Budweiser Made in America, the Jay Z-curated festival, will take over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway this weekend. Festivalgoers will shell out hundreds to see artists like Rihanna and Chance the Rapper. But as we hype the national acts, let's also show some love for the local artists who have created great music this summer.
Here is a list of 12 songs by local R&B and hip-hop artists that caught my attention.
Tierra Whack's "Child Please"
This track inspired this playlist because it's so good, I wanted more people to hear it and know it came from Philly.
In "Child Please," Whack rhymes and sings over a lighthearted beat with lyrics that reflect preteen curiosity. She raps, "What is a girl supposed to do when her hormones keep on yelling at you?"
Missy Elliot cosigned on Whack's talent via Twitter, and she's received praise from her peers.
If you're trying to see Chance the Rapper at Made in America, you'll love this track.
Anyee Wright's "A Hunnit Rounds"
Singer, songwriter, and producer Anyee Wright released her EP Busy this summer. In "A Hunnit Rounds," she raps, "My momma told me ball / I'm like 'swish' haters, sending threats through / I'm like, 'Oh, I wish, I wish' / I push through the drama keep the flick all in my wrist."
Even with the drama and the chick "talkin' slick," this track is surprisingly calming.
Wright's song is motivating - I found myself playing it after meeting a tight deadline, or finishing a run. Go conquer something and congratulate yourself with this track.
The 23-year-old Cheltenham rapper-singer's "Hi" is airy and ethereal as he gushes about his cyber-crush, rapping, "All on Twitter girl, I'm tryna hi / I love your pictures girl, I'm tryna hi."
"Hi" is the first track on his sweet three-track EP Opening.
Andrea Valle's "Take Me Up"
This is a close-your-eyes-and-zone-out song. It ends with a sensual chopped and screwed version of the chorus, an edgy touch to a smooth track.
If you're looking for SZA at Made in America, you may also like "Take Me Up."
Devoni Jacob's "Egotistical"
Devoni Jacob sets the mood on "Egotistical" by crooning, "Tell me baby, is you feelin' it?"
The song comes from her A Week of Mood Swings, and you travel each one with Jacob. The dark and sensual, the angry and sensual, the happy and sensual. Her voice and lyrics are minimalist and sexy.
If you like Beyoncé's "Dance for You" or Ciara's "Body Party," the whole EP is for you.
Miles Chancellor's "GAUDY"
When I listen during workouts, so do I. I feel like Usain Bolt. The track speeds up and slows down, putting my heart rate at its mercy. Chancellor's flow remains mellow, creating a dope parallel between his voice and the beat.
Marv Mack's "Do Better"
This song, featuring Miles Chancellor, is an anthemic banger highlighting Mack's rapid flow.
"Do Better" feels like a message to the haters who criticize but low-key want to be you. Tell 'em to do better.
This week, Mack also dropped "Hands Full." Try to listen to that and not bounce. He raps, "I don't have time to talk to you. Why? / 'Cuz I got my hands full / If we talkin' money, I'm gon' need a handful."
Killiam Shakespeare's "I'm Gone"
Philly band Killiam Shakespeare is led by producers Steve McKie and Corey Bernhard, who just released their rich and eclectic mixtape Killiam Season 1, the first installment in a three-part series. The project features DJ Jazzy Jeff, Freeway, and Aaron Camper. In the jazzy "I'm Gone," you can hear an array of horns, and Lana Knight's vocals pull the song together.
Rapper/producer R'que released the mixtape This Just Happn'd in early August. "Frivolous" was a standout because of its minimalist beat, doing more with less. It made me envision spending money I don't have at parties I wasn't invited to.
Fameos' "Aw Yeah"
This is a smooth one. Fameos sounds like a player, sing-whispering in your ear. If you're a Tory Lanez fan, you'll love "Aw Yeah."
Dilemma, Gee, JoeLogic, and Modesty Lycan's "Whisper" Reverie Drive's "Whisper" is like a breath of fresh air. The track has a 1950s bop sound with a catchy hook: "If you love what you do baby, what are we whispering for?"
Aden "Tuchpoint" Emmanuel, Stonebwoy and Teff's "Aye Gal"
This summer, Afrobeats and Caribbean music have taken over pop music. You can hear it in Drake's "Controlla" and "One Dance," and Justin Bieber's "Sorry." Philly producer Aden "TuchPoint" Emmanuel collaborated with Ghana's Stonebwoy and Philly reggae artist Teff on this one. The track was officially released today.
The staccato and upbeat song makes me want to break out the pepper seed (a Caribbean dance move) and start wining the waist.