Mixtape Shmixtape

Wherein we review Yay Area hip hop mixes of the day

If you're as old as I am, you remember a time when the term "mixtape" referred to actual cassettes. Not so anymore, as today it refers strictly and confusingly to CDs. Interestingly, the Bay Area, or Yay Area as it's known in hip hop circles, is much slower when it comes to putting these things together than the East Coast, which seems to poop out new mixes every week. That's great when they're carrying out hip hop soap operas, as is often the case (just ask 50 Cent), but it also results in lots of mediocre product. In addition, mixtape DJs out here actually mix a whole lot more than their East Coast counterparts; apparently that's a part of the equation that goes out the window in an overproductive market. Point is, what we lack in quantity, we make up for in quality. Here are three shining examples you might consider picking up at a Tower or Amoeba outlet near you.

Demolition Men

Best of the Bay Series: Nuthin But Slap!

Not slap meaning bad, but slap meaning good. This mix is a great intro to our local heavyweight rappers, from E-40, the Team, and Keak Da Sneak to SkyBalla, San Quinn, and JT the Bigga Figga, all of them delivering some of the rawest street spit the Yay Area has to offer. Among the set's greatest revelations: MCs call their guns "William Hung," "cuz when you pull back she bangs, she bangs." Now that's la vida loca.

Turntable Tykoonz

Bleed Da Block Mix(Hosted by Killa Keise)

Up-and-comer Killa Keise isn't even of voting age yet, but as the brother of S.F. underground rapper/producer Cellski, his pedigree is undisputed. Here he flows over West Coast and dirty south beats with equal dexterity, while the Tykoonz spin an enticing mix of East (Jim Jones, 50 Cent), West (DJ Quik, Mac Dre & Mac Mall), and South (Juvenile, Mike Jones).

Young HizStory

Holdin My Own Mixtape Vol. 1

MC Young HizStory holds his own fine enough, but he shines brightest when he has a team to bounce rhymes off of, as heard on this tape's highlight "Sco to the O" (meaning, "San Francisco to Oakland"), where he collaborates with some names to watch out for: Mo Money Than Most, Soda Pop, Street Fame, and a female MC with the best name ever, Deffa Heffa. The cover finds HizStory standing in front of 24th and Hampshire in the Mission -- his corner -- on which we see a chalk outline, police tape, and a waiting ambulance. Thankfully, S.F. General isn't too far away.

Get in the mix! Send your mixtapes to this address, and maybe we'll review 'em:

Mixtape Shmixtape

c/o Garrett Kamps

SF Weekly

185 Berry, Suite 3800

San Francisco, CA, 94107

 
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