Tag Archives: The Roots

Profound Hip Hop Quote #21: Philly Stand Up! Ten Songs Giving Philly Love

28 May

When it comes to rap music, New York is one of the first places that people reference; however, there are so many places nationally and internationally who have made major contributions to hip hop music and culture.  As a Philly home-grown resident, I’ve been discussing profound hip hop quotes specifically from Philly rap artists for the past two months.  What better way to end the month than to highlight some of the best songs representing Philly.   Here’s a playlist for all of those who can’t get enough of Philly!

  1. Philadelphia Love“Philly, Philly” by Eve featuring Beanie Sigel“We from P-H-I-L-A period, PA period, Eve they hearing it.  Believe they fearing it…”
  2. “Philly’s Finest” by Beanie Sigel: “P-H-I-L-L-Y  Why should we tell y’all why?  Where why and how we ride?  P-H-I-L-L-Y.”
  3. “Summertime” by Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince: “Back in Philly we be out in the park.  A place called the plateau is where everybody go.”
  4. “I Run Philly” by Cassidy: “Cause I ain’t from the city of suckas.  Philly is the city with plenty of gun bustas.”
  5. “North Side” by Tuff Crew Northside! Northside! Where I’m From!
  6. “Ms. Philadelphia” by Musiq Soulchild: “Ms. P.H.I.L.L.Y. let’s try to do this.  I hope that I’m not asking too much. But can I get a little hometown love?”
  7. “Illy Filly Funk” by Da Youngstas: “I’m comin’ with the illy filly funk.  Like Billy the Kid I’m buckin’ down punks.Liberty Bell
  8. “Game Theory” by The Roots featuring Malik B.:  “Yeah, where I’ma start it at, look I’ma part of that.  Downtown Philly where it’s realer than a heart attack”
  9. “Uknowhowwedu” by Bahamdia:   “Landscapin mentally shapin’ lookin at my gucci it’s about that time.  Represent my peoples on the ill-a-del side.”
  10. “Exhibit C” by Jay Electronica:  ” I was on Cecil B, Broad Street, Master, North Philly, South Philly, 23rd, Tasker.

I got to tell you, there’s a plethora of songs about New York, but locating Philly songs was far more difficult than I thought it would be.  Regardless, I still got love for my home town.  If you know of any more, please feel free to share.  Philly stand up!

All the best,

Anonomz aka Tanya Harris


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Profound Hip Hop Quote #18: Homage to Philly Edition

7 May

“Tell you one lesson I learned
If you want to be something in life
You ain’t gonna get it unless
You give a little bit of sacrifice
Ooohh, sometimes before you smile you got to cry
You need a heart that’s filled with music
If you use it you can fly
If you want to be high.”

—The Roots featuring Nelly Furtado, “Sacrifice”

Click here to watch the video!!

The RootsIt’s the start of a new month, and there are still so many talented Philly rap artists who have made an impact on this culture and on me who I did not get to mention in April.  So I’ve decided to extend my homage to Philly rappers through the month of May.  When I think of one of the most talented rap groups to date who encompasses the complete package of lyrical ability, originality, style, and stage presence, I think of “The Legendary Roots Crew.”  These guys not only put Philly on the map but also put the United States on the map for producing some of the most innovative, talented artists.  I was in high school when I was first exposed to The Roots, and I ran their first full-length album, “Do You Want More,” into the ground.  What initially captivated me about The Roots was their sound; who ever heard of a rap group with a band who did more than just sample?  It was unlike anything I had ever heard before and is more than likely the reason for their longevity in the music industry today.

What is it that makes this specific song so profound?  Well, before I get into that, I must say that The Roots have an arsenal of profound lyrics, and I could potentially do a month dedicated to them.  Nevertheless, I selected this particular song, “Sacrifice” and the chorus of the song as profound because Black Thought (featuring Nelly Furtado) is doing much more than “spitting a few lines;” he’s evoking listeners to think by presenting us with words to live by.

We all want better lives for ourselves, but at what cost are we willing to pay or how much are we willing to endure to attain those dreams and goals?  Many people have a sense of entitlement and don’t want to work for anything.  Some people give up easily if there are a few barriers in their way.  Most people have heard the old adage,  “The best things in life are worth fighting for,” but Black Thought takes it a step further in acknowledging that sometimes we all most cry before we can smile.

Please feel free to share your thoughts

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
The Roots’ lead rap artist, Black Thought, is an exceptional lyricist and often employs many of the different literary elements found in some of the most well written poems of our time.  In this in particular chorus, he uses a lot of figurative language, which is the opposite of literal.  This means that what is being presented is either not plausible or possible or even exaggerated. What does it mean to have “A heart that’s filled with music?”  Think about the causes and effects associated with music and how many genres exist.  Music can be in accordance with your mood, or it can assist in changing your mood.  As you make sacrifices, shuffle to the appropriate music (literally and figuratively) to see you through, and eventually you will be able to fly high with a smile on your face.