Philadelphia has been a major player in the hip-hop scene since the 1980s, and the 90s saw the city's music reach new heights. From Schoolly D to Will Smith, many artists have made their mark on the genre, and their influence can still be seen today. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the most iconic hip-hop artists from Philadelphia, PA who have been featured in music videos from the 90s. Jahlil Beats (Orlando Tucker), record producer and composer, is one of the most influential figures in Philadelphia hip-hop.
He is best known for producing hits for Meek Mill, Rick Ross, and Drake. Unlike the rappers mentioned above, Black Thought did not come out through mixtapes, but rather released a series of albums independently that had very good results in Philadelphia and New York at the underground level, operating in the same space as artists such as Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Common.
Schoolly Dis a hip-hop legend and was arguably the first rapper from Philadelphia to successfully enter the rap mainstream. His single “To The Beat Y'all” has become an icon of hip-hop culture. He was also part of the first conscious wave of rap, alongside Melle Mel and Grandmaster Flash.
Black Thought is best known for his work as part of The Roots, a hip-hop collective and band formed in the late 1980s by Trotter and his friend Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson.
Will Smithis another artist who has made his mark on Philadelphia hip-hop. His hit single “Summertime” perfectly captured the warm and fun side of life in black Philadelphia. From “Gettin” Jiggy Wit' It to “Summertime”, Smith and his discography undoubtedly have a place in the hip-hop history books.
Beanie Sigelis another artist who hails from Philadelphia. He has had some public disputes and issues of displeasure with fellow Philadelphia artist Meek Mill.
Freeway is another rapper who began building his reputation by doing freestyle in Philadelphia. Finally, OuterSpace is a central player in the underground hip-hop scene. They continue to produce Planetary's most recent works. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that much of Philadelphia's hip-hop history can be traced and contextualized only with the names that Bahamadia references in “Uknowhowwedu”.It would be nearly impossible to compile a playlist that would fully summarize Philadelphia hip-hop in the 90s, but this selection of songs is a sincere attempt to capture the sound and style that defined this chaotic and memorable decade. From Schoolly D to Will Smith, many artists have made their mark on the genre, and their influence can still be felt today.