"[He] definitely feels like an outsider in the Bay Area rap circles," Sadeghi wrote in an e-mail, adding that Issue might do better in Europe than in his hometown, owing, in part, to the attention he's garnered from European bloggers. Issue is also entertaining the idea of resettling in Paris.

Issue chalks that up to artistic sensibility and generational differences, rather than a direct rejection of the family line. He came up at a time when hip-hop stars killed their idols and eschewed old modes of production, when being an "outlaw" meant throwing out the snare and hi-hat, rather than addressing street violence.

"A lot of people compare me to my dad," Issue says, his voice bristling. "I wasn't born where he was born, you know? ... I didn't do what he did."

The comparison still nettles him, though he accepts it. A famous bloodline is his particular cross to bear.

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