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“On the Loose” by hip-hop duo Clay Pigeons (featuring guest performer Main Flow) was the most-downloaded local MP3 from SDReader.com during December 2009. Songwriter Jimmy Powers provided some background.

If you could sum up the message of the song with just one line, which lyric would that be?

“Dudes are coming off too easy, like the coating on an Oxycontin,” which can be loosely translated as “Step your game up.”

The way he leans into the leafy green stuff, why haven’t more rappers called out Popeye the way you do?

Ha-ha, “I pop eyes with my fist, I don’t need no spinach.” Just a boastful line from my younger days.

What’s wrong with minivans with spoked wheels?

They’re hideous, that’s all.

Does being from Boston still inform and influence your music?

I would say that I still bleed Boston. I’m trying to get away from it from a lyrical perspective, but it is deeply embedded. It heavily influences me, as far as my delivery and slang are concerned.

So, has San Diego welcomed and influenced you?

I do feel like an outsider sometimes because the culture is so different. Socially, both cities could literally be classified as different countries. I got a lot of flak over the San Diego Music Award nomination because people felt threatened that an outsider could come in and gain recognition so quickly. But, on the other hand, it connects me with a lot of people because there are a lot of other transplants in San Diego.

Where will the local hip-hop hot spots be in 2010?

Off the top, I can say Kava Lounge, Riley’s Music Lounge, Red C Lounge, and U-31 have all been great to local hip-hop over the past year. I also think that JustRich Entertainment will get Thirsty Thursday going again at the Satin Lounge, an 18+ venue, which San Diego needs more of. You have standout promoters like House of Rep and Cros 1, but there are also a lot of people doing their own things on a low-key level. The local scene has a very entrepreneurial spirit.

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