Nao performs at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Feb. 5, 2019. (Photo by Will Colbert)
Electronic, pop, and R&B artist Neo Jessica Joshua, better known as Nao, recently performed her self-described “wonky funk” for a sold-out audience at The Fillmore Silver Spring. The British singer-songwriter, who used celestial metaphors on her latest album Saturn (2018), delivered an out of this world performance.
Daley performs at the Motel Mozaique Festival on April 6, 2013. (Photo by Rene Passet)
UK soul singer-songwriter Daley recently gave DC a warm musical embrace on an otherwise frigid February night. The Manchester musician took a game 9:30 Club audience on a sonic journey through a sound he has called “future throwback soul.”
A$AP Rocky performs at The Anthem on Jan. 20, 2019. (Photo by Will Colbert)
Rapper, actor, and fashion trendsetter A$AP Rocky made a recent stop at The Anthem as part of his Injured Generation Tour. A fleet of 18-wheelers with the bits and parts for an insane production likely followed the high-octane emcee. The intricate stage design for the sold-out performance was unlike any that I’ve seen at the DC venue.
Esperanza Spalding performs at the Lincoln Theatre on Dec. 1, 2018. (Photo by Will Colbert)
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.
Phony Ppl performs at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Nov. 21, 2018. (Photo by Will Colbert)
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.
Jessie Reyez performs at Union Stage on Nov. 18, 2018. (Photo by Will Colbert)
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.
Wu-Tang Clan performs at The Anthem on Nov. 1. (Photo by Will Colbert)
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.
Little Dragon performs at Rock and Roll Hotel on Oct. 17, 2018. (Photo by Will Colbert)
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.
J. Cole performs at Capital One Arena on Oct. 8, 2018. (Photo by Will Colbert)
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.