Om San Quinn
The Bay Area rap scene is among the most compartmentalized scenes in the nation. There are hundreds if not thousands of young producers, rappers and promoters who manage to make a decent living in the hip-hop game without ever having to leave the area. In this vast and thriving underground scene, San Quinn is a legend. He started out in the early '90s with fellow SF emcee JT the Bigga Figga and continued making moves throughout the decade, first as a young rapper on the Priority label and then independently under his Deal Down label. Over those years in the game, Quinn has had his hand in nearly every major hip-hop movement to come out of the Bay. His terse flow and gruff voice are instantly recognizable, and his finely detailed vignettes of life in San Francisco's Fillmore district are among the most compelling narrative raps to emerge from the West Coast. His most recent album, From a Boy to a Man, continues in this fine tradition.