Summertime - Will Smith
"Back in Philly we be out in the park / A place called the Plateau where everybody go"
Everyone has at one time or another spent a summer day up on the Plat - even the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. In the late 80's Will Smith started his journey as the rapper The Fresh Prince, and along with DJ Jazzy Jeff the two would have success with songs like Parents Just Don't Understand and the eponymous theme from the Men In Black movie. And while some may only see Smith as a Hollywood star, he'll always be West Philadelphia born and raised.
You're Not Salinger, Get Over It - The Wonder Years
If there is any band that brings out the blue collar, knock you out for looking at us the wrong way attitude of Philadelphia, it's The Wonder Years. Dan "Soupy" Campbell explains the city best in this song saying "cause I'm bad at staying calm/and I know this town's a time bomb." Philadelphia Union players have learned that lesson a few times, don't live up to the blue collar attitude of the fans or fail to show passion and you're going to hear it.
Philadelphia - Atom and His Package
A Philadelphia original, guitarist/singer/programmer Adam Goren and his "package" - a QY700 sequencer - put out both some of the funniest songs (Pumping Iron for Enya about Goren falling in love with new age singer Enya) and the most socially incisive songs (If You Own the Washington R*dskins, You're A Cock about the overtly racist name of the Washington NFL team) during his (their?) seven-year run. Philadelphia offers the listener a good critique of the city's politics ("We only bombed our own city once") to the hospitality ("If skating's your thing I'll show you where you cannot skate in Love Park"), even the references to the Sixers and Phillies not winning are (unfortunately) still relevant.
Section - The Roots
"Some know me as the man that's from the Roots crew / Others as the bad lieutenant of Snyder Avenue"
Before they were the Tonight Show house band, The Roots filled the airwaves with their unique brand of hip-hop shown through the lens of inner-city Philadelphia. Sections is a perfect example of the Roots sound as front man Black Thought leads the listener though a complex lyrical web while perfectly describing his stomping grounds of South Philadelphia.
Defend the River End - Dive In The Box
When not touring, the four guys in Dive In The Box are Union supporters and season ticket holders. Playing straight-ahead punk rock, the songs are all loud, fast, and about soccer.
So what are some Philly bands we missed? Let us know in the comments section below!