Philadelphia is a city with a rich musical history, especially in the hip-hop genre. From Schoolly D to Lil Uzi Vert, the City of Brotherly Love has produced some of the most influential rappers in the rap world. This comprehensive guide will explore the best rappers in Philadelphia, from the pioneers of the scene to the current stars. The origins of Philadelphia hip-hop can be traced back to the late 1970s, when DJ Cash Money, DJ Ease, DJ Too Tuff, DJ Lightnin' Rich, DJ Spinbad, Cosmic Kev, Sex Machine and Grandmaster Nell were some of the best DJs in the city.
Lady B was one of the first female rappers to release an album and pioneer female hip-hop. She began her career in hip-hop by hosting a radio show on WHAT-FM in Philadelphia called “The Street Beat”, which was one of the first hip-hop radio programs in the United States and helped popularize the genre in the Philadelphia area. In addition to DJs, some of the true pioneers of the Philadelphia rap scene were Jazz Fresh, MC Breeze, Tuff Crew, Parry P, MC Sport and many others. One of these pioneers was Schoolly D, an artist who is credited by many to have been the first hip hop artist to venture into gangster rap.
His debut album, Kollage, released in 1996, is considered an underground hip-hop classic and has collaborations with artists such as Guru and DJ Premier. In later years, Schoolly D would step away from the microphone and take advantage of his musical talent. He dedicated himself to contributing and writing soundtracks and soundtracks for films, and composed the music for the popular Adult Swim television series Aqua Teen Hunger Force, for which he also occasionally dubbed. Early in his rapper career, Freeway teamed up with fellow Philadelphia rapper Beanie Sigel while rapping on stage at a nightclub, and from there a fortuitous friendship developed.
Both as a solo artist and a founding member of the Philadelphia-based group State Property, Freeway established himself as a leading voice in the mid-2000s in New York hip hop. While legal issues have plagued him for the past decade and several issues with other rappers distracted him, there's no doubt that Beanie Sigel is one of the best Philadelphia rappers of all time. The Roots would release two more albums in the 1990s which are often considered to be their best work. Lyrically, Illadelph Halflife is perhaps The Roots' greatest effort as Black Thought and Malik B show absolute prowess on the microphone from start to finish. The album includes special appearances by Raphael Saadiq, Common, Bahamadia and future member Dice Raw.
The album showed a small deviation from the sound of live music that was so prominent on their first two albums and had a distinctly more “behind the tables” sound. For nearly twenty years Cassidy has reigned as one of the best freestylers on the rap scene and has been a respected name on the streets of Philadelphia since the early 2000s. Whereas Bleek and Jay-Z liked bragging better in 2000, Sigel was a little more inveterate. He managed to capture the attention of major rap stations of that time and became perhaps the best-known rapper from Philadelphia since The Fresh Prince. In early 2000 he released his Roc-A-Fella debut The Truth which peaked at number 5 on Billboard charts.
The album also saw Just Blaze and Kanye West receive their first widespread exposure as producers. Planetary began its career in late 1990s as part of underground hip-hop scene in Philadelphia. His show “The Street Beat” was one of first hip-hop radio programs in United States and helped popularize genre in Philadelphia area. Steady B whose birth name is Warren McGlone is rapper and producer based in Philadelphia who was influential in early days of Philadelphia hip-hop. Originally from rugged streets of West Philadelphia as graffiti artist he picked up microphone and quickly made big impact in mid 1980s. AR-Ab remains respected figure in Philadelphia hip-hop scene and his music inspires and resonates with fans around world. Meek Mill began his musical career as combat rapper and gained recognition in Philadelphia underground hip-hop scene.
He is often credited with being one of first female rappers to release an album and pioneering female hip-hop. Eve and Charli Baltimore are well known but Lady B was actually first her kind representing ladies. She has been strong advocate for women in hip-hop and has worked to create opportunities for other female artists in industry. The ambassador began his musical career as member of The Cross Movement one of first Christian hip-hop groups to gain wide recognition in United States. From new artists to some best hip hop artists all time here are best rappers in Philadelphia: Cassidy; Beanie Sigel; Schoolly D; Freeway; The Roots; Steady B; Lady B; AR-Ab; Meek Mill; Planetary.
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