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list Apr 26 2020 Written by

20 Underrated Bay Area Hip Hop Albums

The Bay Area stands out as a unique melting pot of ideologies and influences. Being the home and a stronghold of the Black Panthers, having a pimp and player persona depicted in films such as the Mack, and being a face for rampant gentrification, makes for a sound that’s diverse. Being around or involved in these activities and living in the post-Crack era Bay Area created timeless music that gives you a look into the region.

While Oakland artists Too Short, Freddy B., and Ant Banks created the blueprint for selling cassettes out the trunk that other regions incorporated to secure major label deals and E-40 has provided an endless stream of slang, their influence as well as their Bay Area peers generally goes unnoticed. After major labels Jive and Tommy Boy, among others divested from artists, they continued to produce quality albums.

Take this opportunity to learn more about Hip Hop’s unsung region, the Bay Area.

Deltron 3030 - Deltron 3030 (Oakland & San Francisco, 2000)

Download / Stream Deltron 3030

Spice 1 - Amerikkka's Nightmare (Hayward, 1994)

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Download Amerikkka’s Nightmare

E-40 - Grit & Grind (Vallejo, 2002)

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Download / Stream Grit & Grind

Paris - The Devil Made Me Do It (San Francisco, 1990)

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Download / Stream The Devil Made Me Do It

Hieroglyphics - 3rd Eye Vision (Oakland, 1998)

Stream 3rd Eye Vision

The Coup - Kill My Landlord (Oakland, 1993)

Download Kill My Landlord

DJ Shadow - Entroducing…... (San Jose, 1996)

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Download / Stream Entroducing…

Mac Mall - Illegal Business (Vallejo, 1993)

Download / Stream Illegal Business

Locksmith - Ali (Richmond, 2018)

Download / Stream Ali

Celly Cel - Heat 4 Yo Azz (Vallejo, 1994)

Download / Stream Heat 4 Yo Azz

Jacka - Jack Artist (Pittsburg, 2005)

Stream Jack Artist 

Rappin 4-Tay - Don’t Fight the Feelin’ (San Francisco, 1994)

Download / Stream Don’t Fight the Feelin’ 

GQ - E 14th (Oakland, 2017)

Download / Stream E 14th

Casual - Fear Itself (Oakland, 1994)

Download / Stream Fear Itself

Peanut Butter Wolf & Charizma - Big Shots (San Jose, 2003)

Download / Stream Big Shots

Ray Luv - Forever Hustlin’ (Santa Rosa, 1995)

Download / Stream Forever Hustlin’

Digital Underground - Sex Packets (Oakland, 1990)

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Download / Stream Sex Packets

Saafir - Boxcar Sessions (Oakland, 1994)

Download / Stream Boxcar Sessions

Young Ed - Time to Stack (Richmond, 1996)

Stream Time to Stack

Ill Mannered Playas - Ill Mannered Playas (San Francisco, 1995)

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Download / Stream Ill Mannered Playas

Honorable Mentions

  • 3X Krazy Stackin Chips (Oakland)
  • Andre Nickatina – New Jim Jones (San Francisco)
  • Dru Down – Explicit Game (Oakland)
  • Dubee Dubee aka Sugawolf (Vallejo)
  • Husalah, Jacka, AP.9 – Mob Trial (Pittsburg)
  • Lil Ric – Deep n tha Game (Richmond)
  • Luniz Lunitik Muzik (Oakland)
  • Mistah FAB – Son of a Pimp (Oakland)
  • Yukmouth Thugged Out: The Albulation (Oakland)
  • Zion I – Mind Over Matter (Oakland)

Written by

Ruben is a life-long Hip Hop fan who was introduced to the culture in the early 90s by his father through the likes of Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Too Short and others. As he grew older, he learned about non-West Coast MCs, …

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