When it comes to music, Northern California is widely known for the hyphy movement that dominated the early to mid-2000s. However, hyphy isn’t the only underground movement that artists from the region are messing with. Northern California’s post-hyphy generation has been making genre-bending music, including multi-instrumentalist Bobbing’s refreshing alt-pop and boy band AG Club ‘s blend of pop-rap that is way too catchy. From Sacramento to Oakland to Modesto, check out these 10 up and coming artists from Northern California.
San Francisco native, Stunnaman02 is on track to be a fan favorite. On “SloMo,” Stunnaman02 talks about making money, rapping, “Ciabatta, dutch, pita, pumpernickel, all about my bread even if it’s just a nickel.” His clever wordplay and metaphors are what makes this song such a hit.
Gritty Lex raps about dealing with fake love on this track. This song is from her second mixtape “Resurrection” and is produced by Valstand. You may know Gritty Lex as a standout feature on ShooterGang Kony’s “Ginobili” album which was released in 2018, where she delivered a fierce verse rivaling Kony himself.
Rapper/Producer Ovrkast was recently featured in “This Week’s Rotation” for his project “Try Again.” The multi-faceted artist is mostly known for his collaborations with Earl Sweatshirt and MAVI. His mostly self-produced debut project is jam-packed with poetic lyrics and features from the likes of lo-fi heavyweights MAVI, Pink Siifu, Navy Blue and more.
Berkeley musician Bobbing is a former member of the band, Feed Me Jack. According to their Spotify page, the group was founded in 2011 but disbanded 5 years later in 2016. Bobbing went on a three-year hiatus before releasing his solo project “Thank You For Singing To Me.” The six-song EP is a sonic masterpiece that allows you to take a journey through Bobbing’s mind.
If you like BROCKHAMPTON, you’ll love AG Club, a boy band from Brentwood, CA. Their music is relatable, catchy and fun. On this track they sing and rap about a girl playing with their emotions, which is a struggle that many people go through. AG Club recently dropped their debut album, “Halfway Off The Porch,” a nine-track project that sort of serves as a sample platter of what they can offer, allowing them to explore themselves within a wide range of production and songwriting.
On this hit, East Oakland rapper Baby J gives a tutorial on how to bip. “Bippin” is the act of breaking into a car by smashing a window and grabbing whatever is available in the car. If you’re a fan of other tutorial-based raps or scamming personas like Guapdad 4000 or Teejayx6, you’ll love this Baby J record.
Kai Bandz hails from Fairfield, CA. The catchy hook and bass-boosted track make this song a certified slapper. The rapper uses a minimal beat for hard-hitting raps, which ultimately fuels Kai Bandz’s persona. If you’re in the mood to listen to getting-money music, look no further than Kai Bandz’s EP “Extortion, Vol.1.”
On this upbeat, high-energy song, the Modesto native raps about getting rich at only 17. This is the type of song you play when you’re in a good mood and feel like dancing. Pick-me-up music at its best.
Aflacko is never shy, he constantly reps his East Oakland roots and how it shaped him. In this song, he raps “raised in the east so it’s stuck in me.” This track comes from his highly-anticipated EP, “When I Was Gone.” This is his first official release of music in a long time because his other work kept getting leaked on SoundCloud.
Tess So Original sings about her struggles in a relationship on the track “Toxic.” She expresses her frustrations, feeling like her lover doesn’t consider her emotions and acts without thinking. In 2018, the San Jose native released her debut ep “Don’t Need ‘Em” and was also featured on Lil Pete’s album “4EverFocused.”