In 1988 video producers/directors Glenn Holsten and Lisa Marie Russo produced a documentary about the emerging Philadelphia rap scene for WHYY television called Rap City. The documentary featured some incredible interviews with Schoolly-D (and his mom), Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, Ruffhouse Records founder Chris Schwartz, hip-hop radio pioneer Lady B and Yvette Money and excellently captured the energy of Philly’s mid to late 80’s hip-hop scene. You can watch all three parts of the documentary below.
Beanie Sigel dropped his much-anticipated sixth album today, and it’s a boisterous return to form for the South Philly-bred rapper and actor – and another Philadelphia hip-hop institution as well.
This Time is the first release on a newly-relaunched Ruffhouse Records, the locally-based / Columbia-distributed label that put out an impressive string of albums between 1989 and 1999 – The Goats’ Tricks of the Shade, Cypress Hill’s Black Sunday, both Fugees full-lengths as well as and the modern soul classic The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. It also ventured into the local alternative rock scene, releasing records by popsters Trip 66 and the still-active Ben Arnold.
Label founder Chris Schwartz says he didn’t think twice when deciding would usher in the new era of Ruffhouse – Sigel is, in his words, “a cornerstone artist.”
“At the end of the day, the guy made an incredible record. It’s unfortunate he won’t be here to do some of the things he needs to do behind it,” Schwartz says, referencing Beanie’s looming two-year prison sentence for tax evasion. “But in our humble estimation, it’s the best record he’s made since The Truth. We have an artist – we have a credible, real artist – and making records is what we do.” Continue reading →