You can’t talk about Philly’s hip-hop scene without mentioning Lady B and Bri Steves. These two women are essential to the city’s place in the music industry. One of the first female rappers, Lady B recorded her first single, To the Beat, Y’all, in 1979. The “Godmother of Hip-Hop” has been blazing trails ever since as a performer, DJ and podcaster, paving the way for stars like Bri Steves. East Falls native and Temple University grad Steves has opened for H.E.R., Mary J. Blige, Pharrell and Kendrick Lamar, and landed a BET nomination for her song ANTI QUEEN. Her debut album drops July 30, 2021.
More episodes from "Love + Grit"
Trey Brown & Mz. Icar
23:23This episode features 15-year-old—yes 15-year-old —Trey Brown. The founder of SPERGO, a trendsetting streetwear and lifestyle brand, turned his passion for design and community into a six-figure company in only three years. One of the most sought-after youth speakers in the country, Brown has been featured on a billboard in Times Square, opened up two stores, received a key to the city and just received a deal on ABC’s Shark Tank. Also on this episode is Mz. Icar, the woman behind a dope (and anonymous) art collective creating works that celebrate women, global Blackness and play. Comprised primarily of Black women artists specializing in different media, this collective's work has been recognized by the art community’s most elite and is part of the Love + Grit Storefronts Project.
Michelle Angela Ortiz & Roberto Lugo
28:58When it comes to visual arts in Philadelphia, Michelle Angela Ortiz is a local legend. Her work has been presented in all forms — on canvas, lightboxes, building walls and now TV screens with her first documentary, “Las Madres de Berks.” The New York Times recently shouted out the Moore College of Art grad with South Philly roots for her work in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s New Grit exhibition. Also featured in The New York Times and on this episode of the podcast is Kensington-born Roberto Lugo, known as “The Ghetto Potter.” Roberto is reinventing the idea of fine China and will install a mural in honor of The Roots’ Black Thought on the Clay Studio building opening in Olde Kensington in spring 2022.
Jennifer Zavala & Nicholas Ducos and Francesca Galarus
25:05Jennifer Zavala kicked off Philadelphia’s birria taco craze with a graffiti truck and a pop-up shop at Underground Arts. Tune in to hear from the South Philly-based owner of Juana Tamale as she prepares for her brick-and-mortar opening later this year on Passyunk Ave. In Kensington, Nicholas Ducos and Francesca Galarus have opened the city's first independently owned urban winery with the goal of making wine more affordable and accessible. Hear about how Nicholas’ sommelier skills and Francesca's eye for arts and love of community has helped Mural City Cellars bloom into a welcoming destination for good wine and chill vibes.
Tess Hart & Maria N. Gonzalez
23:49Contributing to Philadelphia’s business community is a conscious effort for the two women featured on this episode. Tess Hart brought her mission to life in the Spring Arts District when she co-founded Triple Bottom Brewing, dedicated to putting people, the planet and profit on equal footing. In Centro de Oro’s Business District, Maria Gonzalez manages a $100 million budget for commercial and housing development. As president of the Hispanic Association of Contractors and Enterprises (HACE), she’s charged with making sure the district's Good Lands 2025 plan, aimed at providing a road map for the revitalization of the surrounding neighborhoods, is executed.
Francisco Garcia & Alba Martínez
19:36Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a salsa song dedicated to Philly’s Latinx neighborhoods and a sip of the city's first Latinx-distilled whiskey. Strivers’ Row Distillery, based in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, is owned and operated by Brooklyn ex-pat and the Al Día 40-Under-40-nominated Francisco Garcia. Also on the episode: Alba Martínez, who after a 12-year run at a top financial firm and 23 years dedicated to law, human services and government, is ready to use her expertise to fuel two of her passions: the financial wellness of women and minorities and Latinx arts. Her new salsa song “La Gua Gua 47” pays homage to SEPTA’s 47 bus route.
David and Aaron Cabello & Brandon Pankey
23:31David and Aaron Cabello were delivering for Uber Eats and Caviar in Center City when they saw a hole in the market. They created Black and Mobile and became the first delivery service based in Philadelphia to partner with and highlight Black-Owned Businesses. Live music is back and the Vice President of Business Development and Operations at Live Nation Urban, Brandon Pankey, is working to build the industry back in the most inclusive way. From his Meet the Execs series on BlackStream Live to launching his own network, APEX, and not to mention producing Philly’s favorite picnic (yes -- the Roots one), Brandon is on a mission and he’s not slowing down anytime soon.
Charisse McGill & Tina Dixon Spence
28:50This episode’s guests are two women inspired by their children to build thriving Philadelphia businesses. Charisse McGill combined her farmers market expertise and inspiration from her daughter to launch Lokal Artisan Foods. As the first Black woman to vend at Spruce Street Harbor Park and the first Black woman in Pennsylvania with her own craft beer, she’s just getting started. When Tina Dixon Spence could not find a baby store that matched her son’s burgeoning style, she created Buddha Babe, a luxury design studio focusing on accessories for babies, toddlers and the home (and kids parties). She fearlessly launched her Mt. Airy brick-and-mortar amidst a pandemic and aims to make the shop a staple in neighborhoods across the city.
Aidan M. Un and Raishad M. Hardnett & Nasya Jenkins
30:28The BlackStar Film Festival, also known as “Black Sundance,” is the nation’s premier fest for Black, Brown and Indigenous filmmakers. And it’s centered in Philly! On this episode of Love + Grit, hear from local directors screening their work at the 2021 festival. West Philly neighbors and respected filmmakers Raishad M. Hardnett and Aidan M. Un teamed up to produce a short film about Harriett’s Bookshop in Fishtown for the 10th annual festival’s “Stories in Place” series about small businesses. And Nasya Jenkins discusses her short documentary From Digital Divide to Digital Equity about Philly activists leading the fight for digital equity in education.
Bri Steves & Lady B
32:07You can’t talk about Philly’s hip-hop scene without mentioning Lady B and Bri Steves. These two women are essential to the city’s place in the music industry. One of the first female rappers, Lady B recorded her first single, To the Beat, Y’all, in 1979. The “Godmother of Hip-Hop” has been blazing trails ever since as a performer, DJ and podcaster, paving the way for stars like Bri Steves. East Falls native and Temple University grad Steves has opened for H.E.R., Mary J. Blige, Pharrell and Kendrick Lamar, and landed a BET nomination for her song ANTI QUEEN. Her debut album drops July 30, 2021.
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson
55:50Ask anyone to name the most iconic Philadelphians and Questlove is top of the list. The West Philly native is the drummer for The Roots and musical director of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon; cofounder of digital music and media platforms Okayplayer and OkayAfrica; a James Beard Award-nominated cookbook author; plant-based cheesesteak maker and more. He joins Love + Grit to talk about his career, health and his latest project, Summer of Soul, debuting in theaters and on Hulu on July 2, 2021. With the new film comes a new look: A dramatic weight loss that Questlove attributes in part to better sleeping and breathing. Tune in for a rare discussion of the music icon’s deeply personal journey.