Philadelphia Rap Artists Overcame Family Tragedy To Pursue Career In Music
They just inked a digital distribution deal, are budding YouTube stars in their own right and rep Philly all the way.
The BlumBros – real life brothers Raphael, 21, and Cartier, 23 – want to bring their Philadelphia-honed trap rap sound to the masses. They’ve just signed a deal with music exec Julius “J” Erving’s digital distribution company, Human Re-Sources, and are getting ready to drop their first mixtape.
But their rise is one that was borne by tragedy. Born into a family with five brothers and six sisters, Cartier and Raphael’s early home life was plagued with addiction, and they spent years apart and shuttled between group and foster homes before reuniting as adults.
“When I was three, around that time me and my brother got separated,” Raphael said, “due to my mom having an addiction problem back then. We relocated, and we all went to different group homes and foster care. We would get two or three visits a year.”
Cartier said their hard upbringing made them even more determined to parlay their talents in rapping, dancing and singing in order to make it in music.
“We really come from the struggle,” Cartier said. “Really not knowing where the next meal was coming from. Seeing people get shot. Getting older, we had to make sure we got out of that environment. What really made us hungry, was something had to give. We couldn’t live how we were living.”
Growing up, Cartier’s dance moves and Raphael’s singing got them attention, especially on social media.
“People told us that we had swag like rappers,” Cartier said. “They said, ‘you’re dancing to everybody’s else’s music, why not do your own’?”
They formed BlumBros in 2016, a name that’s a nod both to their brotherhood and being from the Blumberg Projects in Philadelphia. The guys describe their sound as Philly-inflected trap rap, and said the Migos are their biggest influence.
“Our sound is full of energy and it’s meaningful,” Raphael said. “It just gets the crowd moving. Our sound is just a positive vibe, turning up.”