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San Diego Hip-Hop — Very Verité

619 hip-hop kingpin Mitchy Slick did not win “Best of” in his category at last month’s San Diego Music Awards, despite a spirited write-in campaign launched by SDRaps.com. But at least considerable debate was generated concerning Slick’s absence from the ballot. Also, his fine 2010 gangsta rap collection — Mitchy Slick Presents Tha Wrongkind: Yellow Tape, glaringly omitted from the SDMA “Best Hip-Hop Album” nominees — has gotten belated recognition. San Diego CityBeat music editor Peter Hoslin astutely noted that it’s a “record that talks about gang life with as much honesty, brutality, and inscrutable slang as an episode of The Wire.”

However, an easy call as the most fascinating, scarifying, informative, colorful, and somewhat hilarious SD hip-hop–related document of the past year (and which can indeed recall the surveillin’ cops ’n’ dealin’ gangstas aesthetic of top-shelf HBO series The Wire) has apparently gotten no SD press or local mention outside of SD hip-hop’s inner circles: the SD-set, substantially 619 hip-hop soundtracked the “Vendetta of Blood” episode of History Channel’s Gangland television series, which has aired repeatedly since its mid-May debut. Complete with slightly overdramatic narration and given to mid-sentence punctuation by gunfire (pause: bang-bang-bang), it explores the long history and brazen activities of Southeast San Diego’s Lincoln Park Bloods. And its recurring focus is Mitchy Slick, as a veteran gang member and established music artist.

Slick, often serving as an articulate guide throughout the episode (even contributing music to the soundtrack), was incensed with the sensationalistic show that finally aired. He disowned his participation within hours of its premiere, tweeting, “IM SORRY TO ALL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY FOR ALLOWING THESE PEOPLE TO TRICK ME.... IT WAS SUPPOSED TO B ABOUT CHANGIN FROM GANG S--T TO MAKIN REAL BUISINESS MOVES!... THEY SAID IT WAS GONE B ABOUT RAP AND GANGLIFE...NOT ALL THIS S--T ABOUT KILLIN POLICE!”

This controversy and more that the show relates are way too involved to fully note here — but some edifying, can’t-wait info-nuggets presented on the show are not. Gangsta argot for San Diego itself is the coolest SD nickname you’ve probably never heard: “The Salty D.” The Lincoln Park Bloods are famously dangerous but also have a rep “for throwing SD’s best parties”; disguised senior LPB member “Big Red” discusses “renting out beaches, having skis and boats, and having pretty feet parties: you got the prettiest feet, you might get a hundred bucks, babe. And that’s how we get down.” And SD police are LPB hip-hop enthusiasts, scrutinizing locally consigned mix CDs that have gang members rapping, sometimes incriminating themselves about specific crimes or conveniently matching previously unknown criminal voices caught on police wiretaps. Very verité.

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619 hip-hop kingpin Mitchy Slick did not win “Best of” in his category at last month’s San Diego Music Awards, despite a spirited write-in campaign launched by SDRaps.com. But at least considerable debate was generated concerning Slick’s absence from the ballot. Also, his fine 2010 gangsta rap collection — Mitchy Slick Presents Tha Wrongkind: Yellow Tape, glaringly omitted from the SDMA “Best Hip-Hop Album” nominees — has gotten belated recognition. San Diego CityBeat music editor Peter Hoslin astutely noted that it’s a “record that talks about gang life with as much honesty, brutality, and inscrutable slang as an episode of The Wire.”

However, an easy call as the most fascinating, scarifying, informative, colorful, and somewhat hilarious SD hip-hop–related document of the past year (and which can indeed recall the surveillin’ cops ’n’ dealin’ gangstas aesthetic of top-shelf HBO series The Wire) has apparently gotten no SD press or local mention outside of SD hip-hop’s inner circles: the SD-set, substantially 619 hip-hop soundtracked the “Vendetta of Blood” episode of History Channel’s Gangland television series, which has aired repeatedly since its mid-May debut. Complete with slightly overdramatic narration and given to mid-sentence punctuation by gunfire (pause: bang-bang-bang), it explores the long history and brazen activities of Southeast San Diego’s Lincoln Park Bloods. And its recurring focus is Mitchy Slick, as a veteran gang member and established music artist.

Slick, often serving as an articulate guide throughout the episode (even contributing music to the soundtrack), was incensed with the sensationalistic show that finally aired. He disowned his participation within hours of its premiere, tweeting, “IM SORRY TO ALL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY FOR ALLOWING THESE PEOPLE TO TRICK ME.... IT WAS SUPPOSED TO B ABOUT CHANGIN FROM GANG S--T TO MAKIN REAL BUISINESS MOVES!... THEY SAID IT WAS GONE B ABOUT RAP AND GANGLIFE...NOT ALL THIS S--T ABOUT KILLIN POLICE!”

This controversy and more that the show relates are way too involved to fully note here — but some edifying, can’t-wait info-nuggets presented on the show are not. Gangsta argot for San Diego itself is the coolest SD nickname you’ve probably never heard: “The Salty D.” The Lincoln Park Bloods are famously dangerous but also have a rep “for throwing SD’s best parties”; disguised senior LPB member “Big Red” discusses “renting out beaches, having skis and boats, and having pretty feet parties: you got the prettiest feet, you might get a hundred bucks, babe. And that’s how we get down.” And SD police are LPB hip-hop enthusiasts, scrutinizing locally consigned mix CDs that have gang members rapping, sometimes incriminating themselves about specific crimes or conveniently matching previously unknown criminal voices caught on police wiretaps. Very verité.

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