It’s only March, but there have already been several superb mixtapes dropped by Philadelphia rappers this year: see Asaad’s New Black History Month; Gillie Da Kid’s King Of Philly: Gangsta Grillz; and Gilbere Forte’s Year Of The Dragon, for starters. As of March 6, we added Ground Up’s The Get Up to this stellar list. This 10th tape by MCs Alexander Azar and Malcolm McDowell and producer Bij Lincs is one of the crew’s best. Bij’s slick hands bless most of the tracks, but The Get Up also features productions by recent Roc Nation signee/Chester-based producer Jahlil Beats and local producer/engineer Mike Jerz. Philly rappers Young Chris, Freeway and Reef the Lost Cauze (Reef also performs tonight) spit on a few tracks, but Ground Up’s at its sharpest when Azar and McDowell swap the mic, carefully developing back-and-forth boasts and narratives about Philly, the 20-something life of interchangeable joy/ennui and the never-ending struggles faced by indie artists.
Sat., March 24, 8pm. $10. With Reef the Lost Cauze + Inner City Hustlers. TLA, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. tlaphilly.com
PW's Music Issue 2014