Today we return with the second installment of Rep Your City. This week we take a look at Berkeley, the city in the East Bay whose contributions to Bay Area hip-hop gets overlooked too often. The city, which has become a geographical representation of liberalism, is home to some dope artists. Let’s not waste any time here. Check out Rep Your City: The Hottest In Berkeley! Comment below to let us know which city you’d like to see next!
Lil B has been THE GUY in Berkeley hip-hop since 2006, when The Pack first landed on the scene with their hit “Vans”. Back then no one expected anyone from the alternative hyphy rap crew to breakout and become a national star, with a cult-like following. Lil B did just that in the years to come by dropping a ridiculous amount of Based freestyles and countless mixtapes, utilizing social media to his advantage, and by simply being his weird self. His unorthodox approach to rhyming, and apparent lack of seriousness and sincerity initially attracted the ire of “real hip-hop” fans, who believed acts like B were watering down the genre. Followers of the Basedgod will tell you, if you don’t get it, you just don’t get it.
However his detractors can’t deny the man’s power and influence. Artists like Lil Yachty, Smokepurpp, & Lil Pump owe a debt to Lil B. He reinvented the adlib! Going to a Lil B concert is like going to church, except Lil B is both the preacher & the deity. Lil B’s become a Bay Area legend, whose influence reaches far as hell.
Rexx Life Raj
Rexx Life Raj is the father figure you never had. The Berkeley native has been putting in work for years, and is beginning to see his grind pay off. The ex-football player’s music is thoughtful, melodic, and full of free game. Raj’s aptly titled Father Figure series is full of gems you can use to apply to your life. He warns you to be smart with your money, to work harder than everyone else vying your spot, to practice discipline, and to be yourself. All the things that help him become who he is today.
With a few supporting tours under his belt, impressive features, and a pen game that can’t be touched, Raj looks to have a big future ahead of him.
Marty Grimes is a childhood friend of G-Eazy and ran with him for a few tours. Today the tall, joint smoking, pizza loving emcee and song writer is carving out a lane all his own. His production choices often lean toward electronic music. He makes records that are fit for big crowds, large speakers, and little bit of your drug of choice. Marty’s been at work at this a long time and he’s not one to sleep on.
Koran Streets most notably recognized by his burn scars, which were the result of a kerosene accident during his childhood. You may have seen him in locally based indie films such as LICKS & KICKS, but music is where the rising Berkeley native is beginning to get noticed. Streets’ approaches music seriously and believes the medium should be used to tell his story and to change the world around him. He’s spent his time in the streets, has experienced pain, and now sees it as his duty to tell us about the lessons he’s learned.
Pimp Tobi is the newcomer on this list. He only finished high school last Spring. He may be young but his buzz is strong. Most of his music videos are sitting between 30-200 thousand views. Typically he teams up with Berkeley producer Apollo Jetson to craft street records with choruses that border pop. He makes sliding on his enemies sound like a good time! His joint “First Day Out” is a perfect example of that.