We haven’t written a lot about hip hop for The Bay Bridged. Not for a lack of interest, mind you, but because we’ve never really felt like we had a real handle on emerging local stuff. Sure, we could write about how great E-40 is with our eyes closed, but do you need someone else telling you how great E-40 is? (If you do, then here’s a tip: pick up all three volumes of The Block Brochure. You won’t be disappointed. Seriously, it’s nuts how much quality music Earl Stevens has been putting out over the last several years.)
Several recent developments have ignited a new interest in covering more Bay Area hip hop at The Bay Bridged. For one, the rising star of Main Attrakionz, a group that serves as the common thread among many of the artists in this podcast (in addition to making several appearances themselves). Both as a duo and solo, Squadda B and MondreM.A.N. are talented and prolific, and their oft-languid flows serve as the ideal pairing for dense, spaced-out beats from inventive East Bay electronic outfits like Friendzone and Yalls.
While the artists on this mix hail from locations ranging from Vallejo to SF to San Jose, a vibrant Oakland scene is the nucleus for a lot of the sounds here. Nearby Berkeley, though, is the home of Lil B, perhaps the godfather of Internet-saturating, spacey rap weirdness, despite the fact that he’s only in his early 20s. I had casually dismissed B for a long time, only to be blindsided by his recent God’s Father mixtape, which becomes a more likely entrant in my top albums of the year with every listen. Of course, since it came out at the end of February, Brandon McCartney has already followed it up with two newer mixtapes.
The songs on this mix won’t surprise anyone who has been closely following Bay Area indie rap over the past few years, but for an indie rock fan like myself, who hasn’t been paying attention lately (until recently, anyway), it’s a start.
1. Main Attrakionz — “Zombies On The Turf (Part II)”
2. The Jealous Guys — “Life Insomniac”
3. Moe Green — “Nimbus”
4. Friendzone — “Follow Me (Instrumental)”
5. MondreM.A.N. — “Fancy (Yalls Peer Pressure Remix)”
6. Lil B — “SF Mission Music”
7. Antwon — “Turn Your Back On The World”
8. Weekend Cult — “Oil Lamp Hash”
9. Squadda B — “Never Understand”
10. RNB Millionaires — “Can I Borrow a Dollar”
11. Main Attrakionz — “Perfect Skies (Comma Remix)”
12. GuMMyBeAR — “Totems”