As a youngen coming up in the bay, a lot of my initial ideas about music in general, and specifically hip-hop were based off of what was readily available to listen to. Therefore the radio and TV were major players in shaping what I thought the identity of my local scene was. From Southern Californian G-funk, to the Mobb Muzik coming from up North, for a long time I thought California hip-hop was limited to synthed out gangsta shit about burning trees, drinking 40’s, exterminating rival blocks, and never wasting love on a hoe. Yet that all changed when I listened to Hieroglyphics.
I can’t begin to express how important Hiero was to developing my taste in hip-hop. Along with a few other MC’s/groups like Zion I and Blackalicious, Hieroglyphics taught me that there are rappers from California who care a lot more about being ill with the lyrics, than for having impeccable street cred. Not only that, their production, handled mainly by Domino and DJ Toure, also taught me that there can be a lot more to the Californian sound than just the funk.
While I think it’s safe to say that most Hiero fans agree that Del is their favorite MC from the group, from there, there is far from a consensus for #2. While the entire click is undeniably talented, I always preferred Pep Love after The Funky Homosapien. On the other hand a lot of other people give Casual that edge. Either way, Cas is dope with an extremely unique sound. He also recently did an interview with Thizzler On The Roof for their Under The Bay interview series. While it’s unfortunately a little short, there are some moments mos definitely worth watching. For example, I had no idea that Smash Rockwell also produces. Check it out.
Oh yeah, did I mention that dude’s had bars since your mom was still buying all of your clothes? Check out the video to “That’s How It Is” off of his solo debut, 1994’s Fear Itself.