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Black Music City Grant Winners | Black Music Heroes Video Series

Do you know about the rich history of Philadelphia’s black music? Philadelphia has long been known for African American music. Notable artists include Jill Scott, Boyz II Men, The Trampps, Patti LaBelle, Billie Holiday. More recently The Roots and Chill Moody. This is just to name a few. But there are hundreds of black artists from the Philadelphia area that made the music scene what it is today. And we can’t forget about places like the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts that gave artists a place to showcase their talents. And that’s exactly what the Black Music City Grant celebrates and facilitates. An outlet for expression, a celebration of culture, and support for creation.

Black Music City recognizes and honors the influence of Philadelphia Black music history. It’s a collaboration between Philadelphia public music radio stations WXPN-FM and WRTI-FM and REC Philly. On Juneteenth in 2021 we celebrated and honored 23 granters winners with live music, storytelling, and a gallery of artwork.

Content photographer Philadelphia Center City District

black music city grant 2021

Beaumonde Originals was one of 23 artists chosen out of 600 applications for the Black Music City grant. With the support of the grant, we created a two-part video series called Black Music Heroes. We worked together with The Bul Bey to interview inspiring and amazing artists and inspirations in the Black community. We told the stories of Queen Jo, DJ Aktive, Cvgebird, Sam rise, Sterling Duns, and DJ Taaj. Each musician offered insight into how the covid-19 pandemic impacted them. It tells how they pivoted and how they gave back. And now they are here stronger than ever. This series explores the role social justice advocacy played with Philly musicians through their lyrics and actions. Protesting, fundraising, volunteering are of important topics covered.

We had the pleasure of telling the story of some amazing Philadelphia Musician and DJs on how COVID-19 impacted their lives. We were supported by the local art community while being able to support others.

Have a seat, grab some popcorn and enjoy this 2-part video series. We hope you are as inspired as we are! And continue below to read more about each artist we interviewed.

Black Music Heroes part 1

Black Music Heroes part 2

Get to Know the Artists of Black Music Heroes

The Bul Bey

The Bul Bey is the charismatic host of Black Music Heroes. He is a local rapper, Community Curator at WHYY, and local activist. He is involved in all kinds of community engagement like Global Village, The Big Clean Up, Black Mens’ Healing Circle. We have had the pleasure of working with the Bul Bey in the past doing promotional photo and video and a EPK for his website.

Queen Jo

Queen Jo is a femcee, rapper, and Co-chair of the Phila. Arts & Culture Taskforce. Check her out on Jawn of Justice. She’s also super involved in local community engagement.

DJ Aktive

DJ Aktive is a tour DJ – having toured with Janet Jackson, Common, Diddy, Marsha Ambrosius and Alicia Keys. He is a producer and founder of Dapfest,. He is involved with Everybody Eats, DJing with his son Skip. And he supplied the jams at several Get out the Vote Events.


Cvgebird is a musican, activist, artist, and educator. They use their voice for community engagement and activism. They also work as an incarcerated youth mentor, incorporating their music in the process.

Sam Rise

Samantha Rise is a singer, Songcatcher, and a musical adventurer. They are a community activist, and often speaks at and provides sounds at protests.

Sterling Duns

Sterling Duns is a hip-hop artist, educator, instrumentalist, poet, comedy improviser, musician, rapper, and community activist. He started Healing Circles for Black Men.

DJ Taaj

AKA Brother Taaj is a DJ, event coordinator, and he’s involved in the West Philly Peace Project – The Philly Peace Park is an open, charitable, inter-generational, neighborhood, managed ecology campus championing food, education and community.

Book the best photography / video team in Philadelphia

Make sure to get in touch if you’re looking for a locally owned photo/video team with:

  • Over a decade of experience
  • A team of carefully selected lead and associate shooters
  • Original ideas and love to have fun!
  • Full support during the planning process
  • Licensed FAA certified drone pilot
  • The belief of going above and beyond

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