Beanie Sigel On the “Philly Pocket” and Elementary School MCing with Black Thought


Mention the word ‘Philadelphia,’ and Beanie Sigel immediately lowers his head and says, “Killadelhphia. Killadelphia.”

He could be referring to the City of Brotherly Love’s growing violence problem – a vicious plague not unlike that of other major cities around the country.

OR, he could be talking about the special crop of MCs that have come up within its borders, and the way they’ve “killed the game” throughout the history of rap.

You can hear it way back on 1989’s “Glamorous Life” with incarcerated, former rappers Cool C and Steady B, in the fun, storytelling bounce of Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, and in the passion and push of its new leader, Meek Mill. In recent months, has profiled some of the city’s best mic mashers, such as Black Thought, ?uestlove, and Dice Raw of the Legendary Roots Crew. Then there are the AllHipHop Breeding Ground artists: at South By Southwest, we caught up with Young Gliss, and at Black Thought’s home, we introduced The Wurxs – they’re all worthy offshoots of The Roots family. And, just this week, we spoke with Ryshon Jones about his unique place in the game.

What we know is this. There’s something about Philadelphia. Or Killadelphia.

Beanie Sigel, the “Broad Street Bully,” is a proud part of that long heritage of lyricism and unique vocal cadences. Under his leadership, State Property has added its own brand of battle and bravado to the mix. And, as you might imagine, he credits himself as one of the pioneers that helped yield today’s popular Philly sound.

The only other MC he’ll namedrop as the best to ever emerge from Philadelphia – or anywhere on Earth for that matter – is Black Thought. Beanz should know – since they rocked together as schoolboy MCs back in the early 1980s!

Watch our interview below with Beanie Sigel, and learn about the unique vocal flow now being coined as the “Philly Pocket” by the author (with a little help from Beanz). Then reminisce on his verse on The Roots’ 1999 smash hit, “Adrenaline” from Things Fall Apart:

Beanie Sigel’s new DJ Damage-hosted mixtape, Broad Street Empire Vol. 1: Lost Files, debuts on April 16, and his The Classic album is set for a summer drop. Follow Beanie Sigel on Twitter (@BeanieSigelSP).