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Meek Mill has revived the Philadelphia hip hop scene

By The Voice
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Since 2005, Meek Mill has been releasing music, on the mixtape level. During this time, Beanie Sigel, Freeway, and the rest of State Property was still dominating. In the 1990s, rappers in Philadelphia caught a major break. Jay-Z refocused Roc-A-Fella Records on Philadelphia, as Eve was signed to Ruff Ryders.

Roc-A-Fella Records, a New York-based record label, stopped focusing on New York hip hop, following the success of Jay-Z. The label signed several rappers who were doing major things in Philadelphia. With the Roc, these rappers, Beanie Sigel, Freeway, and the Young Guns, did very well.

While State Property did well under Roc-A-Fella Records, Eve was setting records, which would last for a little over a decade, with Ruff Ryders. Eve started dominating the rap scene, making a lane for herself, while co-existing with the other female rappers of the time. However, in 2002, Eve released her last album and began focusing on business ventures and her television sitcom. State Property’s run lasted a little longer, but the Roc-A-Fella demise led to the end of their run. Popularity soon began to wane and the Roc-A-Fella doors were soon closed.

Eve returned to the game in 2007, but struggled to secure a release date. Four years have passed and her album has yet to be released. Freeway has gone through record deals with Cash Money Records and is rumored to be with G-Unit. Even with those labels, he has only released one album in the past four years. In four years, Beanie Sigel has partnered with 50 Cent, caused friction with Jay-Z, and rebuilt his buzz, but has not released an official album. While all this was going on, Meek Mill’s mixtapes were gaining the attention of major record labels and labels in the South.

In 2009, Meek Mill was courted by Grand Hustle Records and Warner Bros. Records, among other labels, but he eventually chose Rick Ross’ Maybach Music. Getting in at the right time, Meek Mill is still keeping the mixtape scene hot, but now has mainstream appeal. Both his “Tupac Back” and “I’m a Boss” single have done very well, generating a significant amount of radio play. Meek Mill, now that he is doing well on all fronts, has teamed up with the Philadelphia rappers of years past. Even those who have not released music in a while have worked with Meek Mill.

While getting his own career off the mixtape level, Meek Mill is helping return the Philadelphia hip hop movement to the mainstream sector of hip hop.

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