KQED’s ‘That’s My Word’ Spotlights Overlooked Bay Area Hip-Hop History

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A rapper holding his hand to his ear, on stage, wearing a Kangol hat and a red shirt
Bay Area rapper Del the Funkee Homosapien on stage in 2008. (Jay West/WireImage)

The Bay Area’s outsized contribution to hip-hop has often been overlooked. But this week KQED launched a yearlong project called That’s My Word, an exploration into the history and influence of Bay Area hip-hop. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the genre that started in New York and moved west. The Bay has played a crucial role as a haven for artists including Mac Dre, Keak Da Sneak, Kamaiyah, Digital Underground, MC Hammer, Too Short and E-40 among many others. We’ll listen to some notable tracks and talk with the project creators about how the Bay Area’s music, vibe and culture gave rise to a distinct blend of hip-hop.


Nastia Voynovskaya, associate editor, KQED Arts

Pendarvis Harshaw, columnist, KQED Arts; host, KQED's "Rightnowish" podcast

Gabe Meline, senior editor, KQED Arts & Culture

Eric Arnold, veteran hip-hop journalist; contributor editor for KQED’s That’s My Word series