I was listening to my iPod the other day when "Money" by Charli Baltimore came on-- "Charli rappin' about, I really got/And it ain't that I'm stuck on myself, I'm really hot." What ever happened to this babe?, I thought to myself, and why isn't she still making music? She only released one full length album in the fifteen years she's been in the industry. The music industry is super-competitive and a lot of the time the success of the album has nothing to do with talent, but who you know. I love Charli, not just because she's from Philly and has red hair. She is a strong woman with a lot of attitude and is a real badass. "Just because I got a pussy don't mean I am a pussy..."
Cassidy is another rapper that has had his share of grief from the recording industry. The Barry Adrian Reese Story (B.A.R.S.), the album he dropped in 2008, was a really good effort, especially after his car accident. He had Bone Thugz on that album, Eve, John Legend, but still received no promotion. I wouldn't have even known that the album was coming out had I not been following his freestyles and interviews on Youtube-- at the end of each track he'd say when the album would be in stores. He left his label before releasing a street album, back to the Problem, which I also loved. He's maturing, but he's still got that wit. I'm not sure why he's not more popular, but I suppose that it doesn't really matter, especially when the airwaves are cluttered with the most flavorless, boring music.
The next rapper on my list I'm willing to bet you've never heard of. His name is Bathgate and I bought one of his mixtapes from a bootlegger in North Philly when I was just starting college in 2003. The mixtape, Guns & Butter, got so scratched from listening to it over and over again. He had a single a while back called "Bump That" but it never really took off. And then his label dropped him. But he is on youtube, I just checked, and it looks like he's continuing to make music despite not having a record deal. Street mixtapes are usually better, anyway-- it's the ingenuity due to lack of funds and the raw passion that comes through in mixtapes. Love em.
Even though I don't think she knows the real definition of the word "conceited," I do love Remy Ma. She's another badass broad who's currently serving an eight-year sentence for shooting her acquaintance in the stomach. But that's not why I like her. I like her style and her attitude and I'm not only saying this because I'm afraid if I say something mean that she's going to sic her posse on me. Her Shesus Khryst mixtape is really hot. She left Fat Joe's Terror Squad in 2007 and says of him on the title track on her mixtape: "Pissed on my contract/Dismissed Joey/Now I call him Sprint cuz that motherfu*ker phony." Hahahaha.
Here's another Philly cat that I absolutely adore. Peedi Crakk is a wild one. I had the opportunity to see him perform live once, in some small basement private club auditorium in North Philly, and I am so happy that I did. He's a crazy dude with a lot of energy and a lot of mouth. My friend once told me that he met Peedi after a show and shared a blunt with him and his homies, only to find out that Peedi laced the blunt to make a woolie (funnily enough, he has a song called "Weed and Cocaine"). Uh? Not cool. "My Hood is Greezy" is one of my favorite Peedi tracks-- it really brings me back to sitting on my stoop and partying with friends during the hot Philly summers. The fact that Cassidy guests on it and Swizzy made the beat is just a bonus.