Saturday, September 30, 2006

Oaktown Hip Hop

It's no secret that Oakland has got a massive hip hop back ground that goes way back to the very early 80's around the time Too Short and Freddy B slanged tapes on the back of busses around the bay to a few years later when Shock G was doing the Humpty Dance on tour with a young MC New York and MC Hammer would prey just to make it today. Although it wasn't until later on that Oakland would have a rush of endless dope emcees come out of nowhere and help put the bay at the forfront of hip hop in the 90's.

One of the early Oakland groups is 415 (not to be confused with IV-1-VI). 415 consists of DJ Daryl, J.E.D., D-Loc and of course Richie Rich. They released their debut in 1990 tittled '415in' on 'Big League Records' which is an under rated bay classic. 'Nu Niggaz On Tha Blokkk' also came out on 'Big League' along with Priority the next year, although Richie Rich was in prison during this album and didn't feature on it at all. These are both classic old bay gangsta albums that both came out on picture cover wax. The track I have put up from these boys is 'Lifestyle As A Gangsta' from 'Nu Niggaz On Tha Blokkk'.

Damon 'Dangerous Dame' Edwards is definately not the first name that comes into your head when it comes to Oakland rappers although he's been around since 88/89 on 'T-Cap Records' with tracks like 'I Call Your Name' and 'Powers That Be'. In '90 he released 'I Got What You Want' on Atlantic. He got signed to Master P's 'No Limit' and released an E.P. on cd and wax called 'Escape From The Mental Ward' and then signed to 'Snake Pit' to release 'Make Room 4 Daddy' in '94. He released somthing else around this time but I can't recall what it was but I haven't heard anything from him for years and wouldn't mind knowing where he is?

If you're into bay hip hop you have to be into The Coup, not the usual sort of bay group, these guys are a more political group with a difference. Any group that has a female DJ gets my attention straight away with Pam tha Funkstress behind the decks and Boots on the mic (E-Roc used to drop vocals along side Boots). Everyone may have their own personal favourite Coup album and alot of people have given their latest album 'Pick A Bigger Weapon' alot of hype but personally when it comes to the Coup, I can't go past 'Genocide & Juice' which to me is by far their best work. Tracks like 'Fat Cats, Bigger Fish', 'Pimps', 'Gun Smoke' and 'Repo Man' make 'Genocide & Juice' a classic.

I definately wouldn't put this next one as an absolute classic, it's from Kool Rock Jay. In 1989 Kool Rock Jay & DJ Slice released their debut album called 'Tales From The Dope Side' that had a fair few crazy tracks on it like 'Notorious'. Three years later Kool Rock Jay returned by himself to release this 'Street Life' E.P. on Triad Records (the same label that dropped AMW's 'Criminals' and Spice 1's early albums) To be honest this E.P. is nothing too special but it's got two good things going for it, the first is a feature by a young Seagram which is a rare find especially on a non Rap-A-Lot release, and the second is the last track 'You Dont Hear Me Doe' which is by no means an incredible track but is still pretty dope.

The last artist I put a track up by is the late Segram, Seagram came out hard with his debut, 'The Dark Roads' in '92 on Rap-A-Lot which was a strange label for the 69th Ville Oakland rapper to come out on back in those days. He then released 'Reality Check' and recorded 'Souls On Ice' that was released after he was killed. You hear alot about all these rappers who were killed by getting sprayed up in alleys or Vegas strips but you never really hear people talking about how Seagram went out by jumping infront of his friend/ fellow rapper Gangsta P when someone tried killing him. Seagram died P didn't, thats real goin' out like a soldier shit, although a huge shame because Seagram still had alot to give the rap game. The Seagram track I put up is 'Straight Mobbin', this was picked out incase there are any Snoop Dogg fans that have never heard Seagram before that want to find out where he took his lingo from...farilla.

By the way, I realize I just did a Oakland dedication without putting any tracks by Too Short, Spice 1 and Digital Underground. Those would have been obvious artists, I already had to leave out endless tracks by Oakland artists I wanted to put up.

415 - Lifestyle As A Gangsta
Dangerous Dame - Make Room 4 Daddy
The Coup - Fat Cats, Bigger Fish
Kool Rock Jay - You Dont Hear Me Doe
Seagram - Straight Mobbin


Anonymous said...

Thats crazy! Sagram ran in front of the gun shots to save Gangsta P to save him. Eveyone just says he got shot and killed. I play his mucic all the time. You can tell that he knows what he is rapping about, just by the way he says it. The fact that he saved Gangsta P is just more proof that he was real. R.I.P.

Fuck Snoop Dogg!

travis said...

Just tracked down that Kool Rock Jay a couple weeks ago. I was really impressed with it...good stuff