Tapes 'n' Tapes 

Surveying the latest hyphy-friendly Bay Area mixes.

In a recent conversation with Impereal of the Demolition Men, the mix-tape guru agreed that the local mix scene's development played an instrumental role in the emergence of Hyphy: The Movement. Increasingly Bay-centric local mixes serve both the indie rappers and labels and the listeners; from your perspective, the mix tape — basically a compilation with a concept — may well represent the best bang for your buck, should you consider yourself hyphy and/or thizzin'.

Here's a rundown on the Bay's latest mix sensations.

Demolition Men
Best of the Bay 2005 Recap Pts. 1 & 2 (MySpace.com/demolitionmenmusic)
Overview: Two CDs with 49 tracks of straight slump — everything you would expect from Impereal and Devro, who keep knock on lock around the clock. Part 1 features many of the celebrated slaps that made 2005 the hyphiest year in Yay Area history: San Quinn & EA-Ski's "Hell Yeah" (featuring Mr. Ski's finest turn on the mic ever), Balance's "Gotta Get It," Dem Hoodstarz' "Getz Ya Grown Man On," and Zion-I's "The Bay" remix, significant in that it unites the 415, 510, and 707 area codes. Part 2 gets props not only for familiar favorites like Mistah F.A.B.'s "Super Sic wid It" and Bailey's "Fuck Yo Couch," but also such underground hard targets as Sean T. & Biaje's "Dat Bump" and EA-Ski & Too $hort's "Check the Resume."

Most Inspired Moment: The Team's "Just Go" (Pt. 1); San Quinn's "The Bay Is in the Area" (Pt. 2).

Least Inspired Moment: When you realize how sore your head, neck, and back feel the morning after.

Why Is It Stunna-Worthy? It's got everything you need to turn your scraper into a chariot suitable for gas-break-dipping and turning tight ones. Shout-outs, machine-gun sound FX, and plenty of scratching up the intensity way past crunk.

Does It Include E-40's Smash Hit "Tell Me When to Go"? Hell motherfuckin' yeah.

Best Suited For: Those with fully updated collision insurance.

Poignant Observation: If you lay both CDs next to each other, they form a montage of Bay Area rap celebrities with two microphones and the Golden Gate Bridge in the background — something you wish you'd see on a KMEL billboard.

Hyphy factor: 9.8

DJ B Cause & Ross Hogg
Slump & Grind Vol. 2 (4OneFunk.com)
Overview: Besides the requisite megamix intro, there are no real bells & whistles, just a connoisseur-style selection of recent rumpus-inducing Bay shit. Plenty of big hits repeat on other comps, but nice surprises sneak in the mix like the Team's "Show Me Your Nasty."

Most Inspired Moment: DJ Shadow, Keak da Sneak, and Turf Talk's "Three Freaks," wherein Josh Davis navigates Rick Rock territory.

Least Inspired Moment: The nondescript cover photo of the Bay Bridge is a little misleading, given the magnanimous boasting of the songs therein.

Why Is It Stunna-Worthy? No less than four tracks featuring Turf Talk, dummy.

Does It Include "Tell Me When to Go"? Yupper.

Best Suited For: Newcomers and casual hyphy aficionados who enjoy listening at home as well as in the scraper.

Poignant Observation: The late, great Mac Dre is twice paid tribute, with his humorously self-aggrandizing "Me Da Mac" and ode to '80s electro, "Dredio."

Hyphy Factor: 8

DJ Styles
The Scrapulation, Vol. 1 (MySpace.com/DJStyles)
Overview: Styles' ambitious effort attempts a historical context for the hyphy movement, and hits more than it misses. The wide-ranging disc covers such ubiquitous Yay anthems as the Team's "It's Getting Hot" remix, Casual's "In the Whip," and Balance's "Right There," digs up classics by RBL Posse, Spice 1, 11/5 and Richie Rich, and places Mystic Journeymen's "Next Stop Oakland" immediately following Baby Ray's "Nothing Like the Town."

Most Inspired Moment: 3xKrazy's "Hit the Gas," featuring a young Keak da Sneak.

Least Inspired Moment: Hammer's "Ring 'Em" seems more suited for dancing the Running Man in genie pants than ghost-riding the whip.

Why Is It Stunna-Worthy? You can't really argue with Pooh Man's "Fucking wit Dank," a dinosaur from 1990 that's still funky sixteen years later.

Does It Include "Tell Me When to Go"? Fa sho dat.

Best Suited For: People who watch the History Channel.

Poignant Observation: In retrospect, the carnival-like melody on the Luniz' "Ice Cream Man" sounds like Droop-E on Vicodin.

Hyphy Factor: 6.5

Various: Thizz Radio
Volume One (ThizzWorld.net)
Overview: If Thizz Entertainment programmed its own radio station, it'd sound something like this — 23 tracks of hastily assembled exclusive freestyles and previously unreleased stuff you won't find anywhere else, possibly with good reason.

Most Inspired Selection: "O.A.K.," featuring F.A.B., BMR, Geezy, and G-Stack reprising Too $hort's version of Donny Hathaway's "The Ghetto."

Least Inspired Selection: "Golden Shower Up," on which the usually appealing Keak da Sneak expresses his desire to heap abuse — and streams of fresh urine — on hoodrats R. Kelly-style, adding I don't give a fuck. As Dan Savage would say, thanks for sharing.

Why Is It Stunna-Worthy? It's underground, raw, violent, and frequently hella ig'nant.

Does It Include "Tell Me When to Go"? Nope.

Best Suited For: People who'll buy anything with Mac Dre's face on it.

Poignant Observation: Thug Radio would've been a more appropriate title.

Hyphy Factor: 5

DJ Backside
Got Bay? 3 (DJBackside.com)
Overview: Yay Areaaaaaa!!! Ya gurl Backside represents one mo' 'gin with the follow-up to her classic Got Bay? 2. This time, "your nephew" Turf Talk hosts, and the excellent track selection features F.A.B.'s "Metros & Chirpers," Balance and EA-Ski's "It Is What It Is," and Turf Talk & Hoodstarz' "Bullshit."

Most Inspired Moment: Backside's exclusive "Turf Talk Mega Mix."

Least Inspired Moment: Actually, the whole damn disc is fairly inspired.

Why Is It Stunna-Worthy? The inclusion of Keak's "Super Hyphy Hyphy Hyphy Hyphy," which makes it four times as hyphy as other mix tapes.

Does It Include "Tell Me When to Go"? No, but you won't miss it.

Best Suited For: The transition from turf to club.

Poignant Observation: If you ain't got Bay, you might just be a zarc.

Hyphy Factor: 10

Mac Dre
Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game: In the Mix (ThizzWorld.net)
Overview: This mix was originally released in 1999 by DJ Mac G, DJ Smurf, and Young G of old-school (that is, pre-"Feelin' Myself") Mac Drizzle, featuring such Crestside classics as "Young Black Brotha," "Too Hard for the Radio," "California Livin'," "Stupid Doo Doo Dumb," and "Hoes Love It."

Most Inspired Moment: Dre yelps Yee! on "Nothin' Correctable," presaging the current popularity of the catchphrase by several years.

Least Inspired Moment: The super-boring cover artwork, which probably cost a quarter to design.

Why Is It Stunna-Worthy? C'mon, cuddie, that's a stupid doo doo dumb question.

Does It Include "Tell Me When to Go?" No, but it has "Love That Donkey."

Best Suited For: Listeners of distinction who appreciate the classics.

Poignant Observation: Probably 75 percent of the people wearing Mac Dre "Romp in Peace" T-shirts never listened to him when he was alive; here's their chance to go back and catch up.

Hyphy Factor: 8

Danny Dee
The Bay: We Fresh, hosted by Dem Hoodstarz (MySpace.com/DannyDeez)
Overview: Several freestyle segments by East Palo Alto's finest intercede throughout this superlative mix, featuring all the current hot shit from Cutthroat Committee, Mak & AK, Black & Brown, Mistah FAB, Skyballa, and Doey Rock.

Most Inspired Moment: Yukmouth's "Moment of Silence" for Mac Dre — perhaps the only time in recent memory Yuk has, in fact, been silent.

Least Inspired Moment: When you have to Q-Tip your ears vigorously after listening to all 44 tracks.

Why Is It Stunna-Worthy? This mix contains many cuts not found on other tapes, like E-40's "Pussy Niggas" and a roguish remix of Dem Hoodstarz' "Grown Man" featuring heavy hitters F.A.B., Clyde Carson, San Quinn, and Turf Talk.

Does It Include "Tell Me When to Go"? Ritt, ritt, mane.

Best Suited For: Scrape-aholics and full-time ballas who getz they grown man on.

Poignant Observation: The hyphy movement is far deeper than anyone could have imagined.

Hyphy Factor: 9.5



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