Exploring the Hip-Hop Scene in Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia is a city renowned for its vibrant music and art scene, from the graffiti pier to the clothespin and the impressive collection of impressionists at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation. Music and art have always been intertwined, and in this series, Music+Art, we explore how local musicians interact with visual artists from Philadelphia. When recording artist turned entrepreneur Redi teamed up with Traci Freeman, they wanted to create an interactive art gallery that would showcase the city's talent. With the help of five local artists (Lopez Divinci, Cheo Matunde, Don Scott, Jar Almighty and Don't Did This), Redi and Traci's vision of Kings Gallery came to life.

The current exhibition, called Art Shit Only, features nearly 20 installations spread across 3,000 square meters. It celebrates childhood memories such as Friday, Martin, Vibe Magazine, music, flashy fashion and more.“I want people to come here, take selfies, have a good time, take some photos, have a glass of wine and also know that it's tailor-made for culture,” Redi adds. Philadelphia has been instrumental in defining what hip-hop is today. In 1979, Philadelphia rapper Lady B (one of the first female hip hop artists) released To The Beat Y'all, putting the city on the hip-hop map. Only a few years later, in 1985, did Philadelphia rapper Schoolly D help define gangsta rap with his single P, S, K.

In the late 90s, when hip-hop was a major commercial success, Philadelphia-born artists such as Eve and Beanie Sigel attracted public attention with releases on major record labels. Meanwhile, musicians like Adam Blackstone found notoriety playing with artists like Jay-Z.To commemorate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop in Philadelphia this year, there will be several events and concerts by local and national hip-hop artists. Visit us often for other events such as the 50th anniversary celebrations and the Philadelphia hip-hop concerts and national artists throughout the year. The Philadelphia podcast about the city's best-kept secrets and biggest exports recently returned for its fourth season. Clair, Rachel Ferguson and Justin Pizzi pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of hip-hop through interviews with creators of musical changes such as DJ Jazzy Jeff and Adam Blackstone.

To commemorate the end of slavery in the United States, Philadelphia's all-day Juneteenth Parade & festival includes floats, performances and food. Spectators attending this year's parade should keep an eye out for a float dedicated to the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. Eladio Carrión has had people jump since his days on Vine. The Puerto Rican trap and reggaeton artist has collaborated with local artists from around the world including Bad Bunny and Karol G introducing new generations to Latin hip-hop. Queen Bey takes her long-awaited Renaissance tour to the sports complex with elaborate choreography sets costumes and voice. Two of the most influential voices in hip-hop take the stage in South Philadelphia for what is Drake's first tour in five years.

The “It's All A Blur” tour which covers the last decade of Drake's career will celebrate moments such as Hotline Bling through Her Loss a collaborative album with 21 Savage. Celebrating 20 years since the release of their debut album Philadelphia Freeway Freeway performs at The Fillmore backed by a live band. In addition to retro tracks such as What We Do he expects newer material such as his recently released Rejoice. Memphis rapper Glorilla gained great notoriety when her hilarious single F N F Let's Go) went viral on TikTok. What followed was a collaboration with Cardi B a contract with Yo Gotti's CMG label and yes a Grammy nomination for best rap performance. This double program features two of the four members of the supergroup Zoink Gang. Individually they breathe new life into music infusing funk and soul into their rhythms. Just off the release of their fourth album Me vs Yo an ingenious collection of trending pop tracks A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie puts songs to the test on the road. The underground Philadelphia hip-hop group Jedi Mind Tricks (JMT) has been playing rhythms and spitting beats producing music and collaborating with rap veterans from GZA to Immortal Technique along the way.

Fans can follow frontman Vinnie Paz on his podcast Broad Street Breakdown. The protégé of the late Young Dolph Key Glock has largely avoided collaborations or feature films and is based almost entirely on his own skill as a lyricist. The Chicano artist Cuco takes you on a journey with low-fidelity hip-hop rhythms to relax and dance.

Letícia Huyler
Letícia Huyler

General web aficionado. Avid tv fan. Lifelong social media lover. Infuriatingly humble webaholic. Total problem solver. Proud tv trailblazer.

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