In 2018, the Oakland Symphony’s “Rooted in Oakland” series brought an orchestral ensemble to the Paramount Theatre. But instead of the 50-piece band playing the usual Mozart or Bach, they summoned the mobbish energy of Too $hort, the Luniz and Dru Down. The mastermind behind that string-heavy tour de hyphy? Oakland’s own, Kev Choice.
Choice isn’t just a prolific, classically trained composer and arranger who has worked with the Oakland and San Francisco symphonies, though; he also raps, produces, sings and is an especially fire pianist. His wide-ranging list of collaborators includes NBA superstar Damian Lillard and local rap savant Rexx Life Raj.