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Andre Altrez | photo by Cheyenne Chapman | courtesy of the artist

The Soundcloud description on André Altrez‘s “Venus” refers to the Philly rapper’s new single “the calm.” Don’t know if the “before the storm” part of that is implicit, or if this is simply calm-for-calm’s-sake, but the song is a blissful two-minute meditation over a sweeping flute loop that evokes the sublime tension of Nas’ Illmatic. Lyrically, Altrez free associates — a bit of can’t knock the hustle, a bit of lust, a bit of escapism from the drudgery and grind of the east coast megalopolis and into one’s own creative headspace.

Speaking of creative spaces (head and otherwise), the folks at JUMP Phillytook time in its most recent issue to spotlight Girard Hall, the Fishtown DIY space Altrez programs and advocates for. He was also spotlighted in this week’s Philadelphia Weekly for its column #ThePhillyEffect, discussing why he came to Philly from NYC and what makes him stay:

You have to cut through a lot of fluff to get to the good things in New York. Because you can make it off of idiots off in New York. You can sell anything to anybody because there’s always so many people moving in and out. If something’s gonna be stupid in Philly, it’s really not gonna last that long. Look at the Piazza. The Piazza is almost a ghost town.

You may not have a greater number of things happening in Philly, but the quality of things happening is a lot higher because there’s less room for error.

Read the full PW interview here and listen to “Venus” below.

https://soundcloud.com/andrealtrez/venus

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