Top Ten Bay Area Rappers/Rap Groups

Everyone loves music and top-ten lists, and I am no different. This time I am putting the Bay Area back on the map, highlighting the ten most prominent, not to mention my personal favorite, rappers/rap groups to bump-the-bass to from our very own Bay Area. Stand up!

1.    Hieroglyphics

Photo by Flickr User connor millin

Founded out of Oakland Ca. by Del the Funkee Homosapien, Hiero has been churning out funky jazz-inspired beats with razor sharp lyrical delivery since the early 90s. With nine members in total, Hieroglyphics roles deep in the Bay Area underground rap scene.

2. Too $hort

Too Short
Photo By Flickr User Troy Holden

A Bay Area favorite, Too Short started his rap career out of Oakland Ca. at the age of 14-years-old and has sold 11 million albums in the US alone. He has collaborated with such rappers as Tupac Shakur, Jay-Z, and Notorious B.I.G. Now 44-years-old, Too Short is still putting slap in car trunks with no end in sight.

3. Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur Lego Portrait

Photo by Flickr User lleugh

Although born in New York, Tupac Amaru Shakur moved with his family to Marin City in 1988. He sold 75 million records world wide and is one of the best-selling artists in the world. Tupac Shakur’s rap career was cut short in 1995 with he was shot and killed in Las Vegas at the age of 25-years-old.

4. Luniz

Photo by Flickr User jeroen020

A rap duo from Oakland Ca. consisting of Yukmouth and Numskull, Luniz became famous around the world for their hit song “I Got 5 On It.”

5. Mac Dre


Mac Dre
Photo by Flickr User anarchosyn

Mac Dre, aka Andre Louis Hicks, is the godfather of the Bay Area hyphy movement. Originating out of Vallejo Ca., Mac Dre started rapping in the late 80s and early 90s. Like so many other rappers, Andre Hicks’ life was cut short when he was shot and killed in 2004 in Kansas City Missouri.

6. The Coup

The Coup

Photo by Flickr User Mick ㋡rlosky

The Coup is a political rap group from Oakland Ca. that has been around since the early 1990s. Their lyrics are cynical, humorous, and often criticize police brutality and capitalism.

7. Digital Underground

Photo by Flickr User Bridgette1000

Digital Underground was an alternative rap group from Oakland Ca. lead by Humpty Hump, aka Shock G. Formed in 1987, Digital Underground sampled lots of funk as did many West Coast rappers of the era.

8. Andre Nickatina

Image by Flickr User throgers

Andre Nickatina is a rapper from San Francisco Ca. that has been around since the early 90s. In 2005 he was voted “Best Local Hip Hop Legend” by SFweekly.

9. Souls of Mischief

Photo by Flickr User MattSmithPhotos

Souls of Mischief is a faction of Hieroglyphics that includes A-Plus, Opio, Phesto, and Tajai.

10. MC Hammer

MC Hammer

Photo by Flickr User no-frills marilyn

All I have to say is, “U Can’t Touch This.”


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