Five women in Philly hip-hop who should catch your ear - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

2023 has been a bittersweet year for hip-hop. On one hand, the genre celebrated 50 years of existence this past summer on August 11th. On the other hand, it’s not having its greatest year financially. According to Billboard, there was no number one album or song from hip hop during the first half of the year. Hip hop vet Juicy J tweeted how hip-hop sales are down 40% and with reports of extremely low album sales from rappers and rap concerts being canceled due to lack of ticket sales, it seems like he may have been on to something.

Yet with all of the negatives, it feels like the future can still provide positive results, if the genre is willing to see what’s not working and willing to search for something new. Hopefully that search will lead them to Philly, a city that is respected for birthing elite MCs, both male and female.

“You gotta put up or get out that’s my way of life / I bet a million on myself more like a trillion right / Sometimes I aim a little low I sell myself short / I’m kind of tall so I should level up for sure.” - Noel Scales 

I always wished there were more respected female lyricists to come out of Philly. Yeah, we got Left Eye, Eve, Ms. Jade — who never got the right chance to show her skills — Bahamadia, and as of now, Tierra Whack. Yet just like Jadakiss said when Dipset performed “Dipset Anthem” during their Verzus, “It’s good, but not good enough.” There’s more women in the blue collar city of grit who are deadly with the pen as their sword, just like their male contemporaries. Luckily I’ve been fortunate to come across a couple of new female hip hop artists from Philly whose words have caught my ears for a variety of reasons.

“That’s how they don’t get it, when you getting change / Trying to be the change / Now everybody and they mama trying to say you changed / Like cashiers speaking to cashiers, just last year / I came from being that to seeing all of this cash here” - Verbosity 

Take for instance Noel Scales and Evita Colon, two wordsmiths who find ways to bring their background in spoken word into their music. There’s also hip hop groups Verbosity and Since95, who show they may be lite but they can talk heavy with the best of them. Then there’s one of my favorite music discoveries this year, OfficialTmarie, who’s music contains poetic substance like Noel & Evita, a sharp tongue like Verbosity and Since95, along with a catalog of music from 2020 to now that can be added to any music library.

“I give out hope for chocolate girls filled with substance / Where we from they wreaking havoc causing ruckus / Where n____s sell they soul and they homie just to f__k us / They p___y driven dizzy n____s got no moral ground / They grew up hating queens they ain’t the type to hold us down” - OfficialTMarie

This past summer, Complex dropped a list of the current best rap cities, and had Philly ranked as ten. I know that a list from Complex is known to be ridiculous, but Philly being number 10 makes sense to me because there’s not enough hip-hop artists catching fire to increase the City of Brotherly Love’s rank. Lord willing one or perhaps, all five of these women can help elevate Philly to new heights and continue to show that this city is where true MCs are born.

Below are links to music from Noel Scales, Verbosity, Evita Colon, OfficialTmarie, and Since95.

Noel Scales

Noel Scales - A Little
Verbosity - Cut Up Jeans
Evita Colon - Walk (feat. Milan Credle) (Explicit)
OfficialTmarie - Believe
The Big 3
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