“It’s the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, and why wouldn’t I be involved?” asks Dell-P after wrapping a powerful performance in WXPN Studios. He’s not being braggadocios — the Philly rhymesayer, entrepreneur, and event curator has spent the last decade etching a place for himself in the city’s rap echelon, all while being independent of ties to the corporate side of the music industry.

His pen game was already strong on projects like 2020’s Make Emceeing Great Again, and getting to participate in Black Thought’s Hip-Hop Master Class at Carnegie Hall made it only moreso. His Wordsmith Experience concert series has built a community at Cratediggaz Records in South Philly, bringing together seasoned rappers with emerging talent every second Friday and giving them a space to collectively hone their craft.

On the eve of hip-hop’s golden anniversary, before bouncing from Philly to NYC and back in a marathon of appearances, Dell stepped into WXPN Studios with a vibrant live band. Corey Rader joined him on bass, Tom Moyer on keys, and Will on drums — collectively they’re known as Uptick — and the crew showcased four songs from his latest project, The People’s Emcee.

After a scene-setting vamp to the sounds of A Tribe Called Quest’s “Excursions,” Dell dispenses spitfire bars on “Carry It On,” gives praise and takes the energy up a notch on “Most High,” and salutes his peers and friends on “Legacy,” featuring guest vocals from Taylormade and Lateef. Barreling into the finale on “Don’t Forget The Hyphen,” Dell-P makes sure the people remember his name and how to spell it — his equivilant of MF DOOM’s “All Caps,” if you will — closing the performance on an incredible high.

Watch Dell-P’s Key Studio Sessions performance and check out a gallery of photos below; his next Wordsmith Experience show takes place on September 8th at Cratediggaz Records, and you can follow him at @dellp215 — and Cratediggaz at @cratediggaz_philly — for more info.

Dell-P - The Key Studio Sessions (Full Set)

“Carry It On”
“Most High”
“Legacy (ft. Taylormade and Lateef)”
“Don’t Forget The Hyphen”