Best Philly Rappers 2023
From The Roots to Meek Mill, Philly has contributed to the evolution of hip-hop in its own unique way. In this article, we rank the 10 best Philly rappers of all time based on their lyrical prowess, cultural impact, and overall contributions to the rap scene.
No list of the best Philly rappers is complete without mentioning The Roots. Founded in 1987, The Roots is a legendary hip-hop band that has become a cultural institution.
Led by the incomparable Black Thought, the band has consistently produced thought-provoking, socially conscious music that has made them one of the most respected and revered acts in the game.
Born and raised in North Philadelphia, Meek Mill has become one of the most popular rappers in the game today.
His gritty, street-inspired lyrics have resonated with fans around the world, and his rise to stardom has been nothing short of meteoric.
With hits like “Dreams and Nightmares” and “Going Bad,” Meek has cemented his place as one of the most important Philly rappers of all time.
Before he was an A-list actor, Will Smith was a rapper. In fact, he got his start as a member of the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.
While his music may be seen as more lighthearted than some of his contemporaries, there's no denying the impact that Will Smith had on the rap game in the late 80s and early 90s.
Eve is one of the most successful female rappers of all time, and she got her start in Philly. With hits like “Who's That Girl” and “Let Me Blow Ya Mind,” Eve made a name for herself as a skilled lyricist and a force to be reckoned with in the rap game.
Beanie Sigel is one of the most underrated rappers to come out of Philly.
With a gritty, street-inspired style that was ahead of its time, Beanie made a name for himself as one of the most respected rappers in the game.
He may not have achieved the same level of commercial success as some of his peers, but his impact on the Philly rap scene cannot be overstated.
Cassidy burst onto the scene in the early 2000s with his debut album “Split Personality.” Known for his intricate wordplay and clever punchlines, Cassidy quickly became one of the most popular rappers in Philly.
While his career may have slowed down in recent years, there's no denying the impact that he had on the rap game in his prime.
Freeway got his start as a member of the Roc-A-Fella Records family, and he quickly made a name for himself as one of the most talented rappers in the game.
With his distinctive voice and hard-hitting lyrics, Freeway has become one of the most respected Philly rappers of all time.
Bahamadia is one of the most talented female rappers to come out of Philly. Known for her socially conscious lyrics and intricate wordplay, Bahamadia was ahead of her time in many ways.
While she may not have achieved the same level of commercial success as some of her peers, her impact on the rap game cannot be overstated.
Young Chris got his start as a member of the rap duo Young Gunz, but he quickly made a name for himself as a solo artist.
With a smooth flow and thoughtful lyrics, Young Chris has become one of the most respected Philly rappers of his generation.
His collaborations with Jay-Z and other big-name artists have only helped to solidify his place in the rap game.
Last but certainly not least on our list is Schoolly D. Widely regarded as one of the pioneers of gangsta rap, Schoolly D was one of the first rappers to use explicit lyrics and gritty subject matter in his music.
His influence on the rap game cannot be overstated, and he remains one of the most respected Philly rappers of all time.
Of course, no list can truly capture the breadth and depth of Philly's rich rap history. Here are a few honorable mentions that didn't quite make our list:
- Jill Scott: While Jill Scott may not be known as a traditional rapper, her spoken word performances and collaborations with The Roots make her an important figure in Philly's hip-hop scene.
- PnB Rock: PnB Rock is a relatively new addition to the Philly rap scene, but his unique style and infectious hooks have quickly made him a fan favorite.
- Chiddy Bang: Chiddy Bang may not have achieved the same level of success as some of their peers, but their innovative use of samples and catchy hooks make them a Philly rap favorite.
Philadelphia has long been recognized as a hip-hop hub, and it's not hard to see why. From The Roots to Meek Mill, Philly has produced some of the most influential rappers in the game.
Our list of the 10 best Philly rappers is a testament to the city's rich musical history and the enduring legacy of its most talented artists.
Whether you're a die-hard hip-hop fan or just looking to explore something new, there's no denying the impact that Philly rappers have had on the rap game.