Bay Area Music: Where Are You?

Something peculiar has struck me since moving to the Bay Area. It seems that the music taste in this part of America is way more polarized than any other regions like Atlanta or Seattle. Almost no educated or grown up people I met listen to hip-hop, and there's actually alot of antipathy towards the genre.

I'm not an expert on the Bay by any means, so I don't know why things are so polarized here. In Seattle it was very common to hear people say "everything" when you asked them what sort of music they listened to. Friends of mine in Advanced Placement courses and who were at top tier schools would be enthusiastic about underground hip-hop artists like Atmosphere or Seattle's own Blue Scholars.

I think it might be a mix of two factors: hip-hop has at least been percieved to be on the decline (though many artists are putting out good work) and the Bay Area has some really bad hip-hop. Seriously. E-40? Too Short? Alot of the "hyphy" stuff around here fits the worst stereotypes of rap: ignorant, stupid, degrading, lacking in skill or originality and extremely repetitive. Sure, there are some original groups like Zion I and Unified School District, but they're not being played on 104.9. Whereas Seattle has Blue Scholars and Atlanta has Outkast, the Bay doesn't really have much hip-hop to be proud of.

It'd be nice to see the Bay Area put out some good music. The Bay Area is where Sly and the Family Stone was given birth. The region needs to step up.