The first installment of “The Bay Beat” a new weekly column covering Bay Area Hip Hop brought to you by Slim’s Presents and Da-What. Although I have been out of the City much of the last 7 years, I was born and raised here in San Francisco. An avid hip-hop fan for much of my life, I’ve been running Da-What.com, bringing what's new to the public. Now that I am back in The Bay, I am working with our local venues to promote our local music. Slim’s believes in this as well and is providing a platform for the latest in Bay Area Hip Hop news. Moving forward “The Bay Beat” will appear every Wednesday at SlimsPresents.com. My coverage of the week will include newly released music, event info, cultural discussions and typical rap debates. We want you to have a voice as well! If you have some ideas for upcoming editions, hit me up on twitter @DaWhatBenja and make sure to use the hashtag #TheBayBeat.
Having introduced myself and the column, starting next week I will begin to cover new events. In the meantime, we have videos from some of my favorite Bay Area emcees – Kamaiyah, Mozzy, Caleborate, Locksmith, Zion I, The Jacka - and a few shout outs below.
Q102 – The Throwback Station
Since 2014, Q102 has been blasting old school hip hop through the Bay Area’s speakers at a consistently quality rate. It is nice to have a radio station that is playing anything different than the popular rotation, no shots fired!, let alone 80s, 90s and 2000s hip hop/R&B. If you don’t know about the Bay Area’s role in hip hop radio history, please go check into KMEL/Sway & King Tech and that era!
I’m sure there are other hip hop blogs dedicated to Bay Area hip hop but The Thizzler is the first one I knew of and one that has done a great job of promoting our music. What started as Matt Werner’s personal blog now reports shows, introduces Bay Area Freshmen, releases mixtapes and more. If a Bay artist releases a new track, I will bet that The Thizzler will let you know about it.
Today’s Future Sound
These are the guys creating the next generation of Bay Area musicians. And the one after that. The Oakland based organization teaches music production, beat making and DJing to youth around the Bay Area. In fact they have put on workshops all over the country and executive director Dr. Elliot Gann recently traveled to Senegal for a program on conflict resolution and diplomacy in partnership with the State Department and the University of North Carolina. TFS hopes to further their mission based in the belief in “the power of music to transform and inspire youth to create positive change in their lives and communities.”