Philadelphia, PA - When you think of Philadelphia hip-hop, one of the first things you probably think of is the legendary rappers. While the city has a long history of producing legendary rappers, its new generation of lyricists has helped keep the sound creative and honest. "Yo, who's that?" might be the first question a non-Philadelphia resident asks you when you hear a song by one of the city's newest artists.
Philadelphia's Legendary Rappers
The Roots are an iconic Philadelphia hip-hop group, releasing eight studio albums and several live performances. Originally a trio, they self-released their first album, Organix, in 1993. Soon after, the band signed with DGC Records and released the next album, Do You Want More???? In 1995.
Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff
Will Smith is best known as the star of the popular sitcom "The Fresh Prince." He has been a part of hip-hop culture since his early days. The actor, who began starring in movies when he was just thirteen, was the first person to feature Jazzy Jeff in a film. After being cast as the sitcom's main character in 1996, Will Smith quit the show. However, the duo has been sued by the record label Jive over a recording contract. They had allegedly reached an agreement to produce more albums, but Jive turned down their submission.
Jedi Mind Tricks
The duo that makes up the Philadelphia Hip-Hop group Jedi Mind Tricks is a mainstay in the underground. The group comprises MC Vinnie Paz and MC Stoupe, The Enemy of Mankind. The two formed the group when they were just high school students. Their songs have gritty content and sample-laden beats. They have also done numerous collaborations and guest spots with other rap artists.
Known as "Beanie Sigel," the emcee from South Philadelphia has a varied career. Before signing to Roc-A-Fella Records in 2001, he worked as a street musician in South Philadelphia before making a name for himself as an emcee. In 2002, he released his debut album, "The Truth," which reached No. 23 on the Hot Rap Singles chart earned him a gold record from the RIAA. His success prompted him to sign with a major label.
Schoolly D is an MC and producer who is one of the most influential artists in the Philadelphia Hip-Hop scene. Born in Philadelphia in 1962, he is an innovator and a staple of the hip-hop scene. He is best known for his original theme from the Aqua Teen Hunger Force film and for being one of the founding members of the Philly rap scene in the 80s.
Outerspace is a Philadelphia Hip-Hop Artist generating buzz for close to two decades. The Philadelphia duo consists of Rapper Planetary and DJ Crypt the Warchild. They were childhood friends who grew up listening to EPMD and Gangstarr. Their vision prompted them to form a group and team with the acclaimed hip-hop collective Jedi Mind Tricks. The group's debut single, "We Lyve," was praised by critics and the public for its complex rhymes and etheric beats.
Reef the Lost Cauze
"Reef, the Lost Cauze" is a hip-hop artist who lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Born Sharif Lacey, he is the founder of the hip-hop collective Army of the Pharaohs, and he is a member of the Hip-Hop group The JuJu Mob. His music is powerful and thought-provoking, and his lyrics are often socially conscious, illustrating his deep and passionate commitment to his craft.
Viro the Virus
Viro the Virus is a hip-hop artist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He released his first album in 2001 and has since released several solo albums. His first solo album, Jersey's Finest, was his most popular and was one of his best. This album featured collaborations with fellow rappers Reef the Lost Cauze and Side Effect. Viro has worked with Snowgoons twice, releasing the Virohazard EP in 2009. He recorded "Starlight" for Snowgoons, which became a viral hit, reaching more than 300,000 views on YouTube.
pFreeway is a rising hip-hop artist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has had several hits, including the 2003 hit "What We Do." His sophomore album, "Think Free," came out this year, but he remains a relative unknown. Here's a look at his latest project.
Known by her stage name Bahamadia, American hip-hop artist Antonia Reed has a deep and diverse musical background. She first became a popular presence in the Philadelphia hip-hop scene after partnering with producer DJ Ran for the independent single "Funk Vibe." After securing the attention of Gang Starr MC Guru, Bahamadia signed with Chrysalis Records. She released her debut album Kollage in 1996 and has since made appearances on songs from MC Guru, DJ Cash Money, and Erykah Badu. She has also toured Europe and supported The Fugees in the U.S.