The 10 Best Bay Area Hip-Hop Records of 2012

Roach Gigz
Bugged Out

Roachy Balboa stays winning through sheer force of personality. Super likable while kicking his raps, Bugged Out underscores that Roach Gigz is gifted with the skill to deliver off-kilter punchlines with the entertaining ease of a stand-up comedian. This all happens over beats that slap, wobble, and bang with an infectious glee. All hail Balboa! -- Phillip Mlynar

The Coup
Sorry To Bother You

With Boots Riley regularly in the news as an unofficial leader of Oakland's Occupy movement, it's only right that the Afro'd activist's longtime rap-funk outfit returned in 2012 with Sorry To Bother You. Riley's confident rhymes are as fervently, rabidly political as you might expect -- decrying capitalism and calling out phony rebellion at every turn, it seems -- but Sorry To Bother You can still be a lot of fun. Largely eschewing classic hip-hop DJing in favor of a hard-hitting live band, the Coup's beats hit with the heft of classic funk, and even ride stompboxes into hard-rock territory once in a while. So while it may not sound like a traditional rap album, Sorry to Bother You can't be ignored. -- Ian S. Port

[HBK Gang]

A co-sign from E-40 can take you a long way, and after appearing on the rotund elder's hit "Function," Richmond-raised rapper IamSu! found himself tagged as one to watch. Over beats courtesy of The Invasion production unit, Kilt proves that the plaudits are worthy, with Su coming over as a supremely charismatic MC. "Every show I kill/ Fuck a record deal," he exclaimed on "Wake Up 2 Milli," but by the end of next year we suspect he'll be snugly signed up with some canny label. -- Phillip Mlynar

My Voice Nation Help

"throaty vocal cadence". ORLY?


@HOPIEspitshard glad someone else said it.


@DaVinci415 Congrats my nigg

Now Trending

Around The Web

From the Vault



San Francisco Event Tickets
©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.