Philadelphia’s rap scene has really been in the spotlight for the past two years. The Roots finally earned the recognition due to them. Eve proved that a female can hold her own in a dog eat dot world. And Beanie Sigel has emerged as "the reason why Jay-Z feels comfortable retiring." The City of Brotherly Love has now become the city of hip-hop’s new rage. The second half of the Y2K has introduced us to the Illadelph’s new heirs; Ram Squad, Major Figgas, and Philly’s Most Wanted. The latter of the three clearly emerging as the best of the bunch.
Want proof? Just pick up their debut album 'Get Down or Lay Down.' Talk about a sleeper hit. Get Down… hits you in the head without any warning. A great majority of the production was blessed by the Virginia collective, the Neptunes (Mystikal’s "Shake It Fast", Noreaga’s "Superthug"). When they touch a track, it’s bound to get things moving. The lead off song, "Suckas," is a 100% get yo’ ass up and bounce type groove. Before the listener has a chance to catch their breath, they are quickly ushered into "Radikal." Only eight minutes into the album, and you’re already sweating more than a 16-year-old in a strip joint.
Don’t get it confused, Mr. Man and Boobonic are not your shiny suit, make them dance type of rappers. This duo is from the streets. PMW manage to balance the street and jiggy persona without straying too far off to either side, and most importantly, not coming off like some wack minor figures. For their more rugged offerings, PMW leave the Neptunes’ bass heavy thumps behind, and bring out the proper musical and lyrical artillery. "What Makes Me" is a perfect marriage between beats and rhymes to bring forth new life. These cats are not playing: "For that ransom dough/kids get kidnapped/Your wife act crazy, wife get smacked/Click don’t like it, click get clapped/I cock back just to throw flames/In case you get to urge to snitch and drop names/Leave you open minded…with no brains." Don’t sleep on the eerie "Ya’ll Can Never Hurt Us" and the female tale "This…"
The chemistry between Mr. Man and Boobonic is great, reminiscent of duos such as Tha Dogg Pound which houses a Philly MC of their own in Kurupt. And just like Kurupt steals lyrical shine from Daz, Boobonic is clearly the better of the two. He comes off with clever lyrics a la’ Jay-Z that make you smile and say "No he didn’t." No wonder Jay-Z wanted to sign this group to Roc-A-Fella. He clearly saw some potential in the two. Jay was right.