Proudest Person, Place, or Thing: The moment a deserving musical scene thumped its chest and went nationwide
E-40's "Tell Me When to Go" video
This video, directed by Bernard Gourley and shot on location at various spots in East Oakland (including Moses Music and the East Bay Dragons HQ), introduced the nation to the Bay Area's independent-driven, youthcentric "hyphy" movement. Visually stunning images of ghost-riding scrapers, wheelie-popping motorcycles, and dreadlock-shaking kids doing the hyphy dance and goin' dumb combined with memorable rap verses from E-40 and Keak da Sneak and an impossibly infectious, bass-heavy track by Atlanta's Lil' Jon, the "King of Crunk." The video not only took the hyphy phenomenon nationwide -- it became one of the hottest videos on MTV, and inspired the cable channel to commission a special episode of My Block giving long-overdue props to the entire Bay Area hip-hop scene -- but was the catalyst for the impressive sales of 40's twelfth album, My Ghetto Report Card, which debuted at #1 Rap/R&B, #3 Pop on the Billboard charts, the highest such debut by a Bay Area rap artist since Tupac Shakur's All Eyez on Me in 1996. "Tell Me When to Go" became an undeniable source of pride for the young generation, and will likely be remembered in years to come as a major flashpoint in the history of Bay Area urban music -- the very moment when an independent scene which had been cultivating and developing for twenty years became a movement of national significance.