With the Budweiser Made in America Festival currently circling its hometown of Philadelphia upon Jay Z-helmed, Clydesdale-drawn chariots, it only makes sense to continue our “On the Rise” tour with Philly.
With music history stretching back past the historic Philadelphia International Records, which had a major hand in developing ’70s soul, funk, and disco, the city has always done things its own way. In the ’80s and ’90s, artists as diverse as Schoolly D, the Roots, Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff, Boyz II Men, Beanie Sigel, and Eve all helped shape the national hip-hop and R&B conversation from the City of Brotherly Love.
Even so, Philly’s long had to pull itself up by its bootstraps. Hip-hop’s ascendant stars and scrappy rock bands all built their own scenes here, and musicians stuck together long enough to actually build a community that has thrived largely without outside pressure to change. As Kevin O’Halloran, the guitarist for local pop-punk band Little Big League, told us, “There’s always been this ethos—the DIY mentality here seems to really take ground. People are just doing it for the love of it.” So with that in mind, let’s jump in to the people and places of Philadelphia that make its music scene what it is today.