Nas performs at Les Ardentes Festival in Belgium on July 11, 2013. (Photo by Kmeron)
It has been 25 years since the release of Nas’s debut, Illmatic. The New York emcee recently reminded fans at Wolf Trap why many consider it the best hip hop album ever. Nas brought Illmatic’s vivid street tales to the Filene Center and created a truly cinematic experience with the help of the National Symphony Orchestra.
Damian Marley performs at The Anthem on July 13, 2019. (Photo by Will Colbert)
The idea of a “family business” may be an antiquated notion for some but not if you’re a Marley. Bob Marley’s progeny have been making hits for decades and there’s no sign of that tradition ending. Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley recently took the spotlight at The Anthem in DC. The three-time Grammy winner performed his signature dancehall reggae, father’s timeless classics, and possibly introduced us to the next Marley hitmaker.
Helado Negro (Photo courtesy of RVNG Intl.)
What does black ice cream taste like? If you’re Roberto Carlos Lange, you may say it’s a combination of flavors that inexplicably vary with every lick. The producer and singer-songwriter, better known as Helado Negro (“black ice cream” in Spanish), served up an eclectic mix of synth-pop, electro-folk, and Latin music during a recent performance at DC’s U Street Music Hall.
Ibeyi performs at 9:30 Club on June 9, 2019. (Photo by Will Colbert)
In a modern world, it may be easy to overlook our ancestry, but often these influences cannot be denied — they beat louder than a drum. French-Cuban duo Ibeyi weaved their Afro-Caribbean heritage with hip-hop, electronic music, and soul during a recent show at DC’s 9:30 Club.
Jamila Woods performs at Union Stage on June 4, 2019. (Photo by Will Colbert)
“What will your legacy be,” poet Margaret Burroughs asked in her poem of the same name. It’s a lofty question, but one not lost on Chicago singer, songwriter, activist, and award-winning poet Jamila Woods during a recent sold-out show at DC’s Union Stage.
J.I.D performs at The Fillmore Silver Spring on May 3, 2019. (Photo by Will Colbert)
East Atlanta rapper J.I.D recently kicked off the second leg of the Catch Me If You Can Tour. The latest member of J. Cole’s seemingly unstoppable Dreamville Records label performed for a sold-out audience at The Fillmore Silver Spring recently.
Tobe Nwigwe performs at The Fillmore Silver Spring on April 8, 2019. (Photo by Will Colbert)
How do you make purpose popular without coming off preachy? First, you learn how to rock a crowd. That’s exactly what Houston rapper Tobe Nwigwe (pronounced nuh-wee-gweh) did during a recent show at The Fillmore Silver Spring.