I'm coming off a hiatus and I'm about to do another one. Gotta get this guapele. Unlike some of these bloggers I'm really in the streets. Like literally. I live in my car. Temporary setback. When you got the mind of a king you gonna end up a king though. I'm positive as fuck-minded right now. Shoutouts to the ones that stayed down.
Compiled below are some of the best bay area rap artists that are still flying under the radar. I should probably start writing about more established artists for the purpose of search engine optimization, but I want to make sure to expose the variety of underground talent in the bay area. Joe Blow, J. Stalin, HD of Bearfaced, E-40, San Quinn, Messy Marv, etc... are all dope... but the already got names.
Support the artists below, download their projects, add them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Nittee - Heavy Retaliation (68 Bars) - @NitteeLBRMG
Nittee is one of the hardest underground rappers in Oakland right now. When a lot of artists out here are jumping on the "swag" bandwagon, it can be hard to find that grimy mobb music to keep you gassed. Luckily Nittee stays dropping street music. This track in particular is one of the hardest and most epic tracks to come out of Oakland in 2013.
This song and more can be found on his Trust Issues mixtape with Tommy T
You can download the mixtape HERE
Jaseen Seven - Wrong Turn - @Jaseen7
Fresh off a vacation of which I'm not at liberty to discuss the details, east Oakland's best kept secret Ja'seen Seven hits us with some leaks from his upcoming release, "Seven". This track is introspective, and samples Erykah Badu, in a way that works. Collaborate with Jaseen while he's still in your budget, because I feel the days are numbered when you can still get "verses for the low".
His album release of "Seven" on Higher Caliber Music Group is coming soon, but for now you can download his pre-album Mixtape HERE
Lil Aaron shit is grimy but deep. Very few artists are able to pull off this combination of intellectual insight and lyrical simplicity. When listening to Lil Aaron's music you get the feeling that you're being laced with true game from an O.G. who's been there, done that and lived to tell about it. He picks good beats too. The "I'm Back On My Taliban Shit" mixtape is dope all the way through. The mixing is rough but the game is real.
You can download his mixtape HERE
Lil Aaron is also an author. I can't tell if his book has been published yet, but you can pre-order it HERE
Jo. T - Way That I'm Livin - @iamjot
Jo. T AKA Jordan Thomas got bars, and particular excels in the use of "multi's" (rapper grammer for rhyming multiple syllables). It would be safe to say that from a lyrical standpoint Jo.T. is definitely my favorite artist from Santa Rosa since Disalasion's "Get It All" and Low Pro'z "As We Ride". Yep, I took it there. For those unfamiliar with the history of suburban gangsta rap in the north bay, however, I'll use a better reference: Jordan Thomas AKA "Jo. T" is the dopest rapper from Santa Rosa since Ray Luv.
Jai Swift - Ode To Ganja - @JaiSwift
When Hayward's finest Jai Swift drops an "Ode To Ganja", it can only be described as redundant. Jai Swift's ENTIRE CAREER is an Ode To Ganja. Extended Totally Insane family member, college student and weed connoisseur (yup, I spell checked that one) and labelmate Dee Star brings us more good music to blaze up to.
G.Thoro - Always Been - @itsthorobro
G.Thoro is a dope artist out of Frisco who's music combines bay area street culture and motivational wisdom. Seriously, I was about to buy a coaching package from Tony Robbins but then I was like "fuck it, I can just download G. Thoro's "License to K.I.L." album for free and save $10,000." Listening to his music, you get the feeling that G. Thoro is going to be successful at whatever he does. I'm hoping that he doesn't fall victim to the swag movement and continues to make good rap music, although to be honest there's probably more money in motivational speaking.
You can download G. Thoro's License to K.I.L. album HERE
Tiggo - Show You How (Feat. San Quinn) - @_TIGGO_
I don't know much about Tiggo, other than he has roots in both SF and Sacramento, and his lyrics are dope. This DJ Fresh produced track with San Quinn got him some spins on YouTube, but from the quality of his lyricism I could see Tiggo getting a lot more exposure in the near future based solely on his music.
You can download his album "I Am Him" HERE
and be on the lookout for his upcoming project "Get Wit It Or Be Wit Out It 2"
QUESTIONS TO THE READERS:
What artists are missing from this list?
Who are your favorite bay area artists that combine lyricism, street sensibility and realness?
What are you gonna do to contribute to the future of bay area rap?