of his latest film, Dreams Are Colder Than Death, a project that has allowed him to test his theories of optics, frame rates, motion capture and sensor resolution as technologies that can be shaped to be part of uniquely Black mode of expression.
Dreams Are Colder Than Death
6:30 p.m | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | $10
What does it mean to be Black in America today? Director and legendary cinematographer Arthur Jafa tears at the root of this question with hypnotic imagery, lyrical grace and an epic narration by a host of artistic visionaries, thought leaders and uncommon folks, including Kara Walker, Hortense Spillers, Fred Moten,Wangechi Mutu and Melvin Gibbs.
Opening Night Reception
7 p.m. | ICA, 118 S. 36th Street | Free
Kick off your BlackStar experience with a special opening night reception at the Institute of Contemporary Art in University City. View Kara Walker's RUFFNECK CONSTRUCTIVISTS exhibit late into the evening and mix and mingle with festival goers. Mr. Sonny James of Illvibe Collective will be the sonic guide for the evening. Cocktails and light fare will be served.
Short Screenplay Competition Reading
12 p.m. | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | Free with RSVP
Join us for a staged reading with professional actors of the Short Screenplay Competition finalists! Entrance is free, but you must RSVP. This year’s finalists will have their short screenplays read by professional actors in front of a live audience. The jurors will select a winner whose film will be produced by BlackStar and directed by award-winning director Terence Nance.
BlackStar Presents Khalil Joseph
5:30 p.m | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | Free
Kahlil Joseph is an award-winning LA based filmmaker, and In this special program, in conjunction with the Kara Walker-curated exhibit Ruffneck Constructivists at ICA Philadelphia, Joseph will screen Wildcat, Until The Quiet Comes, Black Up, andM.A.A.D., a new unreleased project featuring Kendrick Lamar.
Terence Nance & Khalil Joseph: In Conversation
7 p.m. | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | Free
Join award-winning filmmakers Khali Joseph and Terence Nance, as the two artists discuss their practices, their collectives, and the source of their creative output.
Til Infinity: Souls of Mischief
8:30 p.m. | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | $10
Til Infinity is a full-length documentary celebrating the twenty-year anniversary of the critically acclaimed Souls of Mischief’s album, 93 Til Infinity. With over 50 interviews with notable emcees, producers, and DJs, Til Infinity offers a retrospective, in-depth look at the famed Hieroglyphics crew’s landmark 1993 debut album.
Forever Young: Coming of Age Shorts
11:30 a.m. | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | $10
Check out five short films exploring the lessons learned with age, including Deluge, Painted Lady, Perfect Day, Seventh Grade, and The Summer of God
Planet Rock: Hip Hop Shorts
1:40 p.m | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | $10
BlackStar presents five short films exploriing stories centered around hip-hop, including Cakes Da Killa: No Homo, Jamaica House, Underexposed: Indie Hip-Hop in Atlanta, Words by Rakim, and Yrak de Doble Filo & Darwin de Golpe Seko (Hip Hop Cubano).
Panel: The Crossover
5 p.m. | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | Free
This panel will explore the intersection between the film and music industries from music videos, television programming, advertising, and artists/executives whose careers span both worlds. Panelists include: Sherwood Herndon (Wu-Tang manager & film executive producer), Angela Northington (Revolt TV), Jeymes Samuel (They Die By Dawn and musical artist The Bullitts), and others.
They Die by Dawn
6:50 p.m | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | $10
They Die By Dawn is a film based on the true life African American Cowboys of the old west. With an all star cast including Giancarlo Esposito, Michael K Williams, Nate Parker, Jesse Williams, Rosario Dawson, Isaiah Washington, Erykah Badu, Bokeem Woodbine and Harry Lennix, the film sets out to tell the story of a showdown between the real life characters.
Half of a Yellow Sun
8:30 p.m. | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | $10
Olanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose) are glamorous twins from a wealthy Nigerian family. Upon returning to a privileged city life in newly independent 1960s Nigeria after their expensive English education, the two women make very different choices. A sweeping romantic drama, HALF OF A YELLOW SUN takes the sisters and their lovers on a journey through the war which is powerful, intensely emotional and, as the response of readers around the world has shown, it is a story which can touch everyone’s heart.
Panel: Composing for Film
3 p.m. | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | Free
Though we might think of film as an essentially visual experience it would be remiss to underestimate the importance of a soundtrack. This panel will focus on exploring the musical elements while providing insights on composition through professional growth and development. Panelists include Amatus, King Britt, Zakee Kuduro and Paul “DJ Spooky” Miller. Moderated by Rodney Whittenberg.
Time is Illmatic
5 p.m | International House, 3701 Chestnut Street | $10
Time Is Illmatic is a feature-length documentary that delves deep into the making of Nas’ 1994 debut album, Illmatic, and the social conditions that influenced its creation. Twenty years after its release, Illmatic has become a hip-hop benchmark that encapsulates the socio-political outlook, enduring spirit, and collective angst of a generation of young black men searching for their voice in America.
Closing Awards Ceremony
7:30 p.m | World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street | Invite / Passes Only
The BlackStar Awards will be the highly anticipated finale to the 3rd Annual BlackStar Film Festival, concluding four days of genre-defying, thought-provoking independent films. Hosted by Laiya St. Clair, the awards show will feature special guest presenters who will recognize the best of the fest. Bilal will anchor an all star bill of international, independent musical performances to include Shabazz Palaces, Zakee Kuduro, Ursula Rucker, and RadhaMUSprime backed by Luke O’Reilly and DJ Matthew Law.
Philly, another dope show is going down tonight — and you definitely can't afford to miss out on this one. That's right, tonight The Kimmel Center's monthly free music showcase and mixer, Sittin' In returns with another fresh lineup of Philly talent.
The July edition of Sittin' In features GRAMMY-nominated, highly sought-after guitarist, Ben O'Neill. A fixture on the local music scene, O'Neill has played for some of the best known names in hip-hop, pop and R&B, including Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Christina Aguilera, and Tye Tribbett.
Now, Ben is turning his attention to his solo career and debut album, Ghosts & Green Shoots, a heartfelt project that showcases O'Neill's soul-laced guitar playing and songwriting skills — calling to mind the music of acts like Bon Iver, Dirty Projectors and The Flaming Lips.
So, come out, pull up a chair or hit the dancefloor, and check out new music from one of Philly's finest. As always, Sittin' In will feature resident turntabilist, Matthew Law a.k.a DJ PHSH and special guest MC Hezekiah Davis III.
This past weekend, another epic, musically-charged Independence Day celebration went down on The Parkway. Philly's favorite hometown band, The Roots starred as headliners and houseband for the popular Philly Fourth of July Jam presented by VH1, which also included performances by included Aloe Blacc, Jennifer Hudson, Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj — and a special appearance by Philly soul singer Bilal.
But, the show's headliners weren't the only stars shining on stage!
This year, BASSic Black Entertainment recording artist Laurin Talese was in the middle of all the action, lending her soulful vocals to the band backing the show's main acts. Philly 360° teamed up with the Laurin for a @Philly360 Instagram Takeover, bringing our fans an inside look at the rehearsals and backstage scene for the Philly Fourth of July Jam.
Along with taking a few fashionable selifes with her fellow background vocalists, @nicolerhurst and @ebonyjoimusic, Laurin grabbed shots with all of the music/entertainment notables, including Questlove, Black Thought, Charlie Mack, DJ Jazz Jeff, Marlon Wayans and more.
So, whip out your iPhones and Androids and check out the Philly 360° Instagram feed to see all of the fab pics Laurin captured for her takeover. You can also scroll through the below visual gallery to check out the images.
It's time for another Philly 360° Instagram Takeover! Next up: Philly's own sultry jazz vocalist, Laurin Talese.
A Philly transplant by way of Cleveland, OH, Laurin studied music at University of the Arts, where she met her fellow Philadelphia musician, and current creative partner, Adam Blackstone — who serves as the music director for mega-talents like Justin Timberlake, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Pharrell and more.
After touring as a background vocalists for Philly soul artists, Jaguar Wright, Bilal and Vivian Green, Talese turned her attention to her own solo career, eventually signing with Blackstone's music label and production company, BASSic Black Entertainment (BBE). Through BBE, Laurin released three must-hear singles, including her latest song "This Love," which is available on iTunes. Her debut album will release this winter.
This week, when the Philly Fourth of July Jam presented by VH1 and The Roots goes down, Laurin will be on stage in the middle of it all, lending her pitch-perfect sound as part of the band backing the show's headliners, which include Aloe Blacc, Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran, of course Philly's own hometown heroes, The Roots.
On July 3 & 4, Laurin Talese will be taking over our @philly360 Instagram account, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at rehearsals and day-of for The Roots' annual Philly Fourth of July Jam and Fireworks.
Want in on the action? Just follow us and check out Philly's biggest free concert all day and night from the perspective of the lovely @laurindarling.
Leave it to Questlove to get the party started a day early.
On July 3, the night before the Parkway-based Fourth of July festivities go down, you can catch Quest, Rich Medina, DJ Cash Money, DJ Cosmo Baker, DJ J.Rocc, and DJ Phsh aka Mathew Law, all holding down the turntables for the return of Questlove's Philadelphia Sound Konnoisseurs (PSK) at Voyuer Nightclub.
This is definitely the only way to kickstart your Independence Day celebration in Philly. Don't miss it!
The Roots have officially become the face and sound of Philly’s Independence Day celebration. Again this year, Questlove, Black Thought and the entire Roots Crew will star as the headliners and house band for one of the biggest free parties to hit our town—the Philly Fourth of July Jam featuring Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Hudson, Ed Sheeran, Aloe Blacc, Ariana Grand and Vicci Martinez.
Bey and Jay are on the run. Powerhouse music couple Beyoncé and Jay Z are hitting the road together for a summer stadium tour, and of course they're stopping through Philly. On Saturday, July 5, the Carters land at Citizens Bank Park with the most epic music tour in the history of ever. Grab your tickets now.
There's no word in the Philly dictionary more adored, or versatile, than "jawn." It can be applied to just about any situation, person or place, but in this case, "The Jawn" means a serious party is about to go down. Each and every Sunday, DJ Cash Money, along with Stacey "Flygirrl" Wilson and a special guest DJ, will bring you the hottest Sunday night party of the summer. You can also catch The Jawn on July 13, 20 and 27.
Veteran Freshman is back on the scene with another dope show. On Friday, July 11, VF takes over the stage at The TLA with some of Philly's freshest acts, including Motown recording artists MPrynt, soulful vocalist Guordan Banks, singer/songwriter Ganou, R&B/folk songstress Brianna Cash and hip-hop artist Bok Nero. This is definitely a can’t-miss concert for the summer.
Two words: Bruno Mars. Since the 2009 release of his debut album, the pop sensation has been on a fast track to the top—landing five songs on Billboard's Hot 100, performing during this year’s Super Bowl halftime show and selling 130 million singles worldwide. This month, see Mars as he performs at the Susquehanna Bank Center for an unstoppable, arena-rocking night of music.
Natalie “The Floacist” Stewart is back with some new music for her Philly fans. As one half of former soul duo Floetry, Stewart co-penned hits like Say Yes, Getting Late and Floetic—forever changing the sound of soul music across the globe. Stop through World Cafe Live on July 18 for a chance to get up close and personal with The Floacist.
Indisputably one of the hottest artists in the rap game right now, Philly-bred MC Meek Mill returns this month to perform a special homecoming concert for his Philly fans at The Liacouras Center. Since releasing his debut studio album Dreams and Nightmares to critical acclaim in 2012, the rapper has collaborated with the biggest names in hip-hop, including Rick Ross, Wale, Drake, Trey Songz, Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, T.I., Mary J. Blige, John Legend, K. Michelle, Future and Wiz Khalifa.
You know Philly’s all about the summer, summer, summertime—and things are definitely heating up on the Philly music scene. Whether you’re in the mood to soak up sun and sounds outdoors at The Mann Center or The Dell or take in the sights of South Street before hitting The TLA, there are plenty of shows going down in Philly this summer. Check out our guide.
Cinephiles: Hailed as “The Black Sundance” by Ebony magazine, BlackStar Film Festival returns July 31-August 3 for another round of cinematic awesomeness. The Philly-based festival highlights independent films from emerging directors, producers and writers about the global black experience. Be there. #byindiemeansnecessary
The seventh annual Roots Picnic just went down, and once again, the Legendary Roots Crew delivered an epic concert for their fans. And of course, Philly 360° was there to cover all of the behind-the-scenes action. HOT 107.9 personality Laiya St.Clair interviewed Philly creatives like Mike Zombie, Dom Streater and Chill Moody. Watch our recap video.
Though pop sensation Estelle hails from London, she's no stranger to our city. Working with Philly producers on her latest project True Romance, which drops in September, Estelle has a solid lineup of hometown "American boys" shaping her sound. Philly 360° followed along as the international star hit up a few of our favorite Old City boutiques and talked about her love for all things Philadelphia. Watch the video.
It's ladies night at The Hard Rock. That's right — this weekend some of the hottest female talents from Philly, and beyond, will hit the stage at the Hard Rock Cafe Philadelphia for Black Girls Rock Hard.
Presented by Moshay Laren and Lyn Brown Music Group, this rock-tastic music showcase features a dope lineup of artists, including Nafesa, Jae, Tracey Preston, Chartel, Suzann Christine, Black Alley and BriaMarie. Each of these ladies have been rocking mics and shows all over the place, and now, they are coming together for an unstoppable night of R&B, Rock, soul and hip-hop.
This is definitely a must-hit production. #bethere
This native Philly singer/songwriter has been making some serious noise on the local music scene. Sharing the stage with other Philly phenoms like Carol Riddick, Suzanne Christine, MPYNT and Jeremy Isaac, Nafesa's soulful music and undeniable energy make her an artist to watch.
An actrress, singer, songwriter triple-threat, Tracey Preston has been holding down the local art scene, performing around town since her childhood. Whether on stage with a house band at Warmdaddy's, or taking the leading role in a production / musical, Preston emb.
A breathe of fresh air, JaE soul-infused rock sound is bringing a new vibe to Philly music, and the city is definitely feeling it. Unquestionably orginal in style and approach, JaE effortlessly blends gritty rock & roll with cool Philly soul for a sound that is all her own.
As a background vocalist and regular contributor to Philly-based soul band, Vertical Current, Chartel is making her mark on Philly music. She's opened for renowned acts like GRAMMY-winner Robert Glasper and gospel sensation Deon Kipping — and is definitely another Philly star in the making.
The talented vocalist made her decision to live her life after quitting her full-time job to pursue music and it seems that decision has been paying off. From opening for acts like Rick Ross, Musiq Soulchild and Kindred to collaborating with MCs Freeway and Chill Moody — it’s clear that Suzann Christine is on the right track.
Hailing from the DMV, Black Alley has been featured on various media outlets to include Okayplayer, EarMilk, ThatsEnuff.com, Washington City Paper, and Washington Post. The video for their single "Artist Prayer" is in heavy rotation on VH1 Soul and the video for their single “Bad Girl” recently debuted exclusively on MTVHive.com.
The “Fresh Princess”, as she is affectionately known, is the sound of a new type of artistry. The Columbia, Maryland native’s single “Bye Boy” was recently featured on MTV.com and has been praised on Bossip.com as “a video with a message that’s pretty hot." With the creative powers of Carvin Haggins, of Carvin & Ivan, behind her sound, Bria is definitely on her way to the top.
Curran J. Swint is one of the city's hottest emerging style entrepreneurs, and his blog and lifestyle brand, Kings Rule Together (K.R.T.) has received major accolades from some of today's top artists, tastemakers and celebs.
This month, Curran J brings back one of his hottest concepts back for the third year, The KRT Tees Vs. Tanks Brand Basketball Game in West Philly. On Saturday, June 21 KRT will join over 30 brands that will descend upon Parkside Evans Playground to compete for the championship trophy — and the top player from the winning team will also take home the MVK “Most Valuable King” trophy. The event will also include a three point shootout and a slam dunk contest prior to the championship game.
Always looking to give back, KRT is also inviting attendees to bring their gently used clothes, which will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern Pennsylvania.
In addition to rooting for their favorite brands, onlooker will also have the chance to shop merchandise from each of these companies — just in time for summer. So, spread the word and get out to support the return of this classic Philly giveback.
The wait is finally over. Tomorrow, the Roots Picnic lands at Festival Pier at Penn's Landing for another epic day-long concert on the Philly waterfront. If you haven't grabbed your tickets yet, now is the time. You can also check out the official Philly 360° Roots Picnic Guide to get all the deets on how to get to venue, and best enjoy the show.
The vibe and atmosphere at Festival Pier will be nothing short of amazing, with tons of people partying to sounds of the incredible lineup of artists, all hand-selected by The Legendary Roots Crew. Janelle Monae, Chill Moody, Jhene Aiko, Snoop Dogg and more — you definitely won't want to miss it when your favorite acts hit the stage. Luckily for you, the set list for tomorrow's show was just released online. Check it out below.
Also, be sure to take a look at the — count them — FOUR dope Roots Picnic after parties that are going down tomorrow. Are you ready? We seriously hope so. #epic
Yes, you heard us right — after parties. Plural. This year, we've heard about a few dope parties going on after the Roots Picnic. So, once the last act leaves the stage, the party will continue. Get to your favorite spot and dance the night away, or if you are really down to party, you might want to stop by all of these spots. The details are below.
BlackStar Film Festival When: July 31 through Agust 3 Where: International House, 3701 Chestnut Street; See website for additional venues. Cost: $10, general admission; $125 all-festival pass More info: www.blackstarfest.org Hailed as “the black Sundance” by Ebony magazine, the…
Keyshia Cole: Point of No Return Tour When: Friday, August 1 | 8pm Where: The TLA | 334 South Street Cost: $28-40 More: Click here for more. Keyshia Cole is about to land in Philly! That's right, the "She"…