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The 11 Most Influential Philadelphia Rappers

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Philadelphia has been an active member of the Hip Hop culture since the late 1970's. It has bred some of the most talented rappers over it's 35 year run and doesn't look to be stopping anytime soon. Philadelphia is a hard working, blue collar city and expects the same from its sports teams and rappers.

Philadelphia is 142.6 sq. miles in size and houses 1,556,600 people according to 2013 stats. From South Philly to Manayunk, Northeast Philly to Southwest, Point Breeze to Kensington, North Philly to Uptown, Philadelphia has raised some of the greatest rappers in Hip Hop history.

It was hard to select 11 rappers from such a large area, long history and in depth culture, but lets take a look at "The 11 Most Influential Philadelphia Rappers", and see how your list compares.

Gillie Da Kid
Gillie Da Kid 11

Gillie Da Kid

"I put it into all awards but I never start sh*t, See the problem is their mouth be bigger than their hearts is, Get em boys be strapped up, but them n***as won't shoot a thing, Unless them p*ssies at the shooting range."

Gillie Da Kid aka The King of Philly has been making his mark in Philadelphia Hip Hop since the 1990's.  One of the lead members of the group Major Figgas, GDK quickly stood out and signed a deal with Birdman & Cash Money records.  Leaving the label and later feuding with Lil Wayne, GDK has kept his name relevant within Philly Hip Hop, as well as acting.

Freeway 10


“We still hustle 'til the sun come up, Crack a 40 when the sun go down, It's a cold winter, Y'all n***az better bundle up."

Philly Freeway is Muslim rapper and former member of Roc-A-Fella records.  Known for his big beard and unique rhyme scheme, Freeway is one of the most reputable Philadelphia rappers. Freeway is well known for his relationships with rapper Jay Z, Beanie Sigel and affiliation with State Property.  Freeway has released 4 studio albums and is featured on numerous other projects.

Vinnie Paz
Vinnie Paz 9

Vinnie Paz

“This is murder rap, I'll burn his back and push your sternum back, And have the doctor cover your head just like a turban wrap."

Vinnie Paz is a Muslim rapper and the leader of supergroup Army of the Pharaohs.  Paz is most known for his brutal rhymes and unique voice.  As the main emcee of rap group Jedi Mind Tricks, Paz has delivered lethal dosages of lyrics to Philly Hip Hop fans for years. Paz has released 2 solo albums with a third on it's way, contributed to 7 Jedi Mind Tricks albums and a handful of other collaborations.

Cassidy 8


"Married to the game, same bride just a new dru, I do more then just do to, cause my bills come in to soon, my son gone be two soon, royalty check come in like once in a bluemoon."

Cassidy is known as Philly's punchline king and has earned his spot.  Cassidy worked closely with Swizz Beatz and signed with Full Surface records in 2002. Cassidy has released 4 studio albums and is widely known for his singles "I'm A Hustla" & "Hotel" featuring R. Kelly.

Bahamadia 7


"Salutes to action be tha latest enter-ree for Illadel colonies, To get da cream like cherries jubilee, My steeze put cha at ease like methamphetamines, Or like Tony Starks fantasies about his wallabees."

Not only one of Philadelphia's Most Influential rappers, Bahamadia is one of the most talented female rappers in Hip Hop. Known for her unique voice and rhyme schemes, she has released 1 solo album and 1 EP. With a handful of collaborations under her belt, Bahamadia has made her mark on Philadelphia Hip Hop.

Steady B
Steady B 6

Steady B

"I'm serious, as serious can get, Especially when the mic's involved I won't sweat, I came here tonight to do what's right, To make you move, make you groove, with the rhymes I recite."

Steady B is a Philadelphia Hip Hop pioneer and part of the Hilltop Hustlers crew. He was one of the first Philadelphia emcees in the 1980's to gain notoriety, but his career was short.  Steady B is currently serving life in prison for shooting and killing a police officer in a botched bank robbery in 1996.

Eve 5


"Don't even know you and I'd kill you myself, You played with her like a doll and put her back on the shelf, Wouldn't let her go to school and better herself, She had a baby by your a** and you ain't giving no help."

Eve is a Grammy Award winning female emcee who was also the first lady of the rap group, The Ruff Ryders. Eve has released 4 studio albums over a 14 year period and has done her fair share of acting.  Eve was named #48 on VH1's "50 Greatest Women Of The Video Era" list.

Schoolly D
Schoolly D 4

Schoolly D

"How many times must a brother in America, That I figure, have to pull on the trigger, To prove to the world that he is a man, That's one thing I can never understand."

Schoolly D is a Philadelphia Hip Hop pioneer and is said to have invented "Gangsta Rap". Schoolly D has released 9 solo albums and 5 collaborative albums over his career. Schoolly D also contributed to the theme song for Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

Beanie Sigel
Beanie Sigel 3

Beanie Sigel

“Hit the studio, jars of dro, bars to blow, B. Sigel with that arsenic flow."

Currently serving a 24-month federal jail sentence for failing to file tax returns, Beanie Sigel aka "Broad Street Bully" has done his fair share for Philadelphia Hip Hop. He is a former member of Roc-A-Fella records, founder of the Philadelphia based label/group State Property and has had an on/off relationship with rapper, Jay Z.  Sigel has released 6 studio albums and sold more than two million records worldwide.

Black Thought
Black Thought 2

Black Thought

“Yo, we obviously need to tone it down a bit, Running round town spending time like it’s counterfeit, Everybody catching hay fever like sinuses, Step in my arena let me show y’all who the highness is."

Black Thought is the lead emcee of the Philadelphia rap group "The Roots". Black Thought is known for his complex rhyme schemes and lyrical content, which is often political.  The Roots have walked away with 12 Grammys over the years and Black Thought has been Featured on all 10 of "The Roots" studio albums, as well as both EP's. He is an active member of Jimmy Fallon's late night band and is currently working on his solo album "Talented Mr. Trotter".

Will Smith
Will Smith 1

Will Smith

"I jumped up I said you must be jokin', Come on judge her neck ain't broken, Well I'll be d**ned, Wrinkled old bag started cryin' on the stand."

One of the most well known Philadelphia rappers, Will Smith aka The Fresh Prince has been making noise since the late 1980's.  Releasing 4 studio albums and 5 collaborative albums with DJ Jazzy Jeff, Smith is one of Philadelphia's most successful rappers.  Smith has also been successful as an actor and continues to make headlines at the age of 45.


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