Esperanza Spalding put a spell on DC’s Lincoln Theatre recently — 12 spells to be exact. The four-time Grammy award-winning bassist and vocalist spent an evening weaving incantations from her recently released album, 12 Little Spells.
Freddie Gibbs performs at U Street Music Hall on Nov. 27, 2018. (Photo by Victoria Ford/Sneakshot Photography, www.sneakshot.net)
Pressure makes diamonds — and as far as hip-hop goes, Freddie Gibbs is a cut above the rest. The versatile emcee dug deep into his discography during a recent performance at DC’s U Street Music Hall. The Gary, Indiana rhymer’s performance catered to both his gangster rap fans and underground hip-hop aficionados.
Can abstract soul and hardcore hip hop exist in the same space? It did for a night when the two opposing aesthetics were paired for a show at The Fillmore Silver Spring. Brooklyn hip-hop soul band Phony Ppl opened for gangster rapper Pusha T on Nov. 21, allowing Phony Ppl to capitalize on the buzz from their latest album mō’zā-ik (2018) and expand their fan base.
There’s freedom in truth and a distinct energy to freedom. Singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez brought both to her recent show at DC’s Union Stage. The lively Canadian of Colombian descent performed to a sold-out audience on Nov. 18.
Over two decades ago, a New York rap crew delivered a roundhouse kick that would forever change hip hop. The emcees of Wu-Tang Clan melded their unique rhyme styles with gritty beats, lo-fi production, and kung-fu metaphors to create their debut album Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). The Wu struck again recently. The RZA, the GZA, Young Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon the Chef, U-God, Ghostface Killah, Masta Killa, Method Man, Mathematics, and Cappadonna were at DC’s The Anthem on Nov. 1 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic album.
Swedish electropop band Little Dragon was in town recently for a two-night stint at the Rock and Roll Hotel. The avant-garde group, known for blending a wide range of electronic influences into their music, delivered an energetic performance at the intimate venue.
Kids On Drugs. King Overdosed. Kill Our Demons. The words written in a crude scrawl hung over the stage prior to Jermaine Cole’s performance earlier this week at the Capital One Arena. The Fayetteville, North Carolina rapper, better known as J. Cole, gave a powerful performance that delved into weighty topics.