San Quinn

The Rock: Pressure Makes Diamonds

Along with frequent collaborator JT the Bigga Figga, San Quinn has been one of the top rappers in San Francisco since the mid-'90s. He's released close to a dozen albums, but with national eyes fixed more closely on Bay Area hip hop right now, The Rock is the one that will serve as his introduction for most. The two singles are indeed the album's standouts, but what's exciting is how different they are from each other. "Hell Yeah," with EA-Ski and Allen Anthony, is a sing-along radio hit, while "Look What I've Done for Them" details Quinn's career trajectory and those lost along the way. As he says on the latter, "I rep my city/ Really rep the vicinity," and he keeps that promise throughout with many local references. Though San Quinn's street tales are gangsta, without the cuddly pop quality of stars like 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg his moves are unlikely to cross over to the pop world. But that's more than fine for this MC, who seems content to remain a Bay Area street legend.

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