I can remember the first bay area album I purchased as a kid. It was “Born to Mack” by Too Short. I felt like I had to memorize every single word of “Freaky Tales” & “Dope Fiend Beat” by the end of the weekend. Everyone was talking about this new sound that was coming out of Oakland California.
I was captivated by the way these rappers told stories that me and my friends could relate to. We all wanted to be players just like Goldie in “The Mack” and to be honest, back then, we all thought we were. My mother didn’t necessarily approve of my choice in music but she understood why it appealed to me and my friends. 415 and MC Pooh gave me a different look at the bay area than Too Short originally had.
Some of the best music was starting to come from the Bay and my personal favorite was Spice1. The stories he told were so realistic and vivid that you felt like you were riding shotgun with him through his Neighborhood. I purchased Spice1’s “Let it be Known” EP one summer and was blown away at the level of detain he put into describing the area and environment he came from. I started buying strictly Bay Area music from that moment on.
I copped the Mac Dre Album “Young Black Brotha” and was slappin that through the neighborhood religiously for weeks. MC Pooh’s “Life of a Criminal” had a song called “The Hit” that would inspire everyone in a house party to start throwing up their gang signs while they two stepped to the song.
The introduction of mob music changed the way I viewed rap music forever. Mike Mosley and Sam Bostic created some of the hottest beats of the 90’s. Rappers like E-40 and the Click, Spice1, The Mob Figgaz just to name a few. The Click made this form of music a staple in the West. The artist that took the mob music ball and ran with it was the artist C-Bo. C-Bo released the “Gas Chamber” and it instantly became a classic. There is not one song on this CD that did not go hard. The West Coast was beginning to evolve.
There are so many legends that paved the way for artists to eat off this music that it’s sad most rappers don’t pay homage. With that being said, I would like to say Rest in Peace to the Bay area legend Mac Dre. The Bay will never be the same without you Cuddie.