Hip-hop headliner

Black Thought of The Roots. Photo by Leon Laing.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has been showing Philadelphia-based rappers brotherly love lately. On May 3, Philly rapper Meek Mill joined Wolf to speak about criminal justice reform. And on Jan. 15, Wolf invited Philly’s own The Roots to headline his inaugural celebration. President Obama, who invited rappers to the White House, has also showed hip-hop love. Continue reading ‘Hip-hop headliner’

Advertisements

We Luv Kierra

Kierra Luv. Photo by Leon Laing.

The day and location where I met Kierra Luv and her mother were symbolic for hip-hop in Harrisburg. Continue reading ‘We Luv Kierra’

That’s so Raven

Raven Rose. Photo by Leon Laing.

It’s a rainy Saturday afternoon in late November, but it’s cozy at District Bar & Lounge. Inside the Midtown, Harrisburg-based bar, proprietor Chad Scott and bartender Chanika Brown deck the halls while soulful Christmas music plays in the background.

Raven Rose, née Gabbriella White, is sipping on cranberry juice at the District. The local singer plans to drop her debut project, Emerge, sometime in 2019. In the meantime, you can see Rose perform on Dec. 29 at a local artist showcase at Bridges Social Club in Downtown. Doors open at 9 p.m. You can also hear her rich voice on her Instagram page.
Continue reading ‘That’s so Raven’

Dancer-turned-singer spreads her wings

DaniLeigh. Photo by Leon Laing.

When her first I saw DaniLeigh on Revolt TV, the Dominican singer sported a handkerchief of the Dominican flag on her head. This was for her video for “All Day.” That’s also when I witnessed a charismatic girl next door who beamed throughout the video. Continue reading ‘Dancer-turned-singer spreads her wings’

Feel the high … Contact High, that is

From left to right, Claiborne, Beckman, Combs and Tobak. Photo by Leon Laing.

Vikki Tobak’s book, Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop, takes us behind the scenes of iconic images. Like a family photo album of prints, the book intimately chronicles our history while paying homage to the lost art of film photography. Before the advent of digital photography, photographers used contact sheets to select the best images from film. Continue reading ‘Feel the high … Contact High, that is’

Business as usual

PMD. Photo by Leon Laing.

Despite the no-show from Havoc of Mobb Deep, the PMD concert went off without a hitch. PMD represents one half of the hip-hop supergroup EPMD. Club XL, Harrisburg, held the show on Oct. 19. Continue reading ‘Business as usual’

Stay woke

Dave East. Photo by Leon Laing.

What better way to encourage the youth to vote than through music? On the heels of the midterm elections, Clea Productions held Young Gets It Done at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. The voting rally included appearances by LGP Qua, Ari Lennox, Bri Stevens, Nephew, G Herbo, Scottie Beam, Gia Peppers, Wallo267, DJ Flow and DJ Aktive. I chopped it up with some of these celebrities backstage at the event on Oct. 27. Continue reading ‘Stay woke’

Edutainment

Michele Hairston. Photo by Leon Laing.

Michele “Queen Michele” Hairston lectures about hip-hop from 1986-1994. She held the event in Harrisburg on Sept. 21.

The Fresh Prince of Houston

Baby Jay Prince (front) and James Prince (in black hoodie). Photo by Leon Laing.

As James “J.” Prince left the Mini Hip-Hop Museum on Sept. 15, a fan/local Baltimorean asked the hip-hop tycoon to get a haircut at the barbershop across the street. Prince obliged.

He walked across E. Baltimore Street in Baltimore with his bodyguards in tow. The temperature climbed to 85 degrees that day. Prince, 53, and company ascended upstairs to True Masters Barbershop. Like any other barbershop, True Masters is also a hangout, so the record executive chopped it up with the barber and patrons. Minutes later, he sat in the chair to get his haircut. Prince’s visit to the barbershop showed his fans that he remains grounded after becoming a music mogul. His visit also showed respect to the locals. Continue reading ‘The Fresh Prince of Houston’

The Weekender fills a void

Bobby Valentino. Photo by Leon Laing.

The entertainment came to the hood—the hood didn’t have to go to the entertainment. The Weekender, based in Harrisburg’s Hall Manor and Reservoir Park, offered something for kids and adults. Continue reading ‘The Weekender fills a void’