For more than three decades, the Philadelphia hip-hop scene has been all over the place. Rapper and radio personality Lady B set things off in 1979 with her show on WHAT FM and her groundbreaking single "To The Beat Y'all." Schooly D put the world on to gangsta rap in the mid-80’s, while the Fresh Prince brought rap’s first Grammy back to Philly with DJ Jazzy Jeff long before “Will Smith” became a household name.
Since 1987 The Roots have evolved from critically-acclaimed underground kings to the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Beanie Sigel, Freeway and the rest of State Property rocketed to fame when Roc-A-Fella ruled Philly during the late ’90s and early-aughts. And Cassidy made some big moves before being sidelined by a murder case and a serious car crash.
Many artists have come and gone since, yet none of them have truly been able make a lasting mark on the game. However, a new Rocky emerged last year when Meek Mill broke out, becoming one of hip-hop’s biggest rising stars. On the heels of Meek’s success, rap is hungry for more talent from the “new Iraq.”
After a stop in Chicago, Complex decided to take a trip down 95 South and the New Jersey Turnpike to find 10 New Philadelphia Rappers to Watch Out For this year. Listed in alphabetical order, you’ll find a few dudes who embody the typical Philly sound, and others that win by deviating from it. So here we go, all the way live from the 215....
Words by Julian Kimble (@JRK316)