Genra Raps a Tribute to Hieroglyphics' Lyrical Legacy with 'Del Funk'

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Genra. (Photo: Andrew Avedian, illustration: Kelly Heigert)

Welcome to Pass the Aux, where KQED Arts & Culture brings you our favorite new tracks by Bay Area artists. Check out past entries and submit a song for future coverage here.

Last month, Oakland’s Genra dropped the uptempo lyrical track “Del Funk,” a song that pays homage to legendary Oakland MC Del The Funky Homosapien.

“You from Oakland, California, why you rap like that? / I came up on Hieroglyphics, I can snap like that,” raps Genra in the opening bars of the drum-heavy track, produced by BMTJ. Later in the song, in the midst of his lyrical tirade, Genra says, “I put the slaps with the boom-bap.” A bar that caught me, because “boom-bap rap” from the Bay Area often takes a backseat to other forms of rap music in the region, like mobb music and hyphy.

But “backpack rap,” as it’s sometimes called, has long been a part of the ethos in Northern California. Genra salutes the artists who helped put that style of heavy word-smithing and simple, drum-and-kick beats on the map. This week, not only do we honor the legacy of boom-bap rap in this region, but also spotlight an artist who is showcasing its latest iteration.