Hip-Hop in the Bay Area has a rich history: mobb, its first notable movement, was established in the 80's as G-Funk’s underground and more hardcore cousin from up north. The gritty, decelerated funk sound was pioneered by acts like Too Short, JT The Bigga Figga, Dru Down, and too many more to name. In the 2000s, we got the pervasive hyphy movement which focused more on partying than its predecessor. Hyphy was spurred on by increasing use of ecstasy, (thizz if you’re from the Bay) and was characterized by active, bass-heavy production, and lyrics that at times could be described as goofy. The movement was headed by the late, and often deified, Mac Dre, and popularized by artists such as Mistah F.A.B, and mobb hold overs such as E-40 and Keak Da Sneak amongst others. The Bay’s current climate can be considered the result of a marriage between the two, albeit incorporating influences from all over, as the internet’s made regional conventions slightly less binding.
The Bay Area is a proud region, one that has given a lot to every genre of music throughout the decades. It’s also a region with a heavy chip on it’s shoulder from a perceived lack of kudos for its contributions to popular culture, whether it be through its imaginative slang, dance moves, or sound. With the rise of Bay Area bred stars such as G-Eazy, Kehlani, Kamaiyah, and SOB x RBE, that sentiment is beginning to change. Every day in the Bay Area, a new artist appears with the ability to become the next big thing. Here are 5 under-the-radar rappers in a scene that produces them at breakneck speeds.