For decades, the Bay Area has had one of the most vibrant, unique, and self-contained hip-hop scenes in the country, putting on artists ranging from E-40, Too $hort, and Mac Dre to, more recently, people like Lil B, Iamsu!, Sage the Gemini, Antwon, and G-Eazy. We've covered a range of Bay Area rappers, and we love the music the region has to offer, which is why we connected with our friends over at the Bay's premier hip-hop blog, Thizzler on the Roof, to present a mix of the best Bay Area slaps happening right now. Read on to learn more about some of the artists buzzing the most right now, and listen to On the Roof Vol. 1 below:
Young Gully – “Bad Guy”
Young Gully is both one of the most respected lyricists and one of the most slept-on artists in the Bay Area. With the drop of the deluxe edition of his HM5 album (presented by Thizzler On The Roof) earlier this year, he gave us this gem, going in on a smooth Sade sample flipped by Johnny Red of F1rst Class. Although Gully has yet to get noticed in a major way by the outside world, locally everyone knows that if you need a verse with gas, Gully is one of a select few who delivers every time.
AkaFrank feat. IAMSU! – “Show You What’s Real”
Frank has been around the scene for a while, causing a minor splash with his song “My Dick Ain’t Racist” in 2012—but recently he has been making some big moves, with a song on DJ Mustard’s album, an opening gig for Lil Boosie at the Stockton Arena, and now, with “Show You What’s Real,” a song of his own that’s really moving. The feature from HBK Gang leader IAMSU! puts the icing on the cake.
E-40 feat. T-Pain, Kid Ink & B.o.B. – “Red Cup”
E-40 is a Bay Area legend, so it’s no surprise that he’s back with another hit for the FM airwaves. Supposedly off his upcoming Sharp On All 4 Corners albums, this song finds 40 reinventing himself again and effortlessly adapting the current sound to his signature style.
RAZO – “Champagne”
Seventeen-year-old high school senior RAZO is fairly new to the scene, but, with a polished flow and a good ear for beats, he managed to cut through the BS in our inbox to catch our attention earlier this year. We brought him to the studio to record this song for our Summer of Slaps compilation, and, lo and behold, it came out pretty dope. We expect a lot more from this kid in the near future, so make sure you keep an eye on him. His taste in production is on par with Curren$y's catalog and Wiz Khalifa's early work, and this track is great for rolling up and letting the vibes take you away.
Ziggy and C-Note – “Gold Bottles”
Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, San Jose is far enough from the rest of the Bay that it’s traditionally been hard for an artist from there to break into the mainstream Bay scene. However, under the radar there’s been a ton of talent brewing there just waiting to be tapped into. Ziggy is one of a few leaders of the new wave of San Jose artists, and his new release Gold Bottles demonstrates that he can hold his own with MCs from anywhere. As members of the hip-hop crew Westacy, they bring an undeniably West Coast aesthetic, with Ziggy supplying bars for days and C-Note bringing smooth, sampled beats to cruise to.
Kool John feat. P-Lo & Berner – “Bitch I Look Good (Remix)”
The HBK Gang’s Kool John dropped a slappin’ album a while back with Shmopcity, and “Bitch I Look Good” is the lead single that’s been getting consistent club play ever since it came out. This, along with the rest of Shmopcity, borrows its sound from the beloved period of time when Cash Money Records and Hot Boyz ruled the air waves. Take that and run it through a hyphy filter, and "Bitch I Look Good" is the result. Two weeks ago, Berner hopped on the remix and gave it some more juice.
Kool John and Young Gully – “What They Want (prod. YPOnTheBeat)”
Okay, shameless plug (kind of). We’re working on a new Thizzler On The Roof compilation album right now, and this is the first leak from it. That said, we brought a powerhouse combo together on this one— Kool John is a leader of the ever popular HBK Gang, Young Gully is a highly respected Bay Area lyricist, and beatsmith YPOnTheBeat has been gathering a strong buzz of his own with his Heat compilations.
DJ ASAP feat. Sage The Gemini, Baeza, Symba, The Kid Ryan, and Milla – “Like That”
Representing the Young California clique, DJ ASAP has been a mover behind the scenes in the Bay for a while, but he’s just now starting to release the stockpile of records he’s collected over the years. With known factors Sage The Gemini and Baeza, as well as up-and-comers Symba, The Kid Ryan, and Milla, “Like That” is a hit, and with ASAP’s connections, it’s already getting play up and down the coast.
Rayven Justice feat. Tee Flii and Problem – “On Mamas”
Rayven dropped this heater on his I Have A Dream EP earlier this year, and it’s just one in a string of hits he has been putting together. Along with last year’s “Slide Thru,” “On Mamas” has been getting a lot of love lately. The heavy bounce of the Dnyc3-produced track and the features from Tee Flii and Problem are in line with the ratchet sound that's been popularized by DJ Mustard's domination of the radio waves over the past year.
Bobby Brackins feat. G-Eazy and Mila J – “Hot Box”
Bobby Brackins is best known as the writer of Chris Brown’s “Loyal" and Tinashe’s "2 On," but he’s also been creating hits of his own for the past few years, and the latest one, “Hot Box,” is a dope collab between Bobby, Bay rising star G-Eazy, and LA’s Mila J. Although it's a song about vibing and getting high in the car with the windows rolled up, “Hot Box” sounds like something to play while getting ready to turn up and twerk something with your girls.
Hollywood Keefy feat. Deano – “Low Low”
Keefy is one of the hardest working artists in the Bay Area. He’s consistently on the move releasing music and performing. His latest leak is one that shows his versatility and blends well with the modern “RnBass” sound with its heavy hip-hop bass, melodic hook, and pop sensibilities.
Show Banga feat. Sage The Gemini – “I Been That”
Showy’s been a ninja for a few years, catching our attention with “Shots Fired” in 2011 and becoming a fan favorite on the TeamBackPack cyphers around the same time. Although Show Banga hasn’t had that one mega hit yet, we know it’s coming, and “I Been That” is another step closer. “I Been That” deploys a proven formula popularized by Clyde Carson's "Slow Down" and Sage The Gemini's "Gas Pedal" in that it uses a similar driving bass line, which of course makes it hard not to get turnt up with Showy and Sage.
The Jacka, Joe Blow, and Reign – “Angel Dust”
Although this playlist doesn’t have a whole lot of street music on it, the Bay has a bubbling street scene, and The Jacka and Joe Blow are two of the most recognized artists in it. This song is off Reign and The Jacka’s album The Waiting Room, which is coming soon.
Kehlani – “FWU (Loyal)”
Oakland to LA’s Kehlani is the newest addition to the HBK Gang, and her recent EP Cloud 19 has done numbers on SoundCloud. “FWU” is one of the standout tracks, and anyone looking for a solid chick can definitely relate to this one. Although Kehlani is a product of a school of R&B that is inspired by the depth of Lauryn Hill and the neo-soul stylings of Erykah Badu, her interpretation of these influences can be heard more in the attention paid to her writing than in the sonics of her songs, which are radio ready in the same vein as newcomers Jasmine Villegas or Sevyn Streeter.
HBK P-Lo feat. Sage The Gemini – “Show You”
The LA Leakers dropped this slap from the HBK Gang members P-Lo and Sage The Gemini a few weeks back, and the duo do their thing over a swaggy Invasion production.
Berner – “20 Joints”
The latest leak from Taylor Gang representative Berner finds the SF native flexing on a smooth TraxxFDR beat. The content is nothing new for Bern—selling weed (check), bitches (check), living an expensive lifestyle (check)—but as usual, it sounds good, so blaze one up and slap this.
Beeda Weeda feat. Young Gully – “Us”
Beeda Weeda recently dropped a very high quality album called Bass Rock Babies, which was presented by none other than Bay legend Too Short. Although there were a lot of songs to like on there, “Us” shows a more introspective side of the Oakland MC.