Your guide to Philly's diverse creative scene, nightlife, music, food & more
I think we all recognize that a strong collaboration can create some truly remarkable music, be it live or in the studio. This week's addition to the Philly 360° playlist bears witness to this fact, as West Philly emcee Chill Moody teams up with GRAMMY-nominated producer-turned-rapper Mike Zombie for their high energy single "Godzilla."
Chill Moody has quickly become a local poster child for indie artists and has picked up major steam since the 2013 release of his debut album "RFM." Mike Zombie also had a whirlwind year after being signed to Drake’s new label OVO and producing one of the biggest rap songs of the year “Started from the Bottom,” which garnered Zombie his first ever GRAMMY nod.
These two hard-hitting rappers go bar-for-bar over the pulsing track created by Philly-based producer Dilemma. The song is a proclamation of sorts to let the world know that they are here—and here to make some major noise in the music industry. The hook sings, “Who want it with this man huh? / Go ahead and build it up and watch us burn it down huh? / We doing what you can’t huh? / We about to take over / Godzilla / Haaa!”
"Godzilla" is fun track that showcases the lyrical prowess of both emcees, and Dilemma's track definitely does its part to keep your head nodding.
You can also purchase the single here. Be sure to support your local artists!
Easily one of Philly's brightest gems, I checked out writer, producer and vocalist Ganou at the listening session for her latest release "Catharsis". The event was held in the first-floor gallery space of local black-centric creative hub Arts Sanctuary and the room was packed full of people ready for Ganou to hit the stage. Though this was my first encounter with Ganou, her fans were familiar and waiting.
Originally from France, Ganou currently lives in Philadelphia. Her music is a welcoming mix of hip hop style production mixed with a minimalist, lo-fi indie sound. Her voice drifts sweetly over hard-hitting drums with simple and emotional melodies. In some songs she utilizes her voice more like another synth or instrument than anything else. Ganou's music is definitely beat driven, but listeners can easily get lost in the ethereal use of her voice.
Though the listening session got off to a late start, the crowd was pleased just to listen to beat after beat that Ganou played. She was also joined on stage for a few songs by producer and emcee Kenneth Sullivan and eventually ripped into her set, barefoot and grinning.
The audience sang along, but there was an especially noteworthy moment when she began her cover of “Hey Ya” by Andre 3000. The whole crowd became a chorus to this slow remixed version of the animated hit.
After her fans yelled for an encore, Ganou delivered, performing one more song to end the evening on a sweet note. Definitely check Ganou out and keep up with her upcoming shows at ganousings.com.
All good things come to an end, but all great things come back again—bigger and better than before. This month, the Tony Award-winning musical "The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess" is making a stop through Philly for a soul-stirring performance at the Academy of Music.
When it debuted in 1935, "Porgy and Bess" was the one of the first musicals in US history to use an entire cast of classically-trained African American talent. Now, re-envisioned with an award-winning Broadway cast, stunning set and a lush 23-piece orchestra, "Porgy and Bess" is making another triumphant return into the hearts of musical theater fans from around the globe.
This week, Philly 360° caught up with one of the show's stars Lindsay Roberts for an exclusive interview. The rising Broadway actress hails from Philadelphia and plays the role of Clara in the touring production of "Porgy and Bess." Like countless other Philly artists, Roberts got her start singing in church at a young age, and even spent time training on the stages of prestigious Philadelphia performance venue Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Since then, Lindsay has landed starring roles in acclaimed musicals like "Memphis" and "The Lion King," and even spends some of her professional time training the next generation of Broadway stars.
Be sure to check out our interview with Lindsay, and then make your way to Philly for a fresh look at this classic piece of American musical theater. It's definitely the perfect way to continue your Black History Month celebration.
Philly 360°: We're super excited to see a Philly native starring in the cast of "Porgy and Bess." How does it feel to be performing for audiences in your hometown?
Lindsay: There is no greater feeling to me than to be able to bring a piece as special as "The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess" home to Philadelphia. Beyond the nightly excitement that I feel every time I perform this show, our Philadelphia run is a time to share Porgy and Bess with all of my friends and family who have poured into my life and supported me on my journey with this career. It's a beautiful way for me to say thank you to them.
Philly 360°: What are a few of your must-do, must-see places while in Philly? Any favorite restaurants, shops, museums or venues?
Lindsay: Because Philly is my hometown, my main to-do will be to spend time with my family and friends. I am also looking forward to teaching a few performance workshops at some of the local schools in the area and giving back to my home community. Beyond that, I am looking forward to worshiping at my home church, Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown, and eating dinner at my mother's table every night! I am, however, encouraging my castmates to check out Reading Terminal, shopping on Walnut Street, running the "Rocky" steps at the Art Museum, and of course, eating a cheesesteak!
Philly 360°: What's one thing a person wouldn’t know about Philly unless they were from here?
Lindsay: Not only are we the city of "Brotherly Love," but we are also the city of "Sisterly Affection!" I am looking forward to playing hostess and making sure that everyone in my company receives a warm welcome and has an excellent stay while performing here in Philadelphia!
Philly 360°: How did you get your start in musical theater? And what's favorite role or production to-date?
Lindsay: I started my musical training by singing in church at Salem when I was five years old. I continued formally studying with the Temple University Children's Choir and throughout my schooling in the Upper Dublin School District. I received my Bachelor's degree in Opera Performance from the University of Maryland and have since learned a lot from working professionally in the industry. A favorite role of mine was starring as Felicia Farrell in the Broadway musical "MEMPHIS" when we came to the Philadelphia-area last year on tour. It was a total dream come true and I am looking forward to doing it again with "The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess."
Philly 360°: We've also heard that you’ve had some theater training through Broadway Dreams Foundation at the Kimmel, can you talk to us a little bit about that?
Lindsay: Yes! The Broadway Dreams Foundation is a WONDERFUL national performing arts training program run out of the Kimmel Center each summer. The aim is to connect budding artists with professional Broadway actors, casting directors, and agents and train then during a week-long intensive. As I was transitioning to NYC, being a student in the program in Philadelphia was a perfect catalyst to my Broadway career. Now, serving on the faculty and teaching the next wave up upcoming actors is one of my greatest joys! More information on Broadway Dreams can be found at their website mybroadwaydreams.com. Check it out and hopefully I will see you this August 4-10 at the Kimmel!
Philly 360°: Tell us about your character and what attracted you to this role.
Lindsay: I cover the role of Clara, the young mother and wife in the story. She is a beautiful and pure young woman who has a heart full of love for her new husband and child. She also has the honor of opening the show with one of the most recorded songs in history, "Summertime." In addition to covering Clara, I am also a Swing which means that I am responsible for knowing and performing the roles of all of the ensemble women in the show at any given time. It's both a challenge and a honor to be trusted with such a huge responsibility!
Philly 360°: Porgy and Bess is definitely a pillar of African American and US musical theater. Why do you think the musical continues to draw attention and audiences 80 years later?
Lindsay: "Porgy and Bess" is a true American love story that resonates in the hearts of all of our audiences, young, old, black, white, and everyone in-between. The glorious music, exciting dance, and heartfelt story-telling that happens on our stage each night truly takes the audience on an emotional journey that is hard not to love. For that reason, "Porgy and Bess" has a beautiful 80-year legacy around the entire world and I am humbled and proud to be a part of it.
Philly 360°: What can fans, new or old, expect from this staging of Porgy & Bess in Philly?
Lindsay: Expect to hear the same familiar songs that have made this show a hit like "Summertime," "I Loves You Porgy," and "It Ain't Necessarily So." We haven't changed the storyline, but we have taken it from being a 4 1/2 hour opera to a 2 1/2 hour musical theater piece that is more accessible to a modern audience. Our focus is on the real heart of the piece, which is the compelling love story between Porgy and Bess.
Philly 360°: Okay, so how can Philly 360° fans get the latest information about your performances?
Lindsay: Check us out online at porgyandbessthemusical.com or 'Like' us on Facebook. Ticketing is available on The Kimmel Center website at and if you'd like to keep up with me, I can be found online at lindsayroberts.com!
Thank you, Philly 360°! I can't wait to see you next week, February 18-23 at the Academy of Music for "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess!"
Consisting of vocalist Ivan Neville, guitarist Ian Neville, drummer Nikki Glaspie and soulful vocalists/bassists Tony Hall and Nick Daniels III, Dumpstaphunk merges rock and R&B with heavy influences from famed funk-rockers like Sly & the Family Stone and Parliament Funkadelic. And, with the release of their latest album "Dirty Word," the band has taken their genre-defying music to brand new heights.
Also on bill for this show is bluesy New Orleans jazz band Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers featuring the soultastic trumpet playing of Kermit Ruffins, who founded the band back in '92. If you’re wondering how the group earned its "distinct" name — Ruffins is known for throwing down on a BBQ grill while playing his live shows. #truestory
So, if you’re looking for a taste of the Big Easy with plenty of Philly flavor, then be sure to enter our exclusive Philly 360° giveaway for your chance to win a pair of free tickets.
Want in on the action? Philly 360° is giving 2 lucky winners a pair of tickets to this show. Enter for your chance to win below. Click here for the official rules.
The contest period has ended.
If there's one thing we know, it's that Kevin Hart is not only one of the funniest comedians in the game, but he's also become a major Hollywood heavy hitter. The Philly favorite has had a slew of successful movies come out recently, and he doesn't show any signs of stopping any time soon.
Hart has been everywhere lately, but he's made sure to show his his hometown a lot of love during his promo tours for his movies. We caught up with him twice in the last month as he was taking over Philly during his promos for Ride Along (in theaters now) and About Last Night (out in theaters February 14).
Hart and Ice Cube both star in Ride Along, so the duo decided to do their own ride along, Philly style. They had us saying, "today was a good day," when they stopped through the Philadelphia vintage sportwear staple Mitchell & Ness. We were there with them and managed to collect a series of random moments with Hart and Ice Cube as they made their way through the shop.
Warning: This is guaranteed to make you laugh until it hurts. Can't get enough of Kevin Hart? Check out our Instagram for some bonus footage of Hart and Ice Cube.
Watch this exclusive Philly 360° video of Kevin Hart and Ice Cube shopping at Mitchell & Ness. Also, be sure to check out Kevin's favorite spots in Philly.
Kevin Hart's love for Philly doesn't stop just in his promotional tours. In the January/February 2014 issue of Arrive Magazine, Hart calls out some of his favorite Philly spots.
Penn's Landing, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard
"You're next to the water, and there's so much stuff to see that tells the history of Philadelphia."
Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom Street
"I love the intimacy."
Live Music Spot
Warmdaddy's, 1400 S. Columbus Boulevard
"It's got a laid-back feel and great food."
Romantic Date Spot
Ms. Tootsie's RBL, 1312 South Street
"The ambience is amazing. Plus, the servers are really nice and helpful."
Max's, 3653 Germantown Avenue
"The best cheesesteak, hands down!"
For more on Hart, check out the full article in Arrive Magazine here.
Talented Philly vocalist and songwriter GoGo Morrow just released her third official single “Breaking the Rules,” and this week we’re serving it up on the Philly 360° playlist. Since headlining the TLA on South Street last spring, GoGo has been on the move, showing the world just how big of a star she really is.
GoGo's new song is accompanied by a video directed by Spike Jordan, which they've dubbed a fashion film. GoGo is constantly breaking the rules of fashion and pushing the boundaries of her personal style, so it’s great to see music and fashion collide in her latest effort.
The sultry lyrics and feel of the new song are a perfect fit for GoGo's raw, emotion-filled vocals. With "Breaking the Rules," Morrow sings about the person you want but shouldn’t have, and giving in to temptation. “Human nature to want what you can’t have but I’ll take the risk / I’m longing for your kiss / and now I’m breaking all the rules.”
As a singer and songwriter, GoGo is a versatile artist that effortlessly delves into R&B and pop. And as a dancer, GoGo's moves during live shows are always on point. This rising Philly star got one of her first big breaks as a background singer for pop sensation Lady GaGa. But one thing is clear: The time has definitely come for GoGo to stake her claim at the top and solidify her space in the spotlight.
This song is also available on iTunes. So, be sure to support local artists.
News just broke that Jilly from Philly will be bringing her music expertise and industry know-how to the show as an advisor for Team Usher. Jill will advise the up-and-coming talent in their stage presence, performance and vocal arrangements. R&B/pop sensation and team captain Usher called Jill his “secret weapon” to propel these hopefuls to straight to the top.
Jill Scott got her start in the “musical renaissance” of sorts which began in Philadelphia during the late 90s and early 2000s. The Black Lily, a former weekly music series in the city, was a launching pad for acts like Jill, Musiq Soulchild, Marshia Ambrosius, Bilal and others.
Her career has since transcended beyond the music industry, as Jill is now starring in feature films, cable network specials and much more. On whether it was a tough decision to add The Voice to her already jam-packed schedule, Scott said in an interview, “When Usher calls, you take the call.”
And, Ms. Scott isn’t the first Philly affiliate to claim an advisor spot on the show. The very talented Adam Blackstone, musical director for Justin Timberlake and owner of indie label BASSic Black Entertainment, was actually an advisor to host Adam Levine on the premiere season of the show.
The new season of The Voice will air February 24 on NBC, and with the recent announcement, we’re sure that plenty of Jill's fan will be tuning in to watch this Philly star shine bright.
Looking for that perfectly bold, unique piece to add to your wardrobe without spending a fortune? Look no further. Last month, Nigerian-born Addie Olutola launched a website for her clothing line D’IYANU which features quality, chic African-inspired fashion that will not break the bank.
"I saw a need for an affordable, trendy, African inspired fashion line easily assessable to anyone interested," explained Addie, "As a Nigerian, I grew up seeing these vibrant African fabrics also known as Ankara, or wax print, used for traditional clothing that were typically worn for special occasions. Around March of 2013, a friend of mine and fellow Nigerian, Ibie mentioned how popular clothes made with this fabric were becoming, as she had seen a dress in Macy's made from the print."
Addie then did some online research and saw some amazing garments, but also noticed that they were expensive and not readily available. Together with her love of fashion and passion for self-expression, the designer decided to launch the D'IYANU line.
The brands striking name is a combination of French and Yoruba that loosely translates "from something wonderful." This holds to remind everyone that they’re special, and should dress like it. The blending of the two languages also alludes to the fusion of the African and Western cultures which define the brand.
"The brand reflects who I am as an African influenced by the U.S and western culture. I'm also inspired by the desire to dress uniquely and stand out. African print clothing definitely makes a bold statement which I love," explains the designer.
This weekend, the public will have an opportunity to shop for exclusive D'IYANU pieces during a launch party at Vivant Art Collection in Old City. There will be African music, art, food and even a few contests and giveaways. Guests will also have a chance to buy two special designs that aren't available for online pre-order.
"My vision is to make D'IYANU a worldwide brand known for its bold prints," remarks Addie, "I would love to work with talented designers and create some fabulous pieces. This is just the beginning and I'm excited to see where the brand goes.
R&B crooner Beano, hip-hop artist Chill Moody and producer Hank McCoy are at it again. On February 7, the hit-making trio lands at Hard Rock Cafe Philadelphia to premiere their upcoming Valentine’s Day album Who Do You Love…More? Get your tickets now.
Wine lovers: Grab a glass, and get ready for the next installment of the Philadelphia Wine Mixer. This is a seen-and-be-seen event that fuses music, art and fashion. Sip and mingle with some of Philly’s brightest designers, artists and performers, including music by Sap Sounds, a fashion showcase by The Marquette Collection.
Jeff Bradshaw is one of the most sought-after musicians in the game. Along with two solo projects, Jeff has played alongside some of the industry’s biggest names, including The Roots, Jay-Z and Jill Scott, just to name a few. In honor of Black History Month, Jeff is teaming up with songstress Laurin Talese for two special nights of live jazz and soul music at Warmdaddy’s.
It’s about to go down! This month, hip-hop powerhouse Wale and So So Def Recordings mega-producer/owner Jermaine Dupri are heading Philly for the 6th Annual Black & Grey Extravaganza. Guests will party in style as this show-stopping duo delivers a dope party playlist.
Resident Philly turntablist DJ PHSH is known across the globe for having mad skills on the 1’s and 2’s. Catch PHSH as he spins back-to-back sets during the next installment of the late-night Friends & Fam session at Kung Fu Necktie.
GRAMMY®-nominated singer/songwriter Aaron Camper is on top of his game right now, and he continues to build his rep by lending his talents to industry heavyweights such as Stevie Wonder, Chris Brown and Justin Timberlake. Camper and an all-star lineup of Philly performers, including Phoenix, Kontraband215 and DJ Aktive, will take over the World Cafe Live stage for an epic night of feel-good music. It’s all hosted by singer/songwriter/producer triple-threat Eric Roberson.
As the official birthplace of the nation, Philly is serious about its history. And Black History Month is no exception. Concerts, parties, exhibits and more—we’re bringing you everything you need to know about Philly’s Black History Month happenings.
Looking for a few fresh ideas? Grab a ticket and prepare for the 2014 return of TEDxPhiladelphia. This daylong conference features Philly’s top personalities, entrepreneurs and entertainers sharing their innovative plans for a better, brighter tomorrow.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Brad Smith knows a thing or two about men’s fashion. Philly 360° followed along as Smith stopped through a few of his favorite Philly spots, including custom suit retailer Commonwealth Proper and vintage sportswear spot Mitchell & Ness.
Nominations for the 3rd Annual Tri State Indie Music Awards are in, and once again, Philly’s music scene is reppin’ strong. You can catch the show live at World Cafe Live on February 16—just make sure to cast a vote for local faves including Jeff Bradshaw, Beano, Laurin Talese and Chill Moody.
During a discussion about Black History Month at Mighty Writers, a popular Philly-based after-school program, the idea for an audio documentary was born. “Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio” will be launched on Thursday, February 20 at the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts in South Philadelphia.
The launch party will be hosted by the incomparable Dyana Williams of Radio One and Influence Entertainment who is affectionately known as the "Mother of Black Music Month". Music for the night will be provided by the Sam Reed Quartet led by the legendary Sam Reed, saxophonist and longtime house leader for North Philly's historic Uptown Theater. Featured musicians will also include George Perakis on guitar, Sonny Keaton on organ and Wayne Morgan on drums.
Mighty Writers services students from ages 7 to 17 and offers daily writing programs, mentorship, and college and SAT prep classes. The organization also recently launched Mighty Radio, an affiliate program student-run internet soul radio station dedicated to honoring the legacy of Philadelphia’s Black disc jockeys.
The audio documentary will recall the glory days of black radio from 1950-1979 in Philadelphia. Narrated by legendary The Sounds of Philadelphia music producer and songwriter Kenny Gamble, "Going Black" will also feature interviews and rare audio. It will highlight the sounds of Jocko Henderson, Georgie Woods, Jimmy Bishop, Louise Williams, and many others that contributed to the legacy of black radio, with a special focus on long running Clear Channel station WDAS.
And if you can’t make it out, we have good news for you. You can tune in to WHYY 90.9 FM on Sunday, February 16, 6-8 p.m., or Saturday, February 22, 2-3 p.m. for a special broadcast of the documentary. Listen live or online. This event is open to all ages and refreshments will be served.
Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love & Gerlan Jeans Loves Patrick Kelly When: April 27, 2014 - November 30, 2014 Where: Perelman Building, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2525 Pennsylvania Avenue Cost: $20 General Admission | $14 Students More Info: www.philamuseum.org…
Pier Entertainment Presents: Up-Close Live When: Thursdays, September 18 - October 23, 7pm and 9 pm sets Where: Relish, 7152 Ogontz Avenue Cost: $10 More Info: Click here for details. Pier Entertainment is back, and they're bringing Philly a…