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Stories by Quan Vu

Arms & Hammers by Strong Arm Steady

After toiling for roughly a decade in the West Coast underground, Strong Arm Steady finally releases what they're billing as their debut full-length. San Diego fans should be happy: SD-bred Mitchy Slick is back after ...

Yelawolf Drops on Epicentre

Going to watch Yelawolf in Mira Mesa was like being let in on a secret. Even through several underwhelming openers (except for locals Black Resume, whose lively set seemed to gain a few new fans ...

Critical Beatdown at Kava Lounge

Walking into Kava Lounge for Critical Beatdown, a new monthly series devoted to the burgeoning beat scene, you immediately notice two things out of place. First, it's packed, which doesn't happen in San Diego for ...

A Man's Heart, by Treali Duce

I frequently hear the claim that gangsta rap all sounds the same. And on the surface, that's true. Most gangsta rap deals with the same themes of violence and crime. But good gangsta rap goes ...

Blame One's Endurance

If you've ever read Wooden on Leadership, a motivational book by UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, you'll remember that one of his keys to success was never playing to win. Rather, he trained with the ...

Portugalia in O.B. Hosts Hip-Hop Family Reunion

Peering at the audience on the small dance floor of Portagalia in Ocean Beach, you realize that We Are Hip Hop II is less a concert than a family reunion. It starts onstage. Between Trust ...

Saviorself's Self-Employed Mixtape

It was inevitable that Saviorself, half of National City hip-hop duo Old English, would branch out and release a solo project. In previous Old English music, he clearly comes across as the lead. Self-Employed Mixtape ...

The Awakening

The Awakening EP, the newest release from Anti Citizens, comes with all the underground hip-hop bells and whistles that you could ask for from the duo. Grandiose dystopian beats ("Blackout," "2012 Armageddon"), impressive double-time lyrical ...

Califoreigner

Boston transplant Jimmy Powers's debut is a workman's album, workman rap from a musician who has a day job. That perspective lends Powers’s music honesty, humility. This is apparent in personal songs such "Janice Marie," ...

The Seed

There couldn't be a better title for this project than The Seed. If The Seed is about anything, it's about roots. On the EP, rappers Kahlee and Uptown Swuite and producer Adikt 1 come to ...