Bay Area slaps: A hyphy movement playlist

Illustration of Bay Area rappers in a school bus
Lily Callender/Staff

Related Posts

I had the privilege of growing up in the Bay Area, and I am hella thankful for all of the experiences I was exposed to in my youth. Growing up in the Bay made me hyperaware of different lifestyles and perspectives. Sometimes, it’s weird being at UC Berkeley because it can feel so removed from the Bay Area I knew growing up versus the one I live in now, but perhaps it’s because the majority of my time is spent in this UC Berkeley bubble. The Bay Area has changed quite a bit in my lifetime, but that’s the way life goes: things change. However, one thing that the Bay has seemed to hold on to for the most part is the impact of the hyphy movement.

When I was a kiddo, a period in the Bay Area known as the hyphy movement was at its peak. By the time I reached high school, the hyphy movement was past its early-2000s primetime. However, the lingo and songs that came out during that time have been deeply imprinted on Bay Area culture! So much so, that many of us stay giggin’ to the slaps that came out. The Bay stays loyal to the bops of the hyphy movement, and out of respect, I have decided to compile a playlist of 15 songs that defined the hyphy movement.

All of the artists featured in the playlist are Bay Area rappers. They had some of the key songs during the prime of the hyphy movement. While this is only a small portion of what was circulating at the time, it’s a pretty good representation of the style of hip-hop that the Bay was boppin’ to. 

The majority of these artists are based out of Oakland. E-40 — a pretty familiar name nationwide — is from Vallejo, which is about 30 minutes northeast of Berkeley. If you want to learn more about the hyphy movement, befriend some Bay Area natives who are in their late 20s or early 30s.

Contact Gina Wright [email protected].