1) RBL Posse - Ruthless By Law
2) Spice 1 - Amerikkka's Nightmare
3) Lil Ri - Deep N Tha Game
4) West Coast Bad Boyz - High Fo' Xmas
5) Dru Down - Explicit Game
6) Goldy - In The Land of Funk
7) D-Moe - Do You Feel Me
8) Young Rich The Factor - Gettin' A Grip
9) V/A - West Coast Bad Boyz
10) Young Joker - Who's Laughin At Cha
11) C-Bo - Gas Chamber
12) A.M.W. - The Real Mobb
13) Rappin 4-Tay - Don't Fight The Feeling
14) Paris - Guerilla Funk
15) Fly Mar - Ya Betta Ask Somebody
16) Ray Luv - Last Nite
17) Rondo & Crazy Rak - The Abused
18) Roots From The Underground
19) GLP - Straight Out The Labb
20) Hugh EMC - The M.O.B.
This week's Amoeblog Bay Area rap flashback takes us back in time by fourteen years to the latter part of 1994, an exciting time in NorCal hip-hop. Tha Big Top 20 Bay Area chart above comes courtesy of Ms. Jo's Neighborhood, which was a simple but informative four page black and white rap zine published by Jo Treggairio who, along with her business partner Chris Graham, had just set up their own label, DogDay Records. The pair, who had up til just before this time both worked at Music People/In-A-Minute Records (the Oakland based one-stop/record label), were just about to unveil their new record label's debut release Fiendin 4 The Funk by San Francisco rap trio 11/5. With the exception of number 8 on the Top 20, Kansas rapper Young Rich The Factor (later known as simply Rich The Factor), who had Bay connections, the Top 20 chart is exclusively Bay Area hip-hop and includes all formats: CDs, cassettes, vinyl, EPs, singles, and full-lengths.
The end of 1994 was a healthy time in Bay rap, with countless small independent businesses based on the local rap trade popping up. It was a time when the Berkeley based 4080 rap magazine was going strong and reporting on most of what was bubbling locally hip-hop wise. It was when Master P was still based in Richmond CA (he would later move back down to New Orleans, where his career would really take off) and had experienced his biggest success to date with his first all star compilation West Coast Bad Boyz and as a follow had just released the holiday themed EP High Fo' Xmas under the interchangeable artist name West Coast Bad Boyz. Master P, who was always more of a marketing genius above all else, had already shrewdly begun promoting his still to come 1995/96 releases 99 Ways 2 Die and The Ice Cream Man.
JT the Bigga Figga's extended rap family GLP (Get Low Playaz), back then featuring San Quinn and D-Moe (# 19), were just one of the numerous acts representing the Fillmore district of San Francisco at that time. Others included Rappin' 4-Tay and Dre Dog. Dre Dog, later to change his name to Andre Nickatina, who had wrapped up production on his 1995 sophomore album I Hate You WIth A Passion, had just published the first ever Bay Area Rap Calendar which featured photos by Tony Smith of such Bay rappers as RBL Posse, Rappin 4-Tay, Cougnut (IMP), Totally Insane, and Master P.
Late 1994 was a time long before music file downloading or even CD bootlegging was a major threat to the music business. Sales figures of independent Bay Area rap releases in '94 matched many national major label sales figures today, so most independent artists (or their labels) were making good money back then and helped fuel a whole rap related economy. Furthermore, 1994 in Bay Area rap was an era when the genre was increasing in popularity nationally and when no one knew how far it would go or in what direction the music would evolve and mutate.