Family Matters: The 2013 Mad Decent Block Party Tour Stop In Philadelphia Recap

An audience over 6,500 filled the The Great Plaza, located on Philadelphia’s Penn’s Landing Waterfront, coming together for the 2013 Mad Decent Block Party tour. The festival was a clash of cultures, as glow stick-wielding Ravers jammed side by side with Hood By Air, Supreme, and Jordan-wearing hipsters.

“Look at the crowd outside, everyone’s represented. There is no label for this,” Mad Decent artist Riff Raff, who also performed during the show, said. “Originality is where it’s at.”

The outside grounds were littered with food vendors and tour sponsors such as UrbanEars and Puma. There was a Who’s Who of cultural influencers and musical artists backstage, but the atmosphere was anything but industry. Words like “family,” “energy,” and “creativity” were typical responses from artists asked to define what the label name means. Old friends reconnected while new friends exchanged ideas, manifesting the spirit of the Mad Decent culture. Internet entrepreneur and clothing designer 40 Oz. Van spoke about supporting the culture that shows love to him.

“It’s beautiful out here. I don’t feel like I’m seeing an artist," he said. "I’m out here to show love to my friends performing, whether it’s for an hour or 15 minutes. It’s all organic, it’s all real.”

Mad Decent affiliates and Philadelphia native sons Swizzymack, Dirty South Joe and DJ Sega kicked off the show. High-level energy filled the amphitheater packed with people that tour creator, and one-third of House Music group Major Lazer, Diplo descried as “getting turnt.” Girls with jean shorts and glowing necklaces were twerking to bass heavy trap records and the fast-paced Philly Club music. Patrons scaled the tall towers located throughout the venue to get a better look at the show and claim 15 minutes of fame high above the crowd. The vibe from the event was always ascending. Turn down for what?

DC natives Nadastrom took the event to another level, spraying water into the crowd and inviting some of the female partygoers on stage to join them in the festivities. Trap music power duo Flosstradamus and EDM upstart Dillon Francis continued to captivate the crowd with 45-minute sets that blended the bass and drum patterns of hip-hop music with the synthesizers of electronic music, creating something totally different, something genre-defining.

Major Lazer closed the show with an appropriate climax: 60 minutes of crowd surfing, streamer cannons, and a fusion of traditional Dancehall riddims with underground House and Electronic music. One lucky kid even found himself straddled by dancers. As the crowd demanded more, Mad Decent proved that the best live shows are an experience. Major Lazer gave all that it could before sending everyone home.

What started on a small street in Philadelphia and has expanded into a 13-city international tour, the Mad Decent Block Party's return to where it all began always carries a different feel to it.

“There’s no other place in the world in which an entire block will shut down and its residents will have a party like it’s a normal thing like we do in Philly,” Diplo said. “The city embodies the Mad Decent Block Party experience, and we do our best to take that with us all over the world. All we aim to do is keep it organic and real, break down barriers and continue to share what we do to the world. ”

Cory Townes is a Digital Content Producer born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa. His work has been featured in, The Grio, and other media publications. For more of his work, visit and follow him on Twitter at @CoryTownes.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

Juelz Santana’s Wife Kimbella Petitions For His Prison Release Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Across the United States, inmates and prison staff have been dealing with the spread of COVID-19 and receiving minimal attention from local governments. While releases for certain inmates are being granted, one famously being Tekashi 6ix9ine, others like Juelz Santana are petitioning for a similar release.

The “Mic Check” rapper’s wife Kimbella Vanderhee publicized a petition to have her spouse released to continue his sentencing under home confinement. Santana was sentenced to 27 months in prison for drugs and firearm violations.

Kimbella said Santana has been on lockdown for two weeks. “He has served 13 months at FCI Petersburg and should be allowed to serve the rest of his sentence on home confinement,” the petition’s statement reads. “BOP & Honorable Judge Chesler can make this happen for Laron. He is a good husband, father, son, brother, friend and has a positive media influence as a legendary rap artist.”

In 2018, Santana turned himself in to the authorities after a firearm and drugs were found in his luggage at Newark International Airport. He was brought up on charges of unlawful possession of a weapon and other drug-related offenses.

Similar to 6ix9ine, Kimbella is petitioning for Santana to serve out the rest of his sentence on home confinement. Earlier this week, 6ix9ine was granted release due to the novel coronavirus' spread and its affects on people with underlying health issues, like asthma which 6ix9ine has. Prison reform advocates have been calling on local governments to release those with non-criminal parole violations. Recently, New York City's Rikers Island recorded its first inmate date from the COVID-19 virus. TIME reports 273 inmates at Rikers have tested positive.

Continue Reading

Quibi Documentary Explores LeBron James' I Promise School

Quibi's launch of original content has revealed an in-depth look into LeBron James' I Promise school based in the athlete's hometown of Akron, Ohio.

The docuseries explores young scholars attending the school and the traumas they've faced in their very short lives. I Promised officially opened in 2018, taking in low-income students who reportedly were among the worst performers in Akron’s public schools.

Speaking to People, James explained how the school's mission isn't just to improve grades but to provide emotional support the children will take into adulthood.

“Hope is a very powerful thing. No matter the situation, if a kid knows someone truly believes in them, that changes their outlook on everything,” James said. “With our school, everything is built on giving kids the confidence that they can do anything. They know I believe in them, they know their teachers, the whole staff, and everyone we’ve put around them believes in them. It’s incredible what they can do when they feel that support.”

Each student was handpicked with some improvement at record speed. According to The New York Times, 216 of 240 I Promise students met or exceeded their expected growth at the mid-year mark. “At the I PROMISE School, our goal is to let every single kid know they are special,” James added. “That they can be whatever they want to be. And that starts with addressing everything they’re going through before they even step foot in a classroom.”

Before its opening, James ensured that the parents of the students would also have a chance to expand their education and job hunt. Students also receive breakfast, lunch and snacks with access to an in-house food bank.

In the Quibi doc, James' mother Gloria Marie James, also shared how her son struggled in school as a child and how the player used his own life experience to help improve the school's mission statement.

“You’ll hear from my mom in the documentary, who shares how much we both can relate to what these kids and their families are going through,” he said. “A lot of what we do at I Promise School is based on our experience and that’s what makes the connection so real. We have a mutual understanding of each other and what we’re going through, and I think that gives us all the drive we need to succeed for one another.”

Like many schools around the country, I Promise teachers are engaging with students on platforms like Zoom.


View this post on Instagram


Our family looks a little bit different on the computer screen than they do at school…🤔🤣 but there is truly nothing like family! #WeAreFamily

A post shared by I PROMISE School (@ipromiseschool) on Mar 26, 2020 at 1:04pm PDT

Quibi, a new streaming service from Jeffery Katzenberg, founder and CEO of Dreamworks, officially launched Monday with original content from the likes of Ariana Grande, Keke Palmer, Lena Waithe and more.

Luckily for T-Mobile customers, Quibi is on the house for a full year. T-Mobile customers with two or more voice lines at standard rates on Magenta and ONE plans with taxes and fees included — along with discounted First Responder, Military and Magenta Plus 55 plans — or small business customers with up to 12 lines, can get Quibi (regularly $4.99) added to their plan for free.

Customers can sign up between now and July 7 to get Quibi on Us by going to or the T-Mobile app for iOS or Android.

See the full list of shows on the platform here.

Continue Reading

R. Kelly Denied Release From Jail Amid COVID-19 Fear

R.Kelly's request to be released from jail amid COVID-19 concerns was denied by a Brooklyn judge on Tuesday (April7), according to TMZ.

TMZ also reported that Kelly's lawyers asked that the R&B singer be place on house arrest at his home in Chicago.

“The defendant is currently in custody because of the risks that he will flee or attempt to obstruct, threaten or intimidate prospective witnesses,” U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly wrote via press release. “The defendant has not explained how those risks have changed.”

Kelly is at Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he is awaiting trial on racketeering, sexual misconduct and other charges.

Also, rapper YNW Melly recently tested positive for COVID-19 while in jail awaiting trial for double murder. He plans to file a motion to be released on house arrest.

Continue Reading

Top Stories