Ah, March. Music fiends flock to Austin. Men become obsessed with watching other men (who are still in college) flail wildly while trying to stuff an orange ball into a tiny hoop. And Bay Area rappers turn into glad-handing politicians, littering their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds with pleas, enjoinders, and invitations to fans to help them become one of the Freshman 10, an annual list of the hottest up-and-coming rhyme slayers in the Bay Area assembled by local hip-hop spinner DJ Amen and the Thizzler rap blog.
The idea comes from rap mag XXL, which recently put Berkeley's own Lil B on the cover of its national freshman class (this year's had 11 members). Last year, Amen opened up the local selection process to public nomination via Twitter, inviting a flurry of feedback that couldn't have been easy for judges weather. The 2010 list included S.F.'s DaVinci and Roach Gigz, plus Vallejo's Moe Green — all people you've read about in SF Weekly. In 2011, with the campaign already raging on Twitter, it looks like Freshman 10 judges — which include DJs, music bloggers, and “tastemakers,” whatever those are — will face another thorny, loud, and difficult selection process.