Monday, January 21, 2008

The Bay Area "Beat-Down"

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked by a loyal reader to give a list of my favorite new Bay Area artists. Seems the reader was living on the east coast and felt a regional disconnect.

Since the Bay Area is the closest nationally-recognized rap scene, it's only fair we direct our attention there. Here is the first in a two-part series of lists focusing on Bay Area artists. This represents some of the below the radar artists gaining traction.

Trackademiks (left): The Alameda-bred, half-black, half-Filipino artist is a walking hyphenate. Producer/MC/Visionary, he's a perfect example of the complex Bay Area rap infrastructure, which caters to both hardcore street thugs and elitist underground taste makers. Trackademiks walks the line: his remix of E-40's "Tell Me When To Go" a few years back got lots of street love, while recent work with featured artist J.Davey suits the backpackers. Check out his myspace page here.

CASAMENA: is my favorite Web site, and this guy is always on there promoting his latest work and chopping it up in the community. A veteran Bay Area DJ, Mena is adept in both hip-hop and the world of electronic dance music. Check out his myspace page here.

Traxamillion: Currently based in Georgia (according to his MySpace page), Trax is a Bay Area native who has earned a solid reputation as a hit-maker and go-to guy for the regions biggest names. Producer of such regional hits as "Super Hyphy," "Grown Man," and "Side Show," as well as the remix of Brooke Hogan's single "About Us" featuring E-40, Trax is a winner. Check out his MySpace page here.

Beeda Weeda:
Can't say I'm too familiar with this guy's music, but he's backed by Heiroglyphics (who released one of his mixtapes) and was put on to me by a local girl who supports his music. Beeda has one of the most unusual names in Bay Area rap, and that's saying something. MySpace page is here.

Izz Thizz (Left):
I've been a big fan of this guy since his days in the San Jose group Derelix. Izz is now rocking on the radio. His song "I'm Good" is available for request on KMEL. Check out his page here.

Deuce Eclipse:
A Zion I protege, Deuce has been on his grind for a few years now. Peep his work on the Zion-I mixtape "Family Business," and get to know this Salvadorans' vice-grip tight flow. Myspace page here.

The Mighty Underdogs: Okay. Gift of Gab and Lateef tha TruthSpeaker are hardly under the radar, but this collaboration with Headnodic of the Crown City Rockers has been slept on for a minute. They released an EP last October, and are set for a proper album this year. Check the page here.

The Brown Buffalo Project (Left): My gente. Some live wire Chicano activist MC's who project their heritage and their skill in their music. Peep the Myspace page here.

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