“If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere. It’s up to you…”
New York? New York? No. Philadelphia.
The City of Brotherly Love has a well-chronicled history of being tough as nails. There is a lot of love there, and maybe even some brotherhood, but it’s not handed out freely – especially if you’re an artist, athlete, or some other person in high places. But, as Philadelphia’s music scene goes, there are perhaps few other cities in the world that have birthed such a tradition of soul/R&B, opera, Jazz, and some of the first Hip-Hop ever in existence.
“The Sound of Philadelphia” it’s been called, giving rise to iconic names like John Coltrane and Dizzy Gillespie, the songwriting teams of Whitehead & McFadden and Gamble & Huff, and others. You hear it in classics like Teddy Pendergrass and Grover Washington, Jr., and later, in voices like Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, and Lisa Lopes of TLC.
And then there’s the Hip-Hop scene, held down by Lady B, Schoolly D., Cool C, Steady B, Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff, Cassidy, Beanie Sigel, Eve, Freeway, Peedi Crack, and the list goes on. They all might tell you that success didn’t come freely to them in Philadelphia, leaving one to surmise that the art of creative persuasion, along with hardbody work ethics, is alive and well there.
Just ask The Roots. Above anyone else in Philly rap, the 25-year-old band symbolizes what can happen when raw talent meets tenacious drive. Over the years, their steady flow of material, musicianship, and massive cool have catapulted them from the hallways of the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts to international stages and critical acclaim.
And now meet The Wurxs, a new rap duo that has received the co-sign of all co-signs: the opportunity to work with and be developed by Black Thought, a Roots founder who is long-respected as one of the world’s best MCs. The Wurxs’ self-contained rap/production team has also been ushered in as the latest members of The Roots’ extension group, The Money Making Jam Boys, and upon first listen, you can tell they’ve got it, too – that “Sound of Philadelphia.” AllHipHop.com spent some time with Breeding Ground artists, The Wurxs, recently at Black Thought’s ballerific home to see firsthand why they MUST be the sh*t: