Oct. 16 2013
The Icons clearly retain the style of the '90s underground. Back then, many underground rappers were delving deeper into abstraction, testing the limits of vocabulary, wordplay and battling
July 10 2013
Lil B is fucking weird. The Berkeley rapper, born Brandon McCartney, scored his first hit, 2006's sneaker anthem "Vans," with The Pack, a group he formed in high school. But rather than build on that group's...
June 5 2013
Stuntdouble & Tenshun have been making funky, intelligent hip-hop since the mid-'00s. In 2011, the duo released the first of three EPs as part of Welcome to San Diego, a series that speaks to...
May 15 2013
Charles Mitchell, aka rapper Mitchy Slick, doesn't exactly feel welcome in his hometown. Despite being San Diego's most famous rap export, his visit home in April was extremely low-key
Feb. 27 2013
When Frankie Quiñones speaks, his soft voice carries a surprising weight. He speaks solemnly, choosing his words carefully
Nov. 7 2012
It's a Friday night in October, and local rapper and producer Michael Quiñones is setting up a projector at Headquarters Café, a coffeehouse in El Cerrito that might be the ideal new spot...
Oct. 3 2012
When rappers like Common and Mos Def got big in the 1990s, record companies concocted a new label, "conscious hip-hop," to neatly package their sociopolitical-themed music and exploit an older, more affluent...
July 25 2012
On a Saturday afternoon in June, local rapper Perry Wilkins Jr. stares out across several houses. Dressed in a flannel shirt with rolled-up jeans and boat shoes, he's hanging out on a large wooden balcony...
July 3 2012
On a Saturday afternoon at Ranchos Cocina restaurant in North Park, Jack King, Jamal Smith and Brandon Zamudio bounce off each other electrically. Between the three members of local hip-hop...
May 30 2012
The first installment of Critical Beatdown-a monthly series dedicated to a new class of glitch-laden, avant-garde, instrumental hip-hop and electronic music known simply as "beat" music-took place at Kava...
April 25 2012
Gilbert pokes fun at race issues in a lighthearted way. His stage voice, gravelly but high-pitched, reminds you of Dave Chappelle's outrageous impersonation of Rick James on Chappelle's Show. His name...
March 28 2012
Lately, Black Resume has turned Porter's Pub, a venue on the UCSD campus, into one of the best spots for live hip-hop
March 21 2012
Imagine, then, as many as eight DJs spinning and scratching at the same time. It's not exactly convenient, but that's what happened during The Skratch Lab, a show held at Til-Two Club in City...
March 7 2012
Orko Eloheim is one of San Diego's most influential and prolific hip-hop artists, but he remains an enigma
Feb. 29 2012
Johaz The Alina Marin Theory (self-released) Johaz has been relatively quiet. While fellow Deep Rooted member Mr. Brady has released a bevy of EPs and albums since the group's last album in
Feb. 1 2012
Room E Penguin Child (Brilliant Something) Once you discover that Room E is a skinny Asian dude who produces instrumental hip-hop, you might be tempted to think of that other skinny Asian dude who produces...
Jan. 18 2012
This month, Crowel will drop Welcome to the City, a self-released digital EP that finds him collaborating with a young, untested local producer named AbJo
Dec. 28 2011
We music writers at CityBeat have diverse, sometimes wildly divergent tastes. So, it's hard for us to say what album deserves to be called the best in 2011
Dec. 21 2011
Pedalay The Boss' latest album, Issue #1, sounds so refreshing. Pedalay, a Southeast San Diego rapper, is nerdy enough to spit abstract imagery and title his album like it's a comic-book series
Dec. 20 2011
An Emerald Hills Blood from San Diego, League weaves tales of crime and poverty with sharp insight, vivid detail and empathy for those who've been cast farthest away


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