Local hip-hop scene small but still strong

by Nick Knott, Entertainment Editor

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When music listeners think of the many hubs of hip-hop, San Diego isn’t normally a city that comes to mind. Sharing the state with places such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, which have given birth to hip-hop legends, makes it difficult for San Diego to put it’s name on the map.

However, there is still a lot of great talent in America’s Finest City. Multiple areas south of the I-8 freeway play home to the rising hip-hop talent in town, ranging multiple styles. If hip-hop is your jam, you should take a listen to these local rap talents.


Mitchy Slick

Most people who are invested in San Diego hip-hop will more than likely know Mitchy Slick. Slick embodies the old school gangster style rap. The most tenured member of this list, Slick rhymes about the everyday life of living in the San Diego hood. If you’re constantly playing Los Angeles hip-hop, such as Nate Dogg, Snoop, Dr. Dre and etc., then Mitchy Slick is the local artist for you.


Old English

Old English is comprised of members Saviorself and Nothin’less. The duo formed in 2001 and claim National City as home. Recently they released their latest album called “Under the Hood 2.” These guys are lyrical, there’s no doubt about it. They have the incredible ability to illustrate pictures with their words. The twosome’s long career working together shows as they flow so well together, passing verses back and forth seamlessly. Their lyrical content features their love for their hometown, the grind of up-and-comers, the everyday life struggle and California living.


Bam Circa86

If you’re looking for Bam Circa86, you’ll more than likely find him hanging out at the stores on Eighth and G Streets. Having met the rapper at the store Blends, I can tell you he’s passionate and happy to be making music. He’s released a plethora of mixtapes and EPs during his career. Bam’s rhymes are airy and fun, in a somewhat happy-go-lucky sense. However, the lyrical content isn’t always as joyful. This makes an interesting dichotomy in his music.


Odessa Kane

 Hailing from southeast San Diego, Odessa Kane is another gangster-esque rapper. His rhymes are raw and gritty. You can hear the angst in his voice when he spits. Last year he released “Cuetes & Balisongs,” which essentially pays homage to his southeast San Diego roots. Odessa is nominated for the San Diego Music Awards Best Hip-hop category as well, further establishing his presence in the local hip-hop scene.


Vokab Company

Also nominated for Best Hip-hop by the San Diego Music Awards, Vokab Company is led by a duo of Emcees and followed up by a four-piece band. What sets this group apart from the rest of this list, is its unique sound. The instrumentals feature synthesizers, heavy bass and the rarely utilized violin. Lyrically, Vokab Company also differs from the rest of the list.   They do have a more mainstream sound and lyrical content, but not to the point where it gets old fast. Their style is a nice change of pace compared to the rest of San Diego hip-hop.

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