Raised in the notorious Blumberg Projects in North Philadelphia, the BlumBros’ upbringing was far from normal. Born into a family of 11 children — five girls and six boys — Raphael and Cartier Perkins were separated along with their siblings as kids and placed into foster care, living isolated from one another for over 10 years. Raphael and Cartier were three and six years old when the Department of Human Services took them away after their mother’s drug use was discovered.
The brothers were only allowed to contact each other a handful of times a year, mostly on birthdays and holidays. They would go months, and even years, without seeing each other.
“I feel like we represent all the foster care kids around America who really don’t have a voice,” Cartier says. “We want to talk about what really goes on when you’re in Foster Care and how people really treat you when you go into the different homes.”
When Raphy and Carty became teenagers, they were finally reunited, discovering that they each had an affinity for music. Raphael enjoyed singing as a kid while Cartier initially found a passion for dancing - They both took up rapping in 2016, individually making music and gaining attention within their neighborhood.
“We ended up just making a song together and once[people] heard both of us on a track, they said we got to become a duo,” Raphael explains. Todd “Morty” Perry II, a music manager and publisher who is also from Philadelphia, caught wind of the brothers’ regional hit, “Wanna Be Grown,” and quickly developed an interest in working with them. He would later become their co-manager, dubbing the duo their rap moniker, which is a combination between Blumberg and brothers.
They signed to Ultra/Payday Records in 2018 and were offered an opportunity to co-write the Philadelphia Union Soccer team’s theme song. The duo is currently working on their debut EP titled Thank Da Jects, an homage to the place where they grew up.
“We look at it as we’re from Blumberg projects, we’ve been through a struggle, we’ve had some ups and downs, good times and bad times, so we named it ‘Thank Da Jects’ because without the [projects] it wouldn’t be no us; no stories to tell,” Raphy continued.” “The projects got a whole lot to do with our lives “ Carty adds, “ Everything that I learned from teenage years till now, I literally learned it from the projects.”
The five-track EP will be entirely produced by top electronic producer DJ MAKJ, led by the first single “LS6,” which is out now. They describe their sound as versatile, claiming that they can create music for any mood.
“We have a lot of different sounds, our music really moves people and makes anybody dance,” Cartier said. “We have had the most gangster dudes out here dancing.”
Meek Mill, Lil Uzi Vert, Beanie Sigel, Freeway, Black Thought, Eve, the City of Brotherly Love has birthed some of the biggest names in hip-hop. The BlumBros look to add to that legacy and carve out a lane that’s entirely their own.
“I feel like we represent energy, fun, good vibes, just making something negative into a positive.” Perseverance personified.