The picture at the end of the video is classic. Don’t rush to get there, but just know you’ve got a gem awaiting you. San Diego’s socially aware, renaissance revolutionary, and peace-loving warrior, Odessa Kane, let us know that he is willing to take to the streets if all that is left as an option is to bear arms. Left to Bear Arms is tenacious, which is probably not surprising as you watch the visuals (provided by Sine68 Films) for the Orko Eloheim-produced, “1994“. Kane draws the arc from 1994 to the present, touching on how the Golden Era shaped the artist before us here, whether he wields a spray can, a mic, or a prayer mat. The aggression in Kane’s voice, the obvious reverence for hip hop’s legacy, which is juxtaposed against the opening lines about rappin’ on a trap beat, and the rapper’s assertive demeanor are all put into balance as they are interwoven with scenes of Odessa Kane connecting with nature and its creator as he spends time praying in a field. Odessa Kane is one of the most dynamic artists our city has to offer and we get a glimpse of that here. Be sure to share this video on social media if you are moved by it.
The sounds a producer allows a listener to experience are purposeful. Always. The tone for Von Dreaam’s “Emotionless” is set with the sample played before the beat drops. And the tone is somber, melancholy, sobering. Dreaam knows he has to maintain said tone right away, and starts with:
“I had to learn that your limits is what you set yourself/There’s nothing that noone can tell you that you don’t tell yourself/there’s no scent they can put on you, you can’t smell yourself/I can’t complain ’bout these demons I built this cell myself/a lot of actors were actin’ like they was friends of mine/I needed friends, and n****s showed me how it is, I gave ’em raises I was sick, I wasn’t nothing they could get behind/I never lied, but I get, that’s what I get for tryn’…”
If you do a little diggin’ in Von’s FB timeline, you’ll soon learn that 2017 has been a tumultuous one, internally and externally; he has wrestled with whether or not this music will become lucrative, he has dealt with friends proving not to be friends, and sadly has lost some people close to him, a year that would render emotionless. Depression is a very internal space to inhabit, and we are fortunate that music is one of the ways artists get to purge that pain; music is also this beautiful two sided coin that allows listeners to purge through the artists they listen to, as well as empathize with those very same artists, almost giving the audience a voice as well. I could write for days on the power of a song like this, but I’ll just leave it at this: Listen/Watch. Enjoy. Share.
Dru Jefe, Nino Califonya, and Chelly Jane have me feeling like I need to start SDLovesRNB. If you don’t know yet, San Diego’s RnB scene is absolutely bubbling with baby-making slow jams and ballads of the broken-hearted. Here we hear, and feel, what lovers go through when they are “Petty”.
Well, Duckwrth is not from SD, but he is from the West Coast and I LOVE this video! I expect that I’ll be writing about dude’s music more in-depth very soon. Enjoy.
Mikey oOo’s “Lil Bro”, produced by Rjito is dope. As a middle/high school English teacher, it is refreshing to see amazing literature showcased, let alone in a very West Coast, gangsta rap-vibed song from the neighborhood I’ve spent the last two years teaching in. Mikey is serving wisdom a la Jay-Z’s 4:44 using a very SD dialect. This track has ensured that I dig little deeper into Mikey oOo’s catalogue, and I suggest you do the same.
Phora’s story has intersected millions of stories of America’s broken children, and let’s face it, we are all America’s broken children. The myriad reasons we might be described as broken become irrelevant as we inhabit the emotional landscapes created by Phora, AnthroBeats, Eskupe, and George Orozco. The landscape created by “Numb” is representative of the aural and visual palette used by the Yours Truly team, a space that has listeners straddling the line between suicidal and on top of the world, sometimes pulling in one direction, and at other times in the opposite direction. Phora’s ability to share his story in a way that is representative of the human experience, really, is why he has such a close connection with his fanbase. A week ago I got to see Phora at the Observatory in North Park and happened to run into a former student of mine who had missed the last month of school primarily due to depression and worse. Seeing her sing/rap Phora’s lyrics, and to witness those lyrics giving a 13 year old girl a voice, empowering her after such a powerless point in her life, was awe-inspiring to say the least. Sit in this space with Phora, and let it take you to a place where purging pain becomes empowering.
Locksmith, who was featured on our #WestCoastWednesday interview series HERE, He is one of lyricism’s upper echelon and yet he is able to do so without forgoing deeply emotive content. I’d love to say more, but if you click the two links in this blurb, you’ll get the point. Enjoy. Share.
I love Joey Wild’s voice and flow and the overall feel of this track, even if the content takes this post for an unforeseen trip into left field. Enjoy the more playful, party vibed, “Sticky Fingerz”.
De’Sean’s, “The Heights”, is also a more lean and dab induced party-vibed track that touches on a fairly wide range of topics in a small period of time. There’s a lot here. Dig in.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t share how teaching and hip hop overlap yet again. Mr. Milky, aka your Uber driver donning a shower cap and “riding around [his] city like a G”, worked on the same campus as I did last year and it was a pleasure getting to know the Boon League better because of it. “No, no” (Remix) is a great summary of San Diego’s Boon League, a group of emcees and producers who can obviously rap, are super diverse, and love to have a good time. Enjoy.
Oxnard raised, SD-dwelling emcee, Marlon D, shares a bit about where he’s at here and now, and about where we’re at as a society with “Wake Up”.
Kogniak keeps us feeling good with “Bendin’ Corners”.
Not bad. For a girl. Haha. Yeah right! DJ Pnutz absolutely murked this teaser, and if it is any indication of how dope 16 Psyche is, then I suggest you cop it once it’s out! She can reach out and correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I know, she doesn’t sample (maybe other than drums here), meaning she created this soundscape, which is crazy! Enjoy!
El Blue is a dope up and coming emcee in SD and I suggest you get familiar. “Hallelujiah” feels like a stream of consciousness track, giving listeners a general feel for what they can expect from the young spitter. Enjoy.
If you don’t know who Kahlee is, then do some homework. Dude is puttin’ in work for SD, for Gardena (of course – gotta stay true to the roots), and for the culture in general. He has been dropping gems for 29 weeks straight so far via his #BarsWeekly series (the entire playlist is housed above if you want to dig in). Kahlee was super thoughtful with every decision made here, which you can go back and discover why I say that, which has been captured by the thorough man behind the camera, Mighty Muds, or Muds One. Enjoy week after week of dope a capella from the renaissance man of hip hop, Kahlee.
East County San Diego’s TheSolutionKT recently released the visuals for “Undergdawgs” featuring Franco Gianni, from his Soul Rising EP. KT recognizes the the very human propensity to root on the underdog and he has settled in that position, allowing fans to join the movement in its early stages and to let people know he is about to overcome the odds and make his way into the pole position.
Peace, Love & Hip Hop,
#SDLovesHipHop exists to carry on a conversation about hip hop music and culture as a catalyst for change in individuals’ lives and communities. If any of the artists above, or this article has struck a chord in you, SHARE THIS and PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT explaining how.