Rap Atlas: Oakland | advanced

“Rap story” is a fun concept. Culture has always had a complex relationship with its past, sometimes dismissive, sometimes awesome. “Rap History” are both the last three tweets on Tyler the Creator’s timeline, as well as the recreation centers, dingy basement studios, and sports stadiums that held the key moments in music’s past. In a new series called Rap AtlasComplex will take a look at these places, from the places that have become cultural signifiers themselves (think Sedgwick & Cedar) to the unfamiliar corners where the people who have become cultural signifiers met and worked .

For our first rap atlas we go to Oakland, the city across the bay from the city by the bay and a real rap capital in itself, next to the BX, the QB, the BK and the South Central (if you don’t know any of them, ask someone ). Last month we introduced the 50 Greatest Bay Area Rap Songs. This time we’re taking a tour of the places where many of these songs were conceived, recorded, and rushed (and the citizens of Vallejo, Richmond, Marin City, and even) San Francisco, please note this is only Oakland but us have plans to visit your cities soon. Our tour guide is Eric K. Arnold, a bay lifer who was the editor-in-chief of pioneering rap magazine 4080 from the ’90s and has contributed to pretty much every hip hop release worth its money. For our first stop, we’ll take a ride on the 880 (or the Fremont BART line if you’re feeling green) …

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