“…puttin’ on for everything // but we gotta stop murderin’ each other though // still f—in’ over colors with each other though? // let’s go and get this money with each other though // worried about the Babbies (Babylon), but it’s brothers killin’ brothers though?…”
Right out of the gates with the title track Barely See the Beach, San Diego triple-threat, producer, rapper, engineer, Ryan Anthony, tears down walls recognized by others and shares his vision of overlooking such barriers as a means of pursuing higher ends as a unified front. While the San Diego native undermines the system that has created tensions in many of the neighborhoods in Southeast San Diego, he does so while still offering a nod of respect to those who find themselves operating in that tension.
Braggadocio emanates from the delivery of Sir Ryan Anthony, but he confidently moves about while recognizing he “don’t wanna be the king of this sh– // all hail to Mitchy Slick … I be hella pushin’ Daygo like I’m stuck in labor… Spring Valley in my heart like a pace maker.” Confident humility is a rarity in an emcee, let alone one responsible for an EP as strong as BSTB from top to bottom.
Ryan uses each track to represent various aspects of our diverse city, from the landscape and landmarks, the the people and pillars of the community. Self-aware introspection is juxtaposed with party raps and street knowledge, offering music and musings for a wide range of listeners and carrying on the legacy of Dead Prez with an implied “it’s bigger than hip hop.”
While each (authentic) artist is unique, there are lanes that creatives inadvertently share due to affinities, influences, or a slew of other factors, and I can’t help but see the vision and execution of SD’s Ryan Anthony as akin to that of LA’s Boogie. Both of these forward-thinking emcees are doing something unique in today’s hip hop landscape: approaching the game, and life for that matter, in a calculatedly different way that somehow honors their predecessors, creates a niche, and equips their successors for the future.
Standout tracks I recommend as a starting point (though a front to back listen is best):
– Square A– Ni—
– Whole City
– Somebody to Relate to
– Middle of Nowhere
If Ryan Anthony is representative of the craftsmanship, skill, tenacity, and execution of the up-and-comers in San Diego’s hip hop scene, then we have a lot to look forward to.
Peace, Love & Hip Hop,
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