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Oakland Week: Five Unforgettable Oakland Tributes from non-Oakland Artists

Oakland WeekBy Preemo
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

A lot of interesting stories have come this week on behalf of Hip Hop Vibe’s tribute to the hip hop scene in Oakland. Oakland Week is the tribute from Hip Hop Vibe to the hip hop scene in the city. In celebration, Hip Hop Vibe has spotlighted several artists from the scene and have interviewed some of the legends.

Oakland inspires a lot of trends in hip hop and they have been doing so over the past thirty years. Many of the biggest artists and even behind the scene guys come from the city. The hip hop world has always had references to Oakland in their music and the previous spotlight was about artists within the city and their hits.

In the latest spotlight, the people inspired by the Oakland hip hop scene are being featured. Several rappers from all over the world have done Oakland tributes and today the spotlight is on them. Yo Gotti was the latest one with his “Act Right” single that features Young Jeezy and YG.

Today, Hip Hop Vibe returns with the Five Unforgettable Oakland Tributes from non-Oakland Artists.

See the Five Unforgettable Oakland Tributes from non-Oakland Artists below:

I Won't TellFat Joe ft. J. Holiday – “I Won’t Tell”

By 2008, Fat Joe was showing the world how they could make the industry work for them. Fat Joe proudly flaunted the deals he had with Koch Records (eOne Records) and Imperial Records, an independent distributor under Capitol Records. He used the deal with Imperial for his album, The Elephant in the Room.

Under the main Capitol Records roster, the label was developing an R&B artist by the name of J. Holiday. The idea came to place J. Holiday on Fat Joe’s album and he gladly accepted and the result was “I Won’t Tell.” Fat Joe planned the music video to be an ode to music videos of the past with plenty of cameos.

The “I Won’t Tell” music video had cameos from LL Cool J, Bow Wow, Busta Rhymes, Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, and many more. During this period of time, a lot of emphasis was being put on the Oakland hip hop culture. Fat Joe paid homage to the city in the second verse with the line “ghostride the whip, like I’m from Oakland, y’all.”

Watch “I Won’t Tell” by Fat Joe ft. J. Holiday below:

Drake - The MottoDrake ft. Lil Wayne and Tyga – “The Motto”

Even though Drake is Toronto through and through, he has love for all of hip hop and hip hop history. It’s very rare to see an artist who is so adamant about keeping the history preserved withing the genre. Hip hop history definitely includes Oakland and on his Take Care album, Drake decided to tribute Oakland.

Drake dropped “The Motto” with Lil Wayne and Tyga, birthing the phrase “you only live once,” also known as YOLO. Anyone who watches any Kardashian-themed show should be familiar with the phrase. The phrase became one of the biggest of late 2011 into early 2012.

When Drake shot the music video, he, Lil Wayne, and Tyga went to Oakland. They not only went to Oakland, they also invited E-40 and Mistah F.A.B. out to the video shoot and they made a cameo in the music video. Oakland and the rest of the hip hop world gravitated to “The Motto” in 2011-2012.

Watch “The Motto” by Drake ft. Lil Wayne and Tyga below:

T-Pain - NothinT-Pain ft. Detail – “Nothin'”

It turns out, the year of 2011 was a win for the overall Oakland hip hop scene as far as the tributes go. Late in 2011, T-Pain began the promotion for his fourth studio album, RevolveR. When he started the promotion for the album, T-Pain debuted his new single, “Nothin.'”

T-Pain admitted his song was inspired by music from E-40, Mac Dre, and Keak Da Sneak, three Oakland pioneers. On the song, T-Pain recruited Young Money’s designated songwriter, Detail.” “Nothin'” became another moderate hit for T-Pain and helped Oakland continue their strong run.

Oakland made a comeback in 2011 and it came from the artists who were inspired by their sound. Most artists, whether they know it or not, are inspired by Oakland, but in 2011, there were a few who decided to acknowledge it. T-Pain scored a hit with a different sound when he went to Oakland for inspiration.

Watch “Nothin'” by T-Pain ft. Detail below:

Life of da PartySnoop Dogg ft. Mistah F.A.B. and Too $hort – “Life of Da Party”

Similar to 2011, 2008 also was a good year for Oakland and Oakland hip hop, with the documentary, Ghostride The Whip, premiering and the music. Snoop Dogg released his Ego Trippin’ album in 2008 and it was known for the wide range of music on the album. An Oakland-themed song was included on the album.

Snoop Dogg turned to Bay Area veteran, Mistah F.A.B., whom Hip Hop Vibe interviewed yesterday, and Too $hort to appear on the album. The trio came together for a song titled “Life of Da Party.” When the summer season of 2008 hit, Snoop Dogg dropped “Life of Da Party” as a single.

Due to the attention the music video received on BET and MTV, Snoop Dogg helped land Mistah F.A.B. plenty of mainstream attention. Snoop Dogg also helped Oakland legend, Too $hort, place himself back in the spotlight. When the music video hit the public, it was well-received, it was indeed a party.

Watch “Life of Da Party” by Snoop Dogg ft. Mistah F.A.B. and Too $hort below:

Act RightYo Gotti ft. Young Jeezy and YG – “Act Right”

Earlier this year, Yo Gotti signed a deal with Epic Records and through this deal, he will release his I Am album. Despite now being a major label artist, Yo Gotti is keeping things very street, still collaborating with Young Jeezy. In his career, Young Jeezy has changed up, doing more West Coast-styled tracks with YG.

Yo Gotti wanted to do something different to introduce I Am, so he linked up with the popular CTE duo. Young Jeezy and YG got together with Yo Gotti to give the Memphis rapper an interesting single. Like the others, Yo Gotti created a song openly dedicated to Mac Dre and Oakland.

All the other songs either feature a Oakland reference or an Oakland rapper in the video. But, “Act Right” features Yo Gotti, Young Jeezy, and YG all openly paying homage to Oakland, “I’m goin’ goin’ back back… to the Bay, rest in peace to Mac Dre. In the music video, they film in Oakland too.

Watch “Act Right” by Yo Gotti ft. Young Jeezy and YG below:

Follow Preemo on Twitter @OfficialPreemo.

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