There were a lot of great events this past week that kept the good people of Philadelphia entertained. Whether it was Beta Hi-Fi Emerging Artists Competition, the All Love Block Party, or Hips, they all included music by local artists and DJs that kept Philly moving and grooving. That’s exactly what made going to Aime & Friends this past Thursday at Warehouse On Watts so enjoyable for me.
Since his junior year at Temple University, the New York-born and Philly-based hip hop artist Aime has been making name for himself by showing the city of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection that the two of them share the same love for lyrics. During that time he’s been able to connect with other amazing artists, like, singer Suzanne Sheer, hip hop artists Shawn Smith, DJ, Sibby Liv, saxophonist Max Swan, and more. At Warehouse On Watts last week, with hip hop artist The Bul Bey as the host and the assistance of these five talented musicians, Aime was able to put on a dope show that reminded me and the other attendees just how much talent resides in Philadelphia.
Under low purple lights, Aime started the show off with a quick performance of his single “Really Tho” to get crowd energized for the night, followed by a quick set from Sibby Liv. As those who are from Philly or have lived here long enough know, Warehouse On Watts (WOW for short) used to be a venue called 923, a place where teenagers were able to go to dance and party. So hearing Sibby Liv playing club music made being at WOW feel very nostalgic. She even played music from other local artists like Ky’s new song “Sweet Pie.”
The first act for the night was saxophonist/singer-songwriter Max Swan who slowed it down with his electro soul tunes. The songs he played from his project Slow Jail like “Sheesh” and “Filler” were amazing, but it was sort of hard to hear his voice with the mic sounding a little low and people talking loud in the background. However what could be heard was the voice of his saxophone, which I believe grabbed all of our ears that night. Thankfully the volume of the microphone increased once Max performed last song “Yesterday.”
Up next was Southwest’s very own Shawn Smith, who got it bumping out the gate immediately when he performed his single “Chain Gang” off his most recent album Hope Dealer. Nowadays it’s sadly common to see rappers take the stage with a backup vocal track and get away with not knowing their own lyrics while performing, so I was very happy to see Shawn performing off instrumentals and not tracks.
He then got down from the stage to perform an unreleased track that sampled a Philly classic “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” by hometown heroes Young Gunz to feel the crowd’s energy. He followed up by performing more songs from Hope Dealer such as “Up If You Need Me,” and “Black Don’t Crack,” as well as freestyling to the classic “What We Do” by Freeway. Lines like “Most niggas was raised to be broke like piñatas,” blew me and the crowd away, reminding us that this city is known for the wordplay of its elite MCs.
After being served top-notch bars, singer Suzanne Sheer came through with a powerful voice that had the crowd rocking and dancing with her new single “Off Limits.” She then brought her friend and guitarist David onstage to help keep all of us moving by performing the “Drive” remix that was produced by DJ Eric Boss. She then slowed it down to cover the timeless “Back To Black” by the late legend Amy Winehouse, which had all of us singing along. She then went on to sing her own songs off her debut album The Blue Hour like “Desire,” “Girls on The Internet,” as well a brand new track called “Feel Nothing.” This was my first time seeing Suzanne Sheer perform and I must say I was not disappointed. She definitely had me going on Apple Music and adding her tunes to my music library once her set was over.
We then got the final act of the night, Aime who started off either performing a new song or freestyling. Early on he had this line “Everybody got a wave, that shit make me seasick,” that caught my ear and, like Shawn Smith’s set, it reminded me that rappers in Philly are different! Aime then started giving out flowers to represent the theme of getting your flowers before it’s too late from his EP FlowersStarted Dying Yesterday. He then went on to perform “Flowers” then “Started.” Aime then invited one of his music friends, Max Swan, to join him on stage to perform “Yesterday” with him. That followed up with him getting down to crowd to perform “Really Doe” while shooting a video for it. Afterwards, his other music comrade, Suzanne Sheer, joined him for his final song of the night “Spirit,” which was a perfect way to end an amazing night of good music from emerging artists living in the city of Philadelphia.