San Diego

San Diego's Best New Rap Releases

The five best hip-hop tracks released so far this year

We've been experiencing a wave of quality local releases lately, but just in case you've been MIA or out of the loop, here's a brief description of five relatively new regional rap singles that are really worth a listen.

"Hunnits" -- One of hip hop's most consistent themes is getting money. And in his latest video, C-Hecc is doing exactly that. Posted under the night sky counting $100 bundles, this is the first release from his upcoming "Truth Iz" project. It's vintage Southern California street music reworked for the modern era.

"Nasty City" -- There's a reason Kendrick Lamar holds Compton so close and that Jay-Z never lets us forget he's from Brooklyn. Where we come from speaks to who we are, as it's the environment that shaped us. So, it's from that perspective that rapper Saviorself celebrates his hometown. Featuring Stalker Loko and Diamond Ortiz (with production courtesy of XL Middleton), this funk-driven number is a hood tour through the side streets and landmarks of National City.

"OK/KO" -- Good things happen when talented rappers bless soul samples, and "OK/KO" is a perfect example. Published on Oct. 16, 2016, it's an exercise in easy confidence, as Bad Karma floats through chopped vocals and rolls big blunts while making sure his checks are right, looking after his "Robert De Niro."

"Grindin" -- "All I do is grind, all I do is grind, all I do is grind, all I do is grind," is a statement of commitment. Backed by slow moving horns and velvety piano chords, San Diego's Sauvi drops "Grindin," a d-boy anthem built from woozy textures and hustle that's as much a personal mantra as it is the sound of tenacity.

"Like Me" -- Over chimes and rolling snares, TC Doe stands on his own. He's doing his thing and isn't much concerned with people who aren't supportive. Fine by him, as he moves confidently in the direction of his internal ambition. He's a self-made man who doesn't require anyone's approval, reminding any and all detractors, "You ain't gotta like me."

J. Smith, aka 1019, is a San Diego native, rap fan and one half of the rap duo Parker & the Numberman. You can follow him on Instagram at 1019_the_numberman or on Twitter.

Contact Us