Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
All too often, hip hop moves forward without taking the time to look back. This is something that did not go unnoticed by Hip Hop Vibe, so the decision was made to tap into an essential piece of the hip hop culture. Staring right back in plain sight was the hip hop scene of Oakland.
Over the years, Oakland has produced countless stars in hip hop both in the music and the media. A huge undertaking went forth to then ensure the best for both Hip Hop Vibe’s audience and Oakland’s hip hop scene. The idea of Oakland Week was born and with this celebration, every aspect of the Oakland hip hop scene was touched upon.
Efforts were made to get in contact with many Oakland veterans and it led to such names as Lee Majors discovering Hip Hop Vibe. This week, Hip Hop Vibe also interviewed popular Oakland emcees, Mistah F.A.B. and Yukmouth. Interviews were only one small part of putting forth the best tribute to the city’s talent.
Whether Hip Hop Vibe interviewed any Oakland stars or not, Too $hort deserved a tribute, Mac Dre deserved a tribute, as did MC Hammer. The entire Hip Hop Vibe team came together in order to make sure the Oakland hip hop scene was spotlighted when it came down to securing the interviews, also talking to Sick Wid It artist, Mugzi, but even without the features, the bangers Oakland’s emcees have made needed more attention than they tend to receive.
There have been times when artists from other hip hop scenes have paid homage to the scene and that didn’t deserve to be ignored, so they were also given attention. Of course, this included Yo Gotti’s “Act Right” single with Young Jeezy and YG, along with Drake’s 2011 single, “The Motto,” and songs from Fat Joe and many more. A lot of appreciation comes from hip hop to Oakland and Oakland Week was the best way Hip Hop Vibe could pay thanks.
What is hip hop media without Sway Calloway? He has transcended hip hop to become MTV’s go-to guy when it comes to anything news related. Sway got his start as a rapper and later turned into a radio personality that led to MTV reaching out to him and hiring him as a reporter. This became more than a job, as Sway Calloway soon became a business figure at MTV and the executive producer for MTV News and other hip hop-related programming, that at least warrants a mention in this celebration.
DJ Junior returned with his Artists to Know segment and featured Bobby Brackins, Iamsu!, Kurt Diggler, Philthy Rich, and also the veteran, Lee Majors. In passing, Hip Hop Vibe also had words for other names that include Keak Da Sneak, Yukmouth’s Smoke-A-Lot team, and many, many, more. Due to time constraints and the daily grind of reporting the news, not every Oakland artist who has made noise could be featured, so Hip Hop Vibe is taking this time out to pay homage to the honorable mentions.
See the Oakland Week honorable mentions below:
One third of the White Girl Mob, V-Nasty also rose to fame alongside Kreayshawn, as did Lil Debbie. Since their rise, the relationship is not what it used to be and neither lady keeps up with Kreayshawn. It’s a good thing V-Nasty used her position to make other connections in the game.
V-Nasty had a breakout year in 2011, taking her new found fame to Atlanta to work with Gucci Mane. The duo came together for their joint album, BAYTL, which was released late in the year. Regardless, V-Nasty had the support of the Bay on her project, with Mistah F.A.B. making an appearance.
In the time since then, V-Nasty signed with Pinnacle Records and she is focused on her solo career. This past spring, V-Nasty talked to Hip Hop Vibe about her upcoming work with Ryan Seacrest, her EP, and her tour. V-Nasty has a lot of momentum behind her and is one of the new generation Oakland artists making moves.
Watch “Gotta Ball” by V-Nasty and Lil Debbie below:
Watch “Fuck Your Face” by V-Nasty below:
Why not verify Rich? Richie Rich is an Oakland legend and his impact goes much deeper than the music he made. Most would consider Snoop Dogg to be a legend, correct? Well, Snoop Dogg has openly admitted his signature flow was inspired from none other than Richie Rich, that alone warrants him some recognition.
Richie Rich is a member of Mack 10’s Hoo-Bangin’ Records, but made major waves when he became the first Bay Area rapper to sign with Def Jam. Over the years, Richie Rich has released five studio albums, including Seasoned Veteran with Def Jam. He has his own label, Ten-Six Records and he dropped his album, The Game, there.
Before embarking on his solo career, Richie Rich was a member of the 415 group and they dropped three albums from 1989 through 1999. Richie Rich’s most-recent release was Town Bidness, Volume 2 in 2011. Since then, he has backed out of the spotlight, but remains a legend in the entire hip hop world.
Watch “Let’s Ride” by Richie Rich below:
Watch “Wet It” by Richie Rich below:
Oakland’s class of 2010 included Joe Blow, who is still a rising figure on the hip hop scene. He boasts ties to Oakland legend, The Jacka, and he is fresh off the release of his new album, Check A Real Nigga Out Tho. Joe Blow is a nice, energetic, rapper bringing a lot to the Oakland hip hop scene.
Fans are gravitating to Joe Blow and he is living up to the hype they are placing around him. In addition to his own music, Joe Blow is creating an outlet for other up-and-coming rappers. Joe Blow is a rising businessman and the head of his own record label, Blow Money Records.
Joe Blow had a strong showing in 2011 when he released his You Should Be Paying Me album that kickstarted his movement. In the time since then, Joe Blow has continued to make his rounds through the game with his work. Especially if he keeps the momentum strong, Joe Blow will be a force in this game.
Download Check A Real Nigga Out Tho by Joe Blow here.
Watch “Dopest Out” by Joe Blow ft. Bueno and Dubb 20 below:
Watch “Straight Mobbin” by Joe Blow below:
Oakland Week would have done a great disservice to hip hop had there not been an inclusion of E-A-Ski in some capacity. As far as putting Oakland on the map outside of the city, E-A-Ski is probably the city’s most-known figure. E-A-Ski is the man who helped Master P get No Limit Records going and that opened up New Orleans.
Over the years, E-A-Ski has worked closely with Spice 1, he worked on the soundtrack for Friday, and has worked closely with Ice Cube. Over the past twenty-two years, E-A-Ski has been involved in many well-known projects. Recently, E-A-Ski dropped his remix to “That Ain’t No Heat” featuring Yukmouth and Richie Rich.
A legend for both producing and rapping, when Yukmouth talked to Hip Hop Vibe, he explained how big of a legend E-A-Ski is. All of the biggest Oakland rappers, including such names as Mistah F.A.B. and Too $hort have worked with E-A-Ski. Dr. Dre and some others have worked with E-A-Ski over the years.
Watch “Cruise Control” by E-A-Ski ft. Ice Cube and Danny Glover below:
Watch “Blast If I Have 2” by E-A-Ski below:
As a member of Mob Figgaz, The Jacka is a part of Oakland hip hop royalty. Local success was not enough for The Jacka, however, as he has much more he needs to attend to. The Jacka is the head of The Artists Records and has helped Joe Blow get introduced to the hip hop world.
Currently, The Jacka is in headlines because of his ongoing collaborations with Philly artist, Freeway. That duo has come together for an album called Highway Robbery, which is due later this year. But, all of that aside, The Jacka has a legacy that precedes itself.
The Jacka has dropped over fourteen solo projects, with his Murder Weapon project due later this year. Outside of his work with Mob Figgaz, The Jacka also has done work with Lee Majors, Blanco, and many more. With Blanco, The Jacka recently released the project, Game Over.
Watch “Colder Blood” by The Jacka and Berner ft. J. Stalin and Fam below:
Watch “Wit The Shit” by The Jacka ft. Joe Blow and J Diggs
The Hieroglyphics have logged over twenty years in the game, as well. In their current form, The Hieroglyphics consist of nine members, Casual, Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Domino, Pep Love, A-Plus, Opio, Tajai, Phesto, and DJ Toure. They provide much more than music to the Oakland hip hop scene.
In 2012, The Hieroglyphics decided they would do more than simply make the music when they launched Hiero Day. Last month, they held their second-annual event, which featured appearances from many of Oakland’s biggest names. On the music side of things, they have three albums out over the span of fifteen years.
Oakland’s diversity and the essentials they bring to the rap game are showcased when such names as The Hieroglyphics are mentioned. They have a strong legacy as a collective and they care enough to give back to their city. Hiero Day 2013 was another success for them, as was their new album, The Kitchen.
Watch highlights from Hiero Day 2013 below:
Mistah F.A.B. – “Hiero Day 2013” freestyle
Keak Da Sneak at Hiero Day 2013
Souls of Mischief at Hiero Day 2013
Watch “Make Your Move” by Hieroglyphics ft. Goapele below:
Watch “You Never Know” by Hieroglyphics below:
In conclusion, everyone at Hip Hop Vibe wants to offer a thanks to the city of Oakland and the people from there who have made such great music and history. The hip hop scene is vibrant and one of the most-instrumental in hip hop, which is celebrating its fortieth year this year. Oakland has been an active player in hip hop for over thirty years and the members of the scene from the city were very positive and open about recounting their tales about their cities with Hip Hop Vibe and supporting this tribute.
This past week, it has been a pleasure to write and read the stories about Oakland’s best and brightest, from looking at MC Hammer’s successes on the pop market to checking out Keak Da Sneak’s biggest hits. Most of the big figures in Oakland received some form of mention from Hip Hop Vibe and those who did not, the slight was not intentional. Everyone in Oakland who has made moves is a trailblazer and a part of history, whether they are discussed or not, nothing can take from that.
Closing out Oakland Week, Hip Hop Vibe will leave the subject with Luniz’ (Yukmouth and Numskull) “I Got 5 On It” Bay Area All-Stars remix featuring Dru Down, Shock G, Richie Rich, E-40, and Spice 1. Thank you for everything, Alita Turner.
Watch “I Got 5 On It” by Luniz ft. Dru Down, Shock G, Richie Rich, E-40, and Spice 1 below:
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