Your guide to Philly's diverse creative scene, nightlife, music, food & more
The Legendary Roots Crew may be everywhere these days, including playing as the house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, but the iconic hip-hop band always brings it back to their hometown of Philadelphia.
The Roots are once again taking over Festival Pier in Philly this summer with their signature music festival — the Roots Picnic. That's right. The 7th Annual Roots Picnic was just announced, and we have all of the details for you to start making some plans.
The Roots handpick the entire lineup, and it's always packed with some of the hottest names in music — from hip-hop to indie to R&B and more. The Roots always deliver year after year. You never know what's about to go down at the Picnic. Last year, we got to see history made when legendary hip-hop group Naughty By Nature reunited. And, then there was the random water gun fight with Solange. Or, that time when there was an impromptu dance party with Diplo in the second stage tent when rain tried to stop the Picnic. And, not to mention surprise guests hitting the stage every year. They always have them, and it's always epic.
Want to be there? We've got you. Be on the look out for some ticket giveaways from us on philly360.com. And, if you're headed to Austin for SXSW, we're giving away a pair of tickets and a weekend in Philly for the Roots Picnic. You can find us at Death and Taxes and Visitphilly.com Present East End on Thursday, March 13, at Cheer Up Charlie's. Chill Moody and some other Philly acts will be hitting our stage.
So, who made the cut this year for the lineup?
Snoop Dogg (backed by The Roots)
The War On Drugs
Biz Markie (DJ Set)
Electric Wire Hustle
(More to be announced)
Insider Tip: Grab tickets and book a room. There will be events happening the night before and after the Picnic. Details to come.
Philly definitely came out and showed up for a night that fused together the cooler side of Philly's music, fashion and art scenes. The Philadelphia Wine Mixer returned with another packed lineup highlighting some of Philadelphia's influencers and artists in the emerging creative movement and talent that has been taking over the city.
"The Philadelphia Wine Mixer is a celebration of culture. I decided to create this event because I noticed the overwhelming talent in our city," founder of the Philadelphia Wine Mixer and president of LITM Marketing Group Tyrone Dixon said on why he started this event.
Dixon also added, "The creative renaissance that's been developing through art, music, fashion and the entrepreneurial spirt of my peers, I just wanted to provide a platform to showcase it. I knew there are plenty of people who would appreciate this type of event."
He wasn't wrong when he said that plenty of people would appreciate this kind of event. It was packed on each floor of The African American Museum. The crowd had a who's who of Philly's creative scene. We caught up with DJ Aktive, Laiya St.Clair of Hot 107.9, Neo Daviso, Curran Swint, Seun Olobodun and more while there. Fashion and art vendors, pop up fashion shows, a listening session with Jade Alston and some classic Philly soul music all filled the space with a cool creative energy and vibe.
Some of the highlighted artists, designers and musical acts included:
Iris Bonner, artist | Thesepinklips (award recipient)
Curran J, designer/stylist | Kings Rule Together (award recipient)
John Barber, music production/manager | Come Kleen Productions (award recipient)
Ian Alexander, designer | The Ian Alexander Collection
Seun Olubodun, owner | Duke & Winston
Ricky Codio, photographer
Mel Alston Jr., singer/songwriter
Sap Sounds, singer/songwriter
Jade Alston, singer/songwriter
Mah-Jing Wong, designer/stylist
Closet by Cristobal, designer
Earlier this month, the vision of indie hip-hop artist Chill Moody, his cousin and producer Hank McCoy and R&B singer Beano came to life during the release party for their 12-track album "Who Do You Love … More?". It all went down at living rock 'n' roll museum and international dining destination Hard Rock Café Philadelphia.
The trio pulled out all the stops, from roses to the red carpet, to introduce this latest effort to their growing fan base — most of which dressed in their finest black tie attire to check out the show. Plenty of familiar faces from Philly's elite creative scene were spotted taking a stroll on the red carpet, including GRAMMY-nominated producer Ivan Barias, HOT 107.9 radio personality Laiya St. Clair, blogger Syreeta Martin and fellow rap artist Antwan Davis.
DJ Ricochet, also known as "The Untouchable Technician," kept the crowd moving while eager fans waited to hear their favorite songs from the album. CJ & Evan, Jacqueline Constance and Kid Felix were a few of the invited performers that were enlisted to help warm up the stage before the main event.
Backed by Band for Higher, Chill and Beano took their already legendary stage presence to new heights. They laid it all out on the Hard Rock stage and showed us exactly why you can’t talk about the current state of Philly music without mentioning these two.
The duo performed the album in its entirety and were joined on stage by the occasional guest. From new songs like “LastNightinTown” to old favorites like “What’s for Breakfast,” they kept the crowd rocking through storytelling, and by just having a great time on stage. No doubt the chemistry between these three music masterminds will fuel more dope albums to come.
Of course, Philly 360° is bringing you exclusive footage from the night’s festivities. Take a look at the recap below.
Watch Philly 360°'s exclusive video recap of Who Do You Love... More? with Chill Moody, Beano and Hank McCoy.
Calling all the lovers: On March 19, R&B songstress Marsha Ambrosius is coming to the Theatre of Living Arts (TLA) on South Street with special guest GoGo Morrow in support of her upcoming sophomoric album "Friends & Lovers." If you've been to a Marsha Ambrosius show then you already know that it will be full of high notes, good music and some of the realest between-songs commentary that you’ve ever heard. Also joining Ambrosius on her tour is another Philly favorite and household name in the DJ scene DJ Aktive.
In addition to her solo success, Marsha has contributed her serious songwriting skills to popular records for hit-making artists like Jill Scott, Bilal, Alicia Keys and Jamie Foxx. Marsha lent her talents to pop icon Michael Jackson — penning his hit song “Butterflies.”
Most recently, Ambrosius released a visual for her funky remix to Sade’s “Love Is Stronger Than Pride.” The song features a sample from 90s rapper Jeru the Damaja’s “Come Clean,” but maintains the core essence of the original track.
Though she hasn't announced the official release date for "Friends & Lovers," Marsha explained in a recent interview that the album is extremely personal and she thinks fans will be pleased. Word on the street is that the #Marshians (a nickname for the singer's fans) are anxiously waiting for her next project to drop.
Besides being one of the most delicious brunch spots in the city, Silk City Bar and Lounge also serves as an after-hour spot where you can party and enjoy performances from Philly’s thriving music scene.
On February 24, Silk City will host Philly Grown Productions as they present Excuse Me Miss featuring new music from a fresh lineup of female musicians, including Ganou, Brianna Cash, Kid Audra and Rachel Rota. Each of these artists have been making some serious noise around town, and their music is definitely worth a listen.
So, if you're looking for your next music fix or some brand new Philly tunes to groove to, then definitely don’t hesitate to check out this show. Also, be sure to arrive early because there will certainly be a jam-packed house for this one.
Here's a profile on each of these artists and a Soundcloud preview of their music. Check them out.
This Parisian-born singer just released her debut project “Catharsis,” which is filled with instrumental tracks produced by Ganou herself. She’s known for creating beautifully futuristic sounds that are occasionally laced with the cooing tones of her soft pitched voice.
This singer/songwriter creates dance-worthy tracks over fun electro-pop sounds. Filled with cool synths and melodic choral arrangements, Kid Audra is most known for her recent 5-track project "Unknown," which carries a diverse range of energy — from melancholic to more driving, high-powered songs.
Hailing from North Philly, this singer/songwriter has been composing music and playing the piano since she was a child. A few months ago, she released her debut EP “Journey After June,” which complements her soul-studded voice with the perfect mixture of R&B and indie-rock.
A true musician at heart Rachel Rota learned to play the piano and cello at the age of four while she attended the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia. Heavily influenced by the soul-driven music of Erykah Badu, Amy Winehouse and The Roots, she adds more than a sprinkle of her jazzy sound to the songs she writes and regularly covers. Check out her rendition of John Mayer’s track "Stay."
A packed crowd littered the first floor and mezzanine level of the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) last Wednesday for the grand reveal of “Ruffneck Constructivists” – a group exhibition curated by famed artist Kara Walker.
For the special opening, Walker enlisted Philly’s own DJ PHSH and special guest Questlove of The Roots to provide tunes to keep the crowd moving throughout the night. “Gotta what, yo, gotta get a ruffneck,” the 90’s classic by rapper MC Lyte blasted through the speakers as the ICA guests shimmied and body rolled to the beat.
Good times aside, Lyte’s “Ruffneck” anthem plays a larger context into the exhibition. The song served as an inspiration for Walker throughout the two years it took to develop the project. “When I was approached to curate the exhibition for ICA, I had two thoughts in my head: Russian Constructivists and hip-hop,” notes Walker.
The phase “Ruffneck Constructivists” is Walker’s intentional play on the Russian artists movement of the early 20th century, in which art was committed to abstraction with a dedication to modernity and experimentation. Featuring eleven artists including Kendell Geers, Arthur Jafa, Deana Lawson and Philadelphia native Tim Portlock, the exhibition uses sculpture, photography and video to evoke “thuggishness as an expression of abjection” according to ICA’s description of the exhibition.
For Kara’s first guest curated exhibit in the City of Brotherly Love, the ruffnecks, I included, definitely showed up and out for the opening of this thought-provoking exhibit. “Ruffneck Constructivists” will be on display in ICA’s first floor space through to August 17.
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.
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.
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.
The Unflinching Eye: Works of the Tiberino Family Circle When: September 1, 2013 - March 2014 Where: The African American Museum in Philadelphia , 701 Arch Street Cost: $14 admission, $10 students/youth More Info: www.aampmuseum.org In Philly, art, music…
DJ PHSH Presents Friends & Fam When: Saturday, March 15, 10 p.m. Where: Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front Street Cost: $5 More Info: kungfunecktie.com True Story: Resident Philly turntablist, DJ PHSH is known across the globe for having…