Oakland Week: Five Unforgettable Anthems from Oakland Artists
The celebration of all things Oakland continues on Hip Hop Vibe. A city with such a rich hip hop history deserves longer than a week to be recognized because there is so much talent and history here. Everybody from E-40 to MC Hammer all come from the city of Oakland and they have all had success, whether people want to forget it or not.
Oakland is home of the late Mac Dre, the legendary Too $hort and E-40, longtime veterans like Mistah F.A.B. and Keak Da Sneak. Yukmouth and The Luniz are more legends who are from Oakland. All of these artists put out countless songs that are classics, but tonight is a brief list of a few classic records from them all.
It’s not discussed as much as other cities, but Oakland’s current generation is also making pretty strong moves. Kreayshawn led the White Girl Mob and they had plenty of success in 2011-2012. Right now, Iamsu! is tearing the game up and his profile is only getting bigger.
Hip Hop Vibe, however, is focused on what the veterans have done for the city with this rundown.
See the Five Unforgettable Anthems from Oakland Artists below:
Keak Da Sneak – “Super Hyphy”
Hyphy is a term that originated in Oakland and is synonymous with the entire hip hop scene in the Bay Area. The word has been used to describe the genre of hip hop music artists from the area make. Since the beats are super-bouncy, they are referred to as “hyphy.”
Keak Da Sneak has been holding Oakland down since the release of his debut album, Sneakacydal, in 1999. Over the fourteen year span since then, Keak Da Sneak has released nineteen more albums. At one point, Keak Da Sneak was dropping three albums a year.
In 2008, Keak Da Sneak only dropped one album and it was called Defied. It was on this album when Keak Da Sneak made an undeniable hit for Oakland and the entire Bay. “Super Hyphy” is the song and it has gone on to become an Oakland classic and one of the biggest hits of his career.
Watch “Super Hyphy” by Keak Da Sneak below:
Yukmouth and Numskull – “I Got 5 On It”
Collectively, Yukmouth and Numskull are known as The Luniz, or just Luniz. No matter how it’s sliced, most people know (The) Luniz for their hit single, “I Got 5 On It,” an Oakland classic. This song rocked out from the Bay Area down to the Florida keys and all over the world when it came out.
Nothing really says 1995 more than “I Got 5 On It,” even though the instrumental was on a song from Puff Daddy a couple of years later. But, nothing can ever take away from the musical classic that is “I Got 5 On It.” Back in July, “I Got 5 On It” was featured on the Wednesday Throwback segment.
Michael Marshall sings that unforgettable hook that provided plenty of exposure to the Bay Area. “I Got 5 On It” established Yukmouth as a viable force in the rap game and he’s still going strong. Yukmouth still dominates the underground and works with plenty of the current names in hip hop.
Watch “I Got 5 On It” by Yukmouth and Numskull below:
E-40 ft. Keak Da Sneak – “Tell Me When To Go”
Until 2006, E-40 didn’t have much of a name with commercial hip hop followers outside of Oakland. Honestly, E-40 would have still been straight if no one outside of the Bay knew him right now. All the legends paid their dues to him and that even includes The Notorious B.I.G.
The Oakland sound always received a lot of comparisons to the South and Lil Jon decided to merge the two. E-40 signed with Lil Jon in 2006 for his album, My Ghetto Report Card, which is his most-commercially successful to date. Lil Jon produced the “Tell Me When To Go” single featuring Keak Da Sneak, which is a classic.
E-40 eventually topped “Tell Me When To Go,” but it was this song that set the stage in more ways than one. In the early spring/summer of 2006, “Tell Me When To Go” was the jam and it was even used during intros for NBA games. The year of 2006 ended up being a good one for Oakland hip hop.
Watch “Tell Me When To Go” by E-40 ft. Keak Da Sneak below:
Tupac Shakur ft. Shock G and Money-B (of Digital Underground) – “I Get Around”
Before his Death Row days of wanting to “Live and Die in L.A.,” Tupac lived in Oakland and was a member of Digital Underground. A guy like Tupac isn’t meant to spend his entire career as a member of a group, so he went solo. Tupac maintained strong ties to Digital Underground and he scored his first major mainstream hit with them.
For his sophomore album, Strictly For My N.I.G.G.A.Z., Tupac featured Shock G and Money-B of Digital Underground. They got together for “I Get Around,” which featured one of the wildest music videos, at the time. Without a doubt, that video helped inspire the BET Uncut era.
But, in 1993, Tupac Shakur scored the biggest hit of his career and one of hip hop’s biggest hits of the summer. It was clear, then, Tupac was more than a rapper who speaks on social issues. Tupac was a star and he let his light shine bright on this record that the whole world rocked to.
Watch “I Get Around” by Tupac Shakur ft. Shock G and Money-B (of Digital Underground) – “I Get Around”
Kreayshawn – “Gucci Gucci”
Everybody knew the internet was powerful, but it wasn’t clear HOW powerful it was until Kreayshawn invaded the scene. She is one of the many rappers who utilized the internet to gain fame and her “Gucci Gucci” single had Oakland back in the headlines. A song that was catchy and easily went viral, Kreayshawn signed a major deal.
Released in the summer of 2011, “Gucci Gucci” blared from iPod, phone, and laptop screens in campuses across the country. “Gucci Gucci” was the first single off her debut album, Somethin’ Bout Kreay, which did not do too well. But, the album results did nothing to impact the “Gucci Gucci” single, which was a smash.
Not everybody may flock to Kreayshawn the way they do to the other artists on this list, but her hit was undeniable. Oakland is home to many of the biggest artists in both the underground and commercial. After all, MC Hammer is also from Oakland, so a song like “Gucci Gucci” is to be expected, as is an artist like Kreayshawn.
Watch “Gucci Gucci” by Kreayshawn below: