Philadelphia Rappers: Update on Philly’s Hip-Hop Landscape
Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, has had no shortage of rappers over the years. These streets have served as the home of hip-hop musicians who’ve attained both critical and commercial success spanning from the mid ‘80 all the way to the present day. Below is a temperature check on four MCs who currently represent the city. Find information about their latest project, tour schedules, and rumors of future music.
Since his well publicized release from prison in 2018 Meek Mill has been extremely busy as both a musician and a reform activist. He and Jay Z co founded the REFORM Alliance Foundation which aims to dramatically improve the criminal justice system. On the music end, November of last year saw the release of his fourth studio album “Championships”, a feature heavy project that debuted atop the US Billboard 200. Meek Mill is currently in the midst of his “The Legendary Nights Tour 2019” alongside fellow rap superstar Future. The pair will headline the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, New Jersey on Friday, September 13th.
Lil Uzi Vert
Back in 2015, Lil Uzi Vert shot to stardom with the release of his mixtape “Luv is Rage”. The sequel to that mixtape, a debut studio album of the name “Luv is Rage 2”, which dropped in 2017, remains the rapper’s latest full length project. However, fans are optimistic that his next album will be released before the end of 2019 as Lil Uzi himself confirmed that the album was done back in May. This album would be his first since signing to Roc Nation in April of this year and contains the singles “There’s a Rack” and “Sanguine Paradise”. Lil Uzi Vert will play at Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, December 8th.
The true legend of Philadelphia hip-hop if ever there was one is Black Thought. Black Thought is the frontman for the hip-hop group The Roots and has had an active acting career as well. Although the best albums from The Roots are far behind them, Black Thought has repeatedly demonstrated his unwavering lyrical ability. His 2017 freestyle with Funk Flex is ten plus minutes of complex multisyllabic rhyming. It was voted the best of that year so check it out here. In 2018, the Philadelphia rapper released two albums full of conscious lyricism titled “Streams of Thought Vol. 1” and “Streams of Thought Vol. 2”. Black Thought is not currently on tour and no rumors have yet surfaced about new music.
Philadelphia’s newest rap sensation is female MC Tierra Whack. In 2018 she released her debut album “Whack World”, an exploration of her artistry through fifteen songs that each clock in at exactly one minute. This unconventional album received high praise from critics and new music from the artist was in hot demand. After taking an artistic sabbatical, Whack released five singles in early 2019 and played at many festivals this summer including Coachella. She was also named a member of XXL’s “2019 Freshman Class”, an honor that fellow Philadelphia rappers Meek Mill and Lil Uzi Vert were also graced with. Check out her spectacular multi-song music video here.