‘That’s My Word’ Documents Bay Area’s Hip-Hop History & Influence

That’s My Word, an evolving, year-long editorial documenting and exploring the Bay Area’s history and influence with hip-hop during hip-hop’s 50th anniversary year, is being spearheaded by members of KQED’s Arts & Culture editorial team.

While northern California’s rich and illustrious history in hip-hop is often an underappreciated legacy, the vast contributions from artists and producers like MC Hammer, Too Short, 2Pac, Mac Dre, Keak Da Sneak, Ant Banks, Spice 1, Digital Underground, E-A-Ski, E-40, Mac Mall, ProHoeZak (Cap’n Crunch of Rated X), The Coup, and numerous others cannot be denied.

In the Timeline section, events such as John Murphy inventing the “Robot Dance” in 1964, 2Pac arriving in the bay area in 1988, East Palo Alto breaking on the scene with Cap’N Crunch (now known as ProHoeZak), Cool Breeze, and DJ Ajax of Rated X dropping the And Then Came Rated X album in 1990, Master P opening No Limit Records in Richmond California in 1991, Too Short taking the hyphy movement to the mainstream with the Lil’ Jon-produced “Blow The Whistle”, and so many other historical events shaping and influencing not just the bay area’s hip-hop legacy, but all of hip-hop.

“Celebrating 50 years of hip-hop with KQED and That’s My Word! The legacy. The slang. The things we done brought to the game. Shout out to KQED and the Bay Area — that’s my word.” — Keak Da Sneak

According to the KQED site, this vast multimedia project plans to feature articles, profiles, and interviews with iconic and up-and-coming Bay Area artists, playlists, an interactive historical timeline, videos, a podcast series, education curricula, and a series of live events.

In their introductory statement, KQED Arts & Culture Editors Gabe Meline, Pendarvis Harshaw, Eric Arnold, and Nastia Voynovskaya say, “Our hip-hop is multicultural, flamboyant, political, diverse, and high energy. It’s staunchly independent and doesn’t ask for approval. It’s the product of pimps and hustlers just as much as activists and intellectuals. In the Bay — rewind that Mac Dre song — we dance a little different.”

To follow this project, tap in now at bayareahiphop.com.