Your guide to Philly's diverse creative scene, nightlife, music, food & more
In 1979, legendary songwriter/producer and founder of Philadelphia International Records Kenny Gamble, along with broadcast executive Ed Wright, founded the Black Music Association, which established June as Black Music Month by decree from President Jimmy Carter.
In 2000, the United States government officially recognized Black Music Month after radio personality and celebrity media coach Dyana Williams and Congressman Chaka Fattah tirelessly pushed to get the African American Music Bill passed through legislation.
For this Philly 360° Black Music Month guide, we're resurfacing our exclusive with Dyana, who is also fondly referred to as the “Mother of Black Music Month.” Check out the below video to get her breakdown of how Black Music Month came to be.
Then, browse this list of over 15 shows that will go down in and around Philadelphia during the month of June. D'Angelo, Bilal, Wiz Khalifa and more — no matter your musical taste, we've got something for you. Check it.
Wednesday, June 3 | Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill Street | $15 | Pop, R&B, Soul
Julian King works hard to perfect his craft. And, with the release of his latest single "Unforgettable" and an upcoming headlining show in Philly — there's no doubt that this Philly-bred singer/songwriter is ready for his time in the spotlight.
Saturday, June 6 | The TLA, 334 South Street | $37-60 | Hip-hop
Philadelphia-bred rap veteran Beanie Sigel brings it home to The TLA on South Street for what will be one of his first major appearances in a while. Grab tix for this show to relive why many still hail the Philly native as one of the greatest rappers of all time.
Sunday, June 7 | The Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Avenue | $35-125 | R&B, Soul
Nine-time Grammy-nominated artist Charlie Wilson is bringing his acclaimed Forever Charlie tour to Philly for an “unforgettable night” at the Mann this summer with special guests KEM and Joe. The party goes down on Sunday, June 7th for a night of R&B, Billboard-topping hits like, “Without You,” “Charlie, Last Name Wilson,” Magic,” “There Goes My Baby,” “Can’t Live Without You,” “You Are,” “Life of the Party” and “My Love Is All I Have.”
Tuesday, June 9 | World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street | $25-38 | World, Afrobeat, Funk
Son of Afrobeat founder Fela Kuti, Femi struck out on his on long ago to continue in his father’s legacy of preserving his music while producing socially-conscious, hip-moving, funky-infused songs that move audiences all over the world. Don't miss it as Femi returns to World Café Live in June.
Wednesday, June 10| Susquehanna Bank Center | $37-85 | Hip-hop
In support of their latest projects, American Beauty/American Pyscho and Blacc Hollywood respectively, Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa team up for a summer tour that is set to touch down in over 40 cities across the U.S. This tour includes opening performances by Hoodie Allen and DJ Drama.
Thursday, June 11 | The TLA, 334 South Street | $50 | Hip-hop
Veteran rapper DMX lands back in Philadelphia this month. Get up close and personal as he bring his signature hardcore, raw rap styling straight to the stage of South Street's TLA.
Wednesday, June 17 | The Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce Streets | Free | Jazz, Urban, Hip-hop
Once a month on Wednesdays, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts opens its doors and stages to some of the city's hottest musicals talents for the popular Philadelphia music showcase, Sittin' In. This month's show is hosted by the indie Grammy-nominated emcee and producers, Kokayi with performances by Emcee Ciara and DJ Danophonic.
Monday, June 15 | Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill Street | $20 | Urban, Soul, Pop
This singer songwriter is a part of Janelle Monae’s Wondaland Arts Society collective. A multi-instrumentalist, producer and artist, Roman is sure to shut it down when he hits the stage. Be sure to check out his single "I-69." It's a winner.
Saturday, June 20 | The TLA, 334 South Street | $20 | Hip-hop
If you're into country, down south flavor, then Grits & Biscuits is probably already on your radar. This Dirty South-influenced party makes it way to The TLA on June.
Sunday, June 21 | World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street | $35-65 | R&B, Soul
With a GRAMMY nod and WE TV tv docu-series “SWV Reunited" on the horizon, SWV is on the road to connect with fans and perform hits from their discography. You can catch the Philly stop on their reuinion tour at World Cafe Live.
Monday, June 22 | World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street | $20 | World
Ibeyi sing in English and Yoruban, and have created a minimalist sound that merges elements of their heritage with their natural love of modern music as teenagers growing up in Paris, citing artists such as James Blake and King Krule amongst their wide range of influences.
Tuesday, June 23 | Keswick Theatre, 291 N Keswick Avenue, Glenside, PA| $75-175 | Soul, R&B
D'Angelo, the internationally beloved soulster is on the road performing music from Black Messiah live for fans around the globe. On June 23, D'Angelo — accompanied by a masterful group of musicians dubbed The Vanguard — brings his Second Coming Tour to the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA.
Thursday, June 25 | Tower Theater, 69th & Ludlow, Upper Darby, PA | $40-45 | R&B, Soul
An iconic 90s R&B group, Jodeci redefined music for our generation. Reunited and on the road, the guys lands in Philadelphia for an unforgettable night of R&B/Soul at Tower Theater on June 25.
Friday, June 26 | The TLA, 334 South Street | $34 | Hip-hop
Lousiana-based rapper Curren$y brings his smart lyrics and high-energy onstage presence to Philadelphia for this one-night-only hit at The TLA on South Street. Keep your eye out for Philly 360°'s official contest for this show.
Tuesday, June 30 | World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street | $75-175 | Soul, R&B
Philly’s #1 son of soul, Bilal returns home to celebrate the June 30 release of his new collaborative album with producer Adrian Younge, In Another Life. Known for his undeniable grooves, electrifying stage presence and soaring vocals, the Philly-bred soul singer has a cult following of fans that span the globe. This show is a guaranteed sell out, grab your tickets now.
Julian King works hard to perfect his craft. And, with the release of his latest single "Unforgettable" and an upcoming headlining show in Philly — there's no doubt that this Philly-bred creative is ready for his time in the spotlight.
Earlier this year, Julian dropped his first single "No Strings," which currently has over 30,000 plays on Soundcloud. Now, he returns to headline a show at the popular, gritty Callowhill music hub, Underground Arts, on Wednesday, June 3. We’re definitely excited to see exactly what King has in store for his hometown friends and fam.
The “No Strings” singer's show at Underground Arts also features performances by sultry songstress Chartel and the brand new female duo 2Mil. If we know anything about King, and his opening acts, then we're sure that this show will be packed full of killer vocals, precise choreography and high-energy onstage performances.
A graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, King comes from a musical family, which undoubtedly contributes to his undeniable talents. A dancer, musician and exceptional vocalist, there is not much King can’t do. Definitely one of the most-talented indie acts on the Philadelphia scene right now, it won’t take long for Julian King's movement to gain some serious traction.
With no official release date set as of yet, fans anxiously await King’s debut EP, Sing For You. Luckily for us, he just dropped an infectiously smooth single from the forthcoming project, "Unforgettable." You can check out the track, below.
For now, we suggest that you make it a point to hit Julian King's upcoming show at Underground Arts. Next Wednesday night will be the perfect opportunity for music lovers to connect with this young, rising Philly talent. We hear that he may even perform some exclusive material — so grab your tickets now! Don’t wait.
For three decades, Philadelphia has honored the literary and creative contributions of African Americans with the Annual Celebration of Black Writing. Now, presented by black cultural hub Art Sanctuary for well over a decade, this year marks 31st year of the festival which has flooded the month of May with tons of exciting, enlightening workshops, author readings and performances.
The centerpeice of CBW 2015 has been an exciting photography exhibit entitled Barkley L. Hendricks: Oh, Snap!, which showcases a lesser known side of the famed, Philadelphia-born painter. Oh, Snap! includes twenty images captured by Hendricks from the late 60s to the 90s and include rarely seen images of Fela Kuti and Hendricks' time overseas in Lagos.This exhibit will stay open through the end of July at Art Sanctuary's Graduate Hospital-based gallery on the corner of 16th and Bainbridge.
On Friday, May 29, Art Sanctuary will closeout the festival with its signature program, The Lifetime Acheivement Awards, held at the Temple Performing Arts Center on N Broad Street. This year's festival honors an exciting lineup of talent including Barkley Hendricks, author Jacqueline Woodson and Philadelphia's own soul duo Kindred The Family Soul.
The most exciting news? They've recently announced that beloved soul singer/songwriter Eric Roberson will join the all-star lineup of artists that will pay tribute to this year's honorees. Other performers include poet Ursula Rucker, vocalist Lady Alma, dancer/cheographer Roger Lee and students from the city's famed poetry troupe, Philly Youth Poetry Movement.
The wait is finally over. This weekend, the 8th Annual Roots Picnic lands at Festival Pier at Penn's Landing for another epic day-long concert on the Philly waterfront.
The vibe and atmosphere at Festival Pier will be nothing short of amazing, with tons of people partying to music of an incredible lineup of artists, all hand-selected by The Legendary Roots Crew. Erykah Badu, The Weeknd, DJ Mustard, Rae Sremmurd, Brianna Cash and other hitmakers are set to take over the two festival stages — kicking the Philadelphia summer concert season off with some of the dopest sounds in the industry.
Tickets are officially sold out now, but if you're still trying to make it happen and have a few extra dollars to spend, then give a third party site like Stubhub.com a try. You'll pay a premium for the tickets, but once acts like Badu and The Weeknd hit the stage, it will all be worth it, right?
But, even if you can't land tickets to this year's Picnic, there's no reason to stay at home. You can still party like a rockstar at one of the other — count 'em — eight dope Roots Picnic-related concerts, parties and events that will do down this weekend. Check out the full list, below.
Now, are you ready? We seriously hope so, because this weekend is going to be epic.
Friday, May 29 | 10 p.m. | Recess Lounge, 125 S 2nd Street | Ladies free before 11 p.m.
Party with members of the Roots in Old City as this Roots Picnic pre-game hits Recess Lounge. Music provided by Philly's own touring turntablist DJ Aktive and Black Girls Rock founder Beverly Bond.
Saturday, May 30 | 9 a.m. | Anna Lane Lingelbach Elementary School (Wayne Avenue & Johnson Street) | $30 Registration
Join Roots' frontman Black Thought and the GrassROOTS Community Foundation as they host the third annual Roots, Rock, Run 5K race to raise funds for underserved youth here in Philadelphia.
Saturday, May 30 | 12 - 3 p.m. | Warmdaddy's, 1400 S Columbus Blvd | $20
Hit this Roots Picnic pregame brought to you by Stacey Flygirrl Wilson, Laiya Stclair and DJ Afrodjiak. Before you spend the day partying with the likes of Questlove, Black Thought, Erykah Badu, enjoy a delicious soul food meal courtesy of Warmdaddy's. Guests will also be treated to a special two-hour Hennessy tasting, along with other reduced-price drinks specials.
Saturday, May 30 | 11 a.m. | Festival Pier at Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard & Spring Garden Street | Sold Out, Tickets available at Stubhub.com
The main event, Roots Picnic goes down — rain or shine — this Saturday, May 30. Again this year, The Roots have hand-selected a killer lineup of talent that includes Erykah Badu, Rae Sremmurd, The Weeknd, DJ Mustard and more. Enough said. #WeInThere
Saturday, May 30 | 10 p.m. | Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill Street | $12
After spending the day holding it down at the Roots Picnic, Questlove moves the party to Underground Arts for round two. Also on deck for The Roots Picnic Afterparty will be Questlove, of course, along with Cosmo Baker, Matthew Law and more. Our advice; grab your tickets in advance.
Saturday, May 30 | 10 p.m. - 3:30 a.m. | Lit Ulta Bar, 420 N. 2nd. Street | $20
Post Roots Picnic, Black Thought, DJ Mustard, Freeway, OCD: Moosh & Twist, Taayib Ali, DJ Diamond Kuts and other music hitmakers head to Lit Ultra Bar Old City for another can't-miss after party. BTW — this lineup is so serious, click the link for deets.
Saturday, May 30 | 10:30 p.m. | The TLA, 334 South Street | $18
On Saturday, May 30, directly following the 8th Annual Roots Picnic, Okayfuture presents Hudson Mohawke, Just Blaze, and Nick Hook at the TLA on South Street. Okayplayer.com calls this concert "dessert." We agree.
Sunday, May 31 | 4 - 10 p.m. | City Tap House, 3925 Walnut Street | $5 with RSVP before 6pm, $10 after
Can't get enough Questlove? Trust — in this city, you're not alone. Squeeze in one more dance with Philly's favorite DJ and drummer as he kicks off the return of the Sundae Party at City Tap House in University City. RSVP in advance for a $5 cover — then leave the rest to Quest.
Philly, this one's for you. Jay Z’s Made in America Music Festival is returning to Philadelphia this Labor Day weekend 2015. The two-day festival will be hitting the streets of Philadelphia on Saturday and Sunday, September 5 and 6.
For those looking to be one of the first to score tickets to the popular music festival, presale tickets are currently on sale through today, May 21 at 10 p.m. Two-day passes to the festival are available for $99.50 per person (plus taxes and fees) for a very limited time only. Click here to purchase your two-day pass and use code BMIAPHILLY to access the presale.
The official lineup has not yet been announced, but Made in America always delivers an awesome lineup — think Kanye West, Kings of Leon, Tiësto and more last year, and Beyonce, Nine Inch Nails, Calvin Harris and more two years ago.
Stay tuned for more information on the Made in America festival.
**A version of this post originally appeared on uwishunu.com**
Hometown music legend DJ Jazzy Jeff needs no introduction. A revered DJ and producer, Jeff has made a global impact on music, including winning the first GRAMMY in hip-hop with his partner The Fresh Prince aka Will Smith. DJ Jazzy Jeff is legit music royalty, and when it comes to making hits and impacting music culture, he has the Midas touch.
This weekend, to celebrate the opening of the Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest on Penn's Landing, DJ Jazzy Jeff will spin a rollerskate friendly set of music from 9 to 11 p.m. You can catch Jeff — and show off your "Roll Bounce" moves — for RiverRink's opening weekend festivities, which kick off on Friday, May 22.
For the first time this year, the area that housed this past winter’s Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest will transform into a warm-weather edition with a roller rink, a boathouse-styled Lodge, a play area for kids, food and drink options and summer events throughout the season. Opening Memorial Day weekend, Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest will be free and open to the public daily through the end of September.
Also, as part of the opening weekend festivities, make sure to stop by the kickoff of the Visit Philly Beer Garden Series at Spruce Street Harbor Park this Friday.
For DJ Jazzy Jeff Philly fans, the Friday night skate party will definitely be an exciting homecoming to attend. As Jeff notes, "It's the best feeling in the world to play music all over the world, but, what's like home? I don't get a chance to play at home a lot, so when you get the opportunity - especially something like this - you take it."
So, this weekend, all roads lead to the Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest. It's always a good look to hear a legend like Jeff spin, and trust us — It'll feel even better on skates.
Opening weekend consists of four days of fun at the waterfront. See the complete schedule here.
Encouraging healthy lifestyles for girls and communities is cornerstone of GrassROOTS Community Foundation, which for a third year will host the Roots, Rock, Run (R3) 5k Walk and Run.
This year, the race will be in Philadelphia's historic Germantown neighborhood. Participants will again meet for the 5k at Anna Lane Lingelbach Elementary School, where they will break off to continue on designated routes. Pre-registration is $25 at brynmawracing.com or race-day registration will be $30.
GrassROOTS is currently active in 10 cities in the United States and was co-founded by sociologist and organization president Dr. Janice Johnson Dias along with Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, also MC of the hip hop group The Roots.
GrassROOTS provides educational services and special programs that focus on issues that affect disadvantaged women and girls such as obesity, exercise, breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, and suicide. Through is initiatives, GrassROOTS aims to instill positive and healthy habits for women and girls to help them become healthy adults.
So, before you head down to Festival Pier at Penn's Landing for the Roots Picnic, stop by this awesome community event to run, or cheer on runners, in the name of a better, brighter Philly.
AFROPUNK — New York's notorious urban, multicultural, genre-defying musical fete — is taking it's coveted Battle of the Bands show and contest on the road. This year, in addition to the New York show, AFROPUNK will bring its BOTB acton to two other east coast cities, ATL and Philadelphia.
Partnering with trusted Philadelphia music brand, Veteran Freshman, the Philadelphia edition of the battle offers a chance to perform at the critically acclaimed AFROPUNK Festival, which saw over 60,000 in attendance last year alone with performances from D’Angelo, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Lianne La Havas, Body Count and many more.
AFROPUNK Battle of The Bands, while serving as a chance to perform on one of Brooklyn's biggest stages, has also been integral in kickstarting bands careers: The Skins signing to Rick Rubens label America, Unlocking the Truth signing to Sony, among others.
The 8th annual Roots Picnic is right around the corner — taking over Festival Pier at Penn's Landing on Saturday, May 30. And, we can’t let you show up to the festival without giving you all of the must-know info on the amazing array of artists that will perform this year.
The unofficial kick-off to the summer music festival season in Philadelphia, Roots Picnic 2015 features an eclectic mix of talent including Erykah Badu, Haitus Kaiyote and Philly’s own King Britt, Donn T, and Brianna Cash. Consider this the perfect opportunity to curate your playlist for the summer.
Take a look at the below guide to this year’s Roots Picnic headliners. Also, be sure to enter our Roots Picnic Giveaway for a chance to win a pair of tickets courtesy of Philly 360° and Visit Philly.
Marc E. Bassy – Fresh off the release of his East Hollywood EP, the former 2AM Club band member is emerging quickly as a solo artist. Blurring the lines between R&B and rap, his sound is refreshing and at a moment’s notice Bassy will switch up his flow from soulful crooning to dropping rhythmic rap bars.
Donn T – A singer/songwriter with the bloodline of one of the most knowledgeable musicians of our time, Donn T is a phenomenal artists with a sound that will keep you guessing. Her versatile sound has landed her on stages with Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, Marsha Ambrosius, Zap Mama and more. Her highly anticipated full length album, Flight of Donn T was released in April.
Moses Sumney – The guitarist and vocalist sites one of his favorite performances at Sofar Sounds as one of his favorites with fans simply sitting around like a campfire to listen to Sumney and Karen O of the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. The indie-rock singer has also shared stages with Beck and David Longstreth of Dirty Projects, just to name a few.
Brianna Cash – Singer/Songwriter, Brianna Cash doesn’t need much more than her voice and guitar to captivate an audience with her heartfelt lyrics and rebellious tone. The up and coming Philly artist has been working continuously on stages across the area and this may just be her biggest yet.
Raury – Just 18-years old, Raury has no issue in standing out among a sea of the same when it comes to his music. It’s political, it’s rooted in folk and Americana and it’s really dope. Fielding comparisons to an early Andre 3000, it’s clear to see that Raury is carving out a lane of his own by simply being himself and spreading a message of love.
King Britt – Britt’s work as a composer, producer, and remixer has garnered him much critical acclaim as well as a Pew Fellowship for composition in 2007. His work has taken him to stages across the world and his latest album, The Phoenix, is being released on Hyperdub.
Bishop Nehru – Another talented artist at just 18-years-old has already worked with two of his musical influences including Nas and MF Doom who will produce his debut full-length album. The hip hop emcee/producer is dropping tons of music including his NehruvianDOOM project alongside Doom.
Hudson Mohawke - A music producer and award winning scratch DJ from the UK, it was his work in 2012 that pushed “Hud Mo” into the forefront of the American musical landscape. He has worked on releases from Young Thug, Kanye West, Pusha T, and more.
DJ Windows 98 (Win Butler of Arcade Fire) – Member of the GRAMMY award winning band, Arcade Fire, Win Butler has picked up the turntables under the guise of Windows 98. He brings a bit of nostalgia to the popular performance DJ world.
Chronixx (And The Zincfence Redemption) – A reggae artist and musician, Chronixx released his first EP in 2010, Hooked on Chronixx, which put him on the industry radar. By 2014 his work on The Dread & Terrible Project earned him top spots on both the billboard and iTunes Reggae charts.
Rae Sremmurd – The hip hop duo is signed as one of the first acts on top selling producer, Mike Will Made It’s Ear Drummer Records. From humble beginnings, the two taught themselves production, DJing and performing and the hard work is paying off.
Hiatus Kaiyote – The GRAMMY-nominated group hails all the way from Melbourne, Australia. Haitus Kaiyote is a soul quartet that gained critical acclaim from their song “Nakamarra” with Q-Tip.
DJ Mustard – In the midst of a radio takeover as a producer, you can’t turn on the radio without hearing “Mustard on the Beat.” His work with acts like Chris Brown, Omarion, Ty Dolla Sign, and many more has created its own movement in today’s music scene. This time around we get to hear him rock his tunes among others as a DJ.
Phantogram – The electronic rock duo consists of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel. Influenced by everything from The Beatles to J. Dilla, they describe their sound as street beat, psych pop.
ASAP Rocky – The fashion forward, East Coast emcee is has brought his smooth Harlem style and versatile flow to the forefront of the music industry. His ASAP Mob is a movement within itself and the rapper was recently named Rap’s New Rock Star by Billboard.
Erykah Badu – The soulful songstress makes her return to Philly in a big way backed by The Roots for what we are sure will be an epic performance. Rising to superstar status in the late 90s and 2000s, Ms. Badu has become an iconic figure in soul music.
The Weeknd – In a rare Philly performance the pop/R&B Crooner will of course hit the state. His music is honest and full of raw emotion. His most recent release “Earned It” was featured in the promo for the highly anticipated “50 Shades of Grey” film and has dominated radio.
The Roots – The incomparable Roots Crew of course always take the stage. Not only will they be backing Erykah Badu but we can always count on them taking on their own musical set.
The next edition of Philly Loves hits us one week before the Roots Picnic. And, since this year's show includes performances by Erykah Badu and The Roots — the "Philly Loves The Soulquarians" theme of the May 23 concert is right on time.
Founded by Questlove, The Soulquarians is a music collective that includes D'Angelo, Poyser, Erykah Bady and J Dilla, to name a few. These artists came together during the height of the neosoul movement which was largely powered and inspired by artists from the Philadelphia muisc scene. The group was known for undeniable grooves, unconventional rhythms, irregular chords, and music with an infectious feel.
On Saturday May 23 all of Philadelphia is invited to Johnny Brenda's, where Dj's Mike Nyce and very special guest 9th Wonder will take the stage to pay tribute to The Roots, Erykah Badu, Q-Tip, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Bilal, D'Angelo, Common, Dilla and James Poyser, known as the soulquarians.
The event includes live art by Ameerah K Art and a special tribute video created by Flygirrl. Get there early, doors open at 9 p.m. and early bird attendees get a a fan. We'll see you there.
Badass Art Man: Original Artwork of Danny Simmons When: April 24 through May 31 Where: The African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street Cost: Included with admission More Info: Click here. In 2012, just in time for the…
The 31st Annual Celebration of Black Writing When: May 1 - 31 Where: Various Locations Cost: See website for details. More Info: Click here. Art Sanctuary is back on the scene with The 31st Annual Celebration of Black Writing…
#BrunchJawn When: Saturday, May 30, 12 - 3 p.m. Where: Warmdaddy's, 1400 S. Columbus Boulevard Cost: $20 More Info: http://bit.ly/bjawn Celebrate at the official Roots Picnic pregame with three of Philly's finest ladies — Stacey Flygirrl Wilson, Laiya Stclair…