PnB Rock Isn't Interested in Making Typical-Philly, "I'll Kill Ya Grandmom" Rap

The Philly native realized the hardcore, battle rap sound wasn't his lane and pivoted.
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PnB Rock has made waves with his now Gold-certified single "Selfish," a melodically-driven record off his debut Goin Thru the Motions, which peaked at No. 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January of this year. To date, the song has been streamed 73 million times on Spotify, while its accompanying video has earned nearly 20 million views on YouTube

In an interview with XXL in support of his recent 2017 Freshman cover selection, the Philly native discussed the influence that an artist like Meek Mill, a fellow Philly native, had on his come up as a rapper but went out of his way to make clear that isn't the direction he's taking musically—in case you haven't heard any of his work.

"Philly is just real, man," said PnB. "There's a lot of brotherly love and a lot of brotherly hate—you feel me?—at the same time. The rap scene in Philadelphia is always hardcore, like battle rap, like come at your neck, like 'uh I'll kill ya grandmom.' Now ya got, like, your melodies, and a whole bunch of different waves coming out of Philly."

PnB cites Meek Mill as one of several Philly artists that he looked up to during his come up but, at the same time, he knew that the hardcore/battle rap/kill ya grandmom lane wasn't his best bet. The 25-year-old later admits that as a result of his 33-month prison bid for drug possession, he was able to better strategize his rap career. "I had the time to sit down and think about what I was going to do," he said. 

Good call.

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