Tag Archives: Music

Heineken Green Room: Just Blaze Recap

Heineken Green Room Philadelphia kicked off 2014 in true style with a two-part, two-venue exclusive night to remember focused around super-producer, Grammy Award winner, and music industry juggernaut Just Blaze. The first event took place at MilkBoy Studio where Just Blaze was interviewed before an “Insider” audience. Immediately following the Q&A session was a star-studded line-up of DJ Statik, DJ Phsh, and Just Blaze spinning at nearby renowned nightclub Silk City.

Don’t forget to RSVP for the next HGR coming up Tuesday Feb 25 featuring Rich Medina at Silk City.



This year has been an exciting year for DJ PHSH and SEDSO DESIGN. Their collaborative effort, PHSH TANK, combines art shows with dance parties and presents new visual artists to the crowd every month.

This Saturday night (Nov.16) PHSH TANK invites you to relive those moments and create new ones with PHSH TANK: PHOTOGRAPHY RETROSPECTIVE at Kung Fu Necktie. PHSH TANK will be showcasing photographs by their talented photographers who have been documenting the collective’s growing success.

The art show will begin at 9pm and the dance party at 10pm. Thanks to Sailor Jerry Rum, there will also be drink specials. So be sure to get there early.

(sponsored by Sailor Jerry Rum)
Saturday, November 16th
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.)
$5 cover//21+


$5 for the exhibition & party

Gallery show starts at 9pm // Dance party starts at 10pm


Tim Blackwell – @shotsfired215
Kayleena Wood – @absolutelybarmy
Evan Kaucher -@redbeardsdelight

twitter/instagram : @djphsh




Sublime with Rome Spread Love with Pennywise and Julian Marley

Penn’s Landing’s River Stage was the place to be Tuesday night to witness the music of Sublime with Rome, Pennywise, and Julian Marley. Although the show was supposed t0 be held at Festival Pier, the change to a smaller venue made the performance more intimate.

Julian Marley, one of Bob Marley’s sons, was the first act to take the stage.  Needless to say, Julian brings the same positive, laid-back sound that his father possessed years ago.  His original songs like “Awake” and “Boom Draw” both had messages of elevating yourself to a higher plane of consciousness. He also covered some of his father’s songs like “Waiting in Vain” and “Exodus” which kickstarted the crowd’s good vibes. Everything about Julian’s set was a reflection of the legacy of Bob Marley and how Reggae music has stood the tests of time.


The second opening act was not so mellow. Pennywise is a Punk Rock Band from Hermosa Beach, California who love to instigate mosh pits via fast guitar riffs, rapid drums, and hardcore vocals. In case you have never heard of them before, their music is very anti-establishment. Before playing their song, “Fuck Authority,” guitarist Fletcher Dragge reminded the audience that you don’t work for the government, “The government works for you!” Their set also featured a dedication song to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, titled “Perfect People.” Pennywise even covered Nirvana’s “Territorial Pissings” and the Beastie Boys’ “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party).”


By the time Sublime with Rome began playing their opening song “Date Rape”, the audience was bouncing off the wall. They became entranced by the melodic sound that is always reminiscent of summer time. It was greatest hit after greatest hit last night as the band played songs from each of their albums, some of the most notable included “April 29th 1992,” “Garden Grove,” “Wrong Way,” and “Smoke Two Joints.” Just like Pennywise, Sublime with Rome also played a Nirvana cover.  This time it was “Drain You” and it kicked everyone’s ass! There was crowd surfing and moshing like you wouldn’t believe.

After a solid hour long setlist, the band came out for their encore. The first song was arguably their greatest hit, “What I Got” which is a classic concert sing-a-long. Then came “Doin’ Time” with the very fitting chorus lyrics “Summertime and the living’s easy…”


Just as everyone expected, Sublime with Rome closed their set with “Santeria,” a song that embodies the spirit of the late singer of Sublime, Bradley Nowell, who passed away in 1996. Although it is always difficult to carry on with a music career when your frontman dies at such a young age, Rome fills Bradley’s shoes very well and the band still puts out the same sound they did 20 years ago.


If you missed your chance to get tickets to the SOLD OUT Roots Picnic, you’re in luck. We’ve got a pair of tickets to giveaway! All you have to do is fill out the form below with your name and email and then comment with the name of the artist that you’re dying to see at the Roots Picnic and explain why. The contest ends at 12 pm on Friday, May 31, winners will be notified via email by 5 pm.

Get pumped for the big day by listening the live stream of Okayplayer x Cosmo Baker‘s official 2013 Roots Picnic Mixtape at BitTorent. Pulling from the discographies of all the artists on the bill (which include The RootsSolangeTrinidad Jame$Macklemore & Ryan LewisGrimes and Gary Clark Jr to name a few), Cosmo Baker delivers a mix that will certainly make anyone who listens wish they were attending the June 1st event at Penns Landing in Philadelphia.

While you’re there, don’t forget to take a look at the BitTorrent Bundle program which helps connect artists and fans.

DJ Premier “Young Gifted & Black Intro”
Gang Starr “Full Clip”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis “Thrift Shop”
The Roots “Dynamite”
How To Dress Well “Running Back”
Sonnymoon feat. Melo-X “Htlv (Houstatlantavegas) (Melo-X Remix)”
Naughty By Nature “Hip-Hop (DJ Scene 2013 Remix)”
Trinidad James “All Gold Everything (Emynd NOLA Bounce Remix)”
Robert Glasper “Black Radio feat. Yasin Bey (Pete Rock Remix)”
The Gaslamp Killer “Anything Worse”
The Roots “The Seed 2.0″
Solange “Losing You”
Jennah Bell “Monster Killer”
Solange “Sandcastle Disco”
The Roots “How I Got Over”
Duck Sauce “Grand Steppin”
Grimes “Circumambient”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis “Can’t Hold Us feat. Ray Dalton”
Grimes “Oblivion” A-Trak “Tuna Melt feat. Tommy Trash (Grandtheft Remix)”
Jay-Z & Kanye “Niggas In Paris”
Trinidad James “Females Welcome”
AraabMuzik “The Prince Is Coming”
The Gaslamp Killer “Impulse feat. Daedelus”
Kendrick Lamar “Backseat Freestyle”
A$AP Rocky “Goldie”
Gang Starr “Above The Clouds feat. Inspectah Deck”
Robert Glasper “Twice feat. Solange (?uestlove’s Twice Baked Remix)”
Gary Clark Jr. “The Life”
Joey Bada$$ “Waves”
Naughty By Nature “Jamboree feat. Zhane”
Smoke DZA “Gotham City feat. Joey Bada$$”
AraabMuzik “Hammer Dance”
The Roots “Act Too… The Love Of My Life feat. Common”
Shlohmo “Don’t Say No feat. How To Dress Well”
Lushlife “Magnolia”


“At the 11th Hour it seemed like a good idea to write some sort of introduction to this mix and I gave it some thought as to what I was going to touch upon, but understand this is harder than it may seem. It’s difficult enough to capture everything that this collection of artists is about in the futile medium that’s one single mixtape. In the same regard, much like their entire career it’s almost impossible to pin down what The Roots, and Okayplayer are all about with just words. And that right there just may be the point.

I could take it back to 1992 or 93 when I first met these two dudes Ahmir and Tariq and this could be the story of “Philly dudes done well” or I could talk about the parallels of all or our respective career arcs and all that jazz. Or I could talk about how just some local musicans and DJs from South and West Philly have transformed into global music and cultural ambassadors.

But to me it comes down to one thing – love. The love that one has that makes one do what they do. It’s not for the money of the fame, but for the love of music that is the single reason why we’re in this game. That’s the greatest commonality that we all share, and one of the reasons why Okayplayer is what it is today in 2013. Perhaps it’s something in our mutual Philly history, and its collective cultural fiber; from being in that one time at that one place. I don’t know, but I do know one thing: I grew up with all this, and so when I was asked to contribute this mix, it was more than an honor. It felt like I was coming back home.”

– Cosmo Baker, 2013



Non-stop chaos with Korn in town!

As people are gambling countless amounts money on their casual Thursday evening, to many of metal heads have come to rage and mosh non-stop with Korn’s second tour of The Path of Totality tour! As many of these people ranging from die-hard fans to those with face-covered in tattoos, they all were nonetheless the souls that filled The Sands of Bethlehem with rage while indulging on endless amounts of alcohol.


With front man Jonathan, coming out swinging and head banging, it was only necessary for a pit of death to form and endless amounts of people moshing and eventually leaving this pit missing teeth, bloody nose, and even some unconscious.DK-foto-9581


Seeing Korn live after listening to their Nu/Alternative-Metal for several years, It brought back so many memories of my young troublesome lifestyle. Their playlist was never just focused on just their newest album “The Path of Totality” but instead it was music to my ears hearing some of their biggest hits such as “Freak on a leash,” “Coming undone,” and “Twisted Transistor.”


In short terms, after almost a decade of producing music that is so unique that can’t be replicated by any other band, they have not changed at all unlike many of the other bands that we’ve stopped listening to because of their drastic change in genres. It’s amazing after reaching over millions fans, they still produce some of the most iconic music in metal history that will never be forgotten.



Interview: Chrisette Michele on her new album, touring with Keyshia Cole, and her stunning new look

In today’s music culture that’s saturated with money, fame and sexuality, Chrisette Michele is a rare gem. You might know the Grammy award winning R&B singer for the powerhouse vocals in Jay-z’s “Lost One” or Rick Ross’s “Aston Marton Music”. Or maybe you own all three of her highly acclaimed albums. Chrisette Michele’s music is in a lane of its own. It’s a unique sound, but when you hear the hints of Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan peppered in, it’s almost nostalgic.

Since she appeared on the scene in 2007, she has become a muse for some of hip-hop’s biggest stars and built relationships with some undeniable legends. Three albums, one mixtape and a three-year hiatus later, Chrisette Michele is a changed woman. She is currently on tour with Keyshia Cole, she is releasing a brand new album, and she has recently made a serious life change which caused her to lose over 30 pounds, both physically and emotionally.

We were lucky enough to get the chance to speak with Chrisette to discuss her new look, her new album, and the brand new her:

Two.one.five. magazine: You have a fresh new look, and it is stunning. What inspired you to change your appearance?

Chrisette Michele: Thank you. It’s a natural progression. I travel, probably too much, so I see probably too much.  I’m always just pulling from different places. I’m inspired by Europe: London, Paris, and Amsterdam.

215: I saw a recent interview where you said you did a cleanse which caused you to lose 30 pounds of body weight as well as emotional weight. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

CM: A friend walked in the studio late one night last year. He had green juice and it looked gross. He gave me a movie called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and I watched it. I was so inspired to be as upbeat and happy as he was. It prompted me to start a 60 day juice fast. So I got all of these different fruits and vegetables and put them in my juicer and lost 30 pounds. I’ve have been a vegan ever since. chrisette_new2

215: There are definitely a lot of different emotions towards love in your music. How have your feelings towards love grown or changed since you first started making music about it?

CM: I’ve been pretty bad with love and relationships my whole life. Not so much because I’m bad, or the guys are bad; I’ve always been a busy girl. I’ve always been in dance classes or in choir. In college I was the head of our choir and the dance team. Now I’m super busy being in the music industry. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs when it comes to love. I’ve never been afraid to sing about it.

215: What has been the top moment of your career so far?

CM: Right now I’m having a top moment. I have a family around me that I really adore. They’re called “The Rat Pack 3013” and my band travels with me everywhere I go. I’ve been waiting my whole career to have people I can trust around me and it makes me very happy to finally have that.

215: You’re on Def Jam with a number of incredible artists, is there anyone from the label who you feel closest to, or who you draw inspiration from? 

CM: Quite a few people. Mariah Carey has been around since I was in elementary school. I was so drawn to her energy. 

Lionel Richie and Patti LaBelle have given me wonderful advice and let me know that you can stay around for a long time if you keep your health and sanity. Ne-Yo has been there since Epiphany as a mentor.

One of my biggest influences is Baby Face. He has really helped seal in the fact that I can do anything I can put my mind to.

215: You’ve released 3 stellar albums, a mixtape and you’ve been featured on numerous songs. Is there any song in particular that’s really near and dear to your heart?

CM: “Pray Me Well”. I’m really telling the truth on that song. I really was looking for my heart while I was traveling… I was looking for my heart again.

You spend so much time doing the same thing over and over and after a while you wonder if you’re doing it because it’s working or because it’s what you actually love. It’s kind of a prayer to God, to my family and to my fans because they listen. I’m just asking them to pray for me.

215: Your new album comes out on April 30th! What can fans expect from Better?


CM: They can expect a better me. I’m not asking anybody to evaluate if I’m better, I’m letting people know that I’m in the best space that I’ve been. I’m going H.A.M. with the vocals. The music is hopeful; I’m believing in love again, I’m believing in dreaming and that I’m going to be OK. For awhile, especially during Let Freedom Reign, I wasn’t sure, but now I’m sure. I feel great.

215: You’re currently touring with Keyshia Cole. How would you describe the energy of the Woman to Woman tour?

CM: Yes, we just got off of our first date, and what I appreciate about touring with Keyshia Cole is that we’re both females and we both have a different type of feminine energy. It’s cool to be working with another R&B female and both be celebrated for who you are as an individual. We’re both confident in who we are as women. It’s so nice to share an audience even though we’re so different. We’re both so passionate.

215: What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever gotten?

Lionel Richie and I were hanging out back stage one time and I was thinking about how he might be old enough to be my dad. I had party questions for him. I asked him how he is dancing around and jumping around stage the way he is. He said, “Value your gift, value what God gave you, respect it. And make sure the people who are exploiting you respect your gift and who you are. Treat your gift with honor”.

That was a big gift. We take what we have inside for granted. I learned from Lionel to respect that.

Oh! [laughs] Patti LaBelle once told me to “always take a wheelchair out of the airport,” like a diva.  I thought that was great.

Thanks so much for speaking with us, Chrisette. We’re happy to see you happy.

Philly friends, Chrisette Michele will be with Keyshia Cole at Tower Theater on Monday, April 8. Make sure you get your tickets ASAP.

Keep up with Chrisette on Twitter. And while you’re at it, be sure to check out her new look on Instagram!

Psychic Ills Kicks off One Track Mind Tour in Philly at Johnny Brenda’s

Psychic Ills
Psychic Ills

The city of Philadelphia was blissfully blessed last Wednesday night by NYC’s Psychic Ills as they kicked off their One Track Mind tour at Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown. With influences perhaps from the likes of Spaceman 3 and Loop, Psychic Ills have been pumping out bluesy psych rock ballads with powerfully plump bass lines for a decade now. The rest of the nation and parts of Europe can now fall under their spell as they embark upon about a 60 date tour. That should be a big enough dose of drone to resonate throughout the world for the next two months. For those who can’t make it to their upcoming shows, the new album, ‘One Track Mind’, drops on February 19th on Sacred Bones records.

Mike Bruno + Black Magic Family Band
Mike Bruno + Black Magic Family Band

Opening bands were two unique local acts that made for a perfect line up. First was the super mellow, soft-spoken, dark and discordant melodies of Mike Bruno + Black Magic Family Band. Like a doomed, demented and dreamy version of Donovan, one could picture Mike and his band slowly walking along a dark path in the woods to an abandoned shed to practice, using sticks, leaves and rocks as instruments.
Nothing, also from Philadelphia, are dudes with lots of effects pedals and know how to use them to produce some super heavy shoegaze.


Let’s Move It Philly

To honor the first step in the GrassROOTS Community Foundation’s 10-city-iniative to address childhood obesity and health inequality for African Americans and those living in low-income communities, Black Thought hosted the annual Let’s Move It Philly this past Saturday, February 16th, at Sigma Sound.

Let’s Move It Philly takes place every year to raise funds for the GCF. Proceeds go to C.H.I.C.K.S. (Creating Healthy Informed Confident Knowledgeable Selves), a GCF-supported after school health program for girls at Harding Middle School.

In order to set the event off right, Black Thought, Dr. Janice Johnson Dias and the GrassROOTS Community Foundation enlisted the help of a few friends. Performances of the night included the incredible talents of: Malene Younglao, Chill Moody, STS, Dice Raw, Kindred the Family Soul and of course, Black Thought himself.

Check out photos from the event to relive the remarkable evening.

A Conversation with DJs Jazzy Jeff and A-Trak

Last night DJ Phsh represented Philadelphia to the fullest by winning the title of East Coast representative at the Red Bull Thre3style Regional.  The wild, head-to-head DJ battle featured 5 of the East Coast’s finest competitors – DJ PHSH, DJ LAYZEEBOY, DJ Petey C, Trayze, Zeke. Also in the building to judge the competition were legendary DJs: DJ Jazzy Jeff, A-Trak and Z-Trip.

I got the opportunity to sit down and chat with 215 gem, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and turntable phenom, A-Trak about their thoughts on Philadelphia, best/worst DJing experiences, and more.

First up was Jazzy Jeff:

two.one. five magazine: You’re a 215 legend, how did Philadelphia influence you as an artist?

DJ Jazzy Jeff:  Philly’s a pretty tough town, and I think it gives you tough skin and prepares you for any curveballs that are thrown at you. I think when you’re out there and you have any kind of adversity, you just kind of tap into your Philly side and you’re able to tough it out.

I know people who aren’t from here that come here and say it’s pretty tough. It definitely is tough to please a Philly crowd, they expect great things and you have to always be on you’re A-game.

two.one. five magazine: I’m sure it’s benefited you in certain situations. What’s the worst experience you’ve ever had DJing?
DJ Jazzy Jeff: Someone booked me to do a Soca party, and they told me that they didn’t want me to play Soca music, they just wanted me to “do me”.  About an hour before I got there, the guy is like “Yo, can you do a Soca set?”

I didn’t know a single Soca record.

I arrive and there are about 3,000 people on the floor, dancing to Soca music. I got up there and started playing, and all I remember is this girl in the front row, and for the entire time I was playing she was just shaking her head like “nope”.  She didn’t say a single word, she just kept shaking her head. I was like ,“Oh my god”, and I just kept playing.

That’s that Philly tough style, you’ve got to keep playing.

two.one. five magazine: That sounds petrifying! On a lighter note, what’s the best experience you’ve ever had DJing?

DJ Jazzy Jeff: Oh man, I have way too many of those.

two.one. five magazine: How about one of the most memorable?

DJ Jazzy Jeff: Every two years I play a festival in Singapore called ZoukOut, and there are about 85,000 people on the beach. So it’s really, really massive. Just imagine looking out at 85,000 people, and telling everyone to put there hands in the air – that will give you the chills.

two.one. five magazine: That’s insane, do you get nervous?

DJ Jazzy Jeff: Nope!

two.one. five magazine: Not even when you were first starting?

DJ Jazzy Jeff: More than nerves I think you get anxiety. I’m never nervous; I think I’m just anxious. You have all of these people in front of you, and you know what you’re going to do before they know, and you’re just so excited for them. It’s really cool.

two.one. five magazine: How do you feel out a crowd when you’re constantly going to different venues?
DJ Jazzy Jeff: It’s hard to explain, it’s so second nature to me now. I think more than anything, my job is to take people on a trip, and sometimes people start to enjoy it two minutes in, ten minutes in or twenty minutes in, but at the end of the day you just want them to enjoy the trip.  I think that’s it. You’re just thinking about how you can take these people along with you for the ride.

I definitely don’t go on what I see. I go on what I feel.

two.one. five magazine: I know you’ve been in competitions like the Red Bull Thre3style before, do you remember what the most stressful part about that is?
DJ Jazzy Jeff: I’ve always had tunnel vision. I’ve come up with what I’m going to do and I can’t worry about what anybody else is going to be doing. Focusing on what other people are doing is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. You just have to do you and see how it comes out. I’ve seen that be very disastrous for people who start listening or paying too much attention to somebody else.

Once you come up, a big plus is your level of commitment to your own style. You can commit to what you want to do and just stick with it. If you believe in it, just do it.  If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody is going to believe in you.

two.one. five magazine: DJ Phsh is from Philly, do you feel any bias towards him because he’s from your hometown?
DJ Jazzy Jeff: Let me tell you something, this is probably my third year doing Red Bull Thre3style judging. I’m very hard and very fair. I’m not the type of judge that wants you to set yourself on fire to impress me, but I pay attention to all of the little stuff. You’ll never pull something over on me. I’m watching, I’m listening and if what I see and what I hear don’t match, then the hairs on the back of neck stand up.

Hey, that makes you a great judge to have for the competition. Lastly, do you have any advice for the DJs for tonight and moving forward from the competition?
One of the biggest pieces of advice that I have, especially for the DJs from the US, is to not take the rest of the world for granted.  I think that the rest of the world is a lot more musically advanced than the United States, and I’ve seen a lot of guys from the United States take that for granted, and lose. So, watch out for the little, short, tiny guy from Chile who looks unassuming, because he will put his foot in your ass.

two.one. five magazine: That’s a solid piece of advice. Thanks so much, Jazzy Jeff, you seriously rule.

Next up was A-trak.

two.one. five magazine: You’ve been in competitions like this before, as a DJ, what is the most stressful part of competing?

A-Trak: The most stressful part is that you want to make sure you don’t mess up [laughs]. A DJ set is very intricate, there are a lot of cues, you have stay sharp the whole way through, but you also want to put on a good appearance for the crowd.

There is this whole sort of balancing act where you don’t want to look at your records the whole time because you want to engage the crowd, but at the same time, your mind needs to be sharp, you need to be focused and you want to remember everything.

You’re also really depending on equipment that could fail. In the pure, vinyl days it would be skipping, and nowadays your laptop could just go blank or crash. Things happen, and you want to stay tight. That’s probably the most stressful part of preparing for battle, just wanting to make sure that you perform your set correctly.

two.one. five magazine: Has you equipment failed on you?
A-Trak: Everything has happened to me. I was in the world finals in 1998, the DMC World Finals and the cross-fader knob flew off of my mixer. When these things happen you’re just like, “Why?! This is not supposed to happen [laughs].”

Records have skipped on me too. It’s really part of being a DJ, though. DJing is a live thing, you’re performing in front of a live audience and part of performing live is learning to roll with punches. You have to adapt.

two.one. five magazine: Is that the worst thing that’s happened to you on stage?
A-Trak: Definitely [laughs] I’d have to say that’s the worst.

two.one. five magazine: What’s the best experience that you’ve had DJing?
A-Trak: I have been DJing for 16 years. I’ve done a fair share of things; I probably can’t even pick a top three.

two.one. five magazine: Do you have a favorite artist that you’ve worked with, or an artist that has inspired you the most?
A-Trak: I’ve worked closely with Kanye West for many years, he’s definitely one of the guys who has influenced me a lot and helped me grow. I’m currently in a group called Duck Sauce with Armand Van Helden, and you know, that “Barbara Streisand” track that we put out was the biggest hit I’ve ever had.

Even beyond that, my relationship with Armand just as a music partner and friend is one of my favorites too. I really like the guy, he’s my homie.

There have also been a lot of other great collaborations that I’ve been a part of before. I’m just so happy to do what I do, and be able to earn a living with my craft, my passion and not have to do what other people have done before me.  Not only is it cool to live off of music, but to feel like I’m creating a path that’s my own is even more thrilling I think.

two.one. five magazine: I know you’ve been all over the world, has coming to Philadelphia to judge this competition inspired or influenced you in any sort of way?
A-Trak: Jazzy Jeff is probably the single-most influential DJ to me. He’s the dude that’s influenced me the most over my career, especially when you’re talking about longevity and well roundedness. To keep a career going for as long as me is one thing, but as long as Jazzy Jeff is another thing. Jeff is the don for me.  So being in the city that he comes from is inspiring to me.

two.one. five magazine:Do you have any advice for tonight’s DJs for after they move on from this competition?
A-Trak: For tonight, I would say be original. There are a lot of people that are doing the same shit. For moving on from the competition, I would still say be original because there are always going to be people doing the same shit no matter what level you reach. Bring something fresh to the table, and that’s how people will notice you.

Thanks for such an interesting chat, A-trak.