Philadelphia is a city renowned for its African-American culture, with a rich history of jazz, soul, and hip-hop music. It was the birthplace of John Coltrane and the home of iconic artists such as Patti Labelle, Teddy Pendergrass, and Hall & Oates. The city's influence on music was further solidified when the TV show “American Bandstand” began broadcasting from Philadelphia. In the late 1990s, Beanie Sigel emerged as one of the most prominent hip-hop artists from Philadelphia.
His streetwise lyrics and charisma earned him recognition from major rap radio stations, and his Roc-A-Fella debut album “The Truth” peaked at number 5 on the Billboard charts. It was produced by Just Blaze and Kanye West, who both received their first widespread exposure. The Roots also made a huge impact on the Philadelphia hip-hop scene in the 1990s. Their albums “Illadelph Halflife” and “Do You Want More?!!!??!” are often considered to be their best work.
The production was handled by The Grand Negaz, Questlove and Kelo, and it showed a slight deviation from their live music sound. The album featured special appearances by Raphael Saadiq, Common, Bahamadia and future member Dice Raw. D was another influential rapper from West Philadelphia who made an impact in the mid-1980s. He is looking forward to the release of One Way, which represents a change of direction for him as an artist.
Freeway is another prominent figure in New York hip hop in the mid-2000s, both as a solo artist and a founding member of State Property.