There's no shortage of talent in the Bay Area. Within our community, some unique & successful artists have emerged setting new trends and pushing the boundaries of how music is shared today. During the pandemic, these Bay Area artists did not sleep, pushing out album after album following their debuts. They worked towards staying relevant in the industry and pursuing ventures outside of music to build their brand. Check out these Bay Area artists who followed their dreams and are making headlines.
KAMAIYAH - Oakland
Birthday: March 13 1992 (30) First Release: A Good night in the Ghetto (2016) Latest Release: Divine Timing EP (2022)
Monthly Spotify Listeners: 857K
Kamaiyah has been making music since she was 15. She made her debut in 2016 with her album A Good Night in the Ghetto produced right here in Oakland at Nexus Audio! To critical acclaim, she made it to the 21st spot of the 50 Best Albums of 2016 by Complex and placed 17th on Rolling Stone “Best 40 Rap Albums 2016.” Her first album topped artists already in the game like Mac Miller, 2Chainz, Lil yachty, Rae Sremmurd, and Frank Ocean. She featured on YG’s song with Drake and even opened for him on his F*ck Donald Trump Tour. The Queen of Oakland scored a record deal with Interscope Records later in 2016. XXL magazine placed Kamaiyah in the “2017 Freshman Class.” She launched her own label GRNDWRK in 2020 and has since then released 2 albums independently.
LARRY JUNE - San Francisco
Birthday: April 8 1991 (31)
First Release: Cali Grown (2010) Latest Release: 2 P’z in a Pod (2022)
Monthly Spotify Listeners: 1.6M
Larry June had been steadily releasing music since the 2010’s. His career kicked off in 2014 with a feature in Complex for his album Route 80. All the exposure landed him a record deal with Warner Bros. He toured with artists including Cousin Stizz, Berner, Curren$y, Asher Roth. He was the show opener for Post Malone and Smokepurpp. After being released from his contract he became an independent artist, releasing his own music through DistroKid. Larry June released mixtape after mixtape each year with no sign of stopping creating more than 30 projects. In 2019 & 2020, he dropped 6 studio albums & numerous collabs. By 2021, he struck a distribution deal with Empire Records and has been releasing music under this label.
ALLBLACK - Oakland
Birthday: March 21 1992 (30)
First Release: No Shame (2015) Latest Release: Couldn’t Be Me (2022)
Monthly Spotify Listeners: 670K
ALLBLACK started in the industry as a hypeman for his friend Kossisoko. After messing around in the studio in 2015, his closest friends leaked his song to SoundCloud. The attention it received catapulted him into the music industry. He gained momentum by collaborating with producers such as P-Lo and Iamsu!. He steadily released quality EPs year after year and then was featured on G-Eazy’s songs West Coast and Got a Check in 2019. He released No Shame 3 in 2020 which includes collaborations with Too Short, DaBoii, and Guapdad 4000. In 2021, he was featured in Rolling Stone magazine and appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live. His latest album TY4FWM features everyone from Vince Staples and Drakeo the Ruler to Mozzy, G-Eazy, and E-40.
THUY - Oakland
Birthday: - (30)
First Release: Ain’t No One (2015) Latest Release: i hope u see this (deluxe) (2022)
Monthly Spotify Listeners: 2.1M
As a former doctor, Thuy’s success came from winning KMEL 106.1’s Home Turf contest for her single “Hands on Me” in 2017. She released single after single in 2017 gaining more than 20 million Spotify listens. In 2021, she was featured in PAPER magazine. Thuy just dropped her latest album i hope u see this (deluxe) this year with features from P-Lo, Christian Kuria, DCMBR, and Destiny Rogers. She finished her i hope u see this tour this May with shows in Canada and the United States. Thuy will be performing on the last day of the Day N Vegas festival this September 2nd-4th 2022 alongside openers including SZA, J.cole, & Travis Scott.
LARUSSELL - Vallejo
Birthday: October 6 1994 (28) First Release: Shhhlide (2017) Latest Release: Justin Credible Presents: LaRussell (2022) Monthly Spotify Listeners: 171K
LaRussell is a fully independent artist who created his own non-profit artist resource collective, Compenny in 2017. This company uses an innovative approach to receiving funds. Proud 2 Pay service allows fans to pay for events, albums, or merch at whatever price they think Compenny deserves. In 2021, he aired on the Breakfast Club and featured alongside E-40 on the P-Lo song Again. La Russell is set to perform at the Day N Vegas festival this September 2nd-4th alongside openers including SZA, J.cole, & Travis Scott.
DABOII - Vallejo
Birthday: August 14 1997 (24)
First Release: Young Wild N***a (2017)
Latest Release: F.W.I (2022)
Monthly Spotify Listeners: 380K
In 2016, DaBoii founded SOB x RBE alongside other Bay area rappers. He released his first solo mixtape Y.W.N one year later with features from Young Pinch and OMB Peezy. DaBoii continued to release music with SOB x RBE but has never failed to release a solo album since 2017. He collaborated with artists such as LaRussell, Shooter Gang Kony, Mike Sherm, and Derek King. XXL featured DaBoii in their "Best Rap Songs of the Week" following the release of his album Y.W.N. He featured on Kamaiyah’s latest album Divine Timing on F.W.I released earlier this year.
P-LO - San Francisco
Birthday: May 7 1991 (31) First Release: Go to Work (2014) Latest Release: Good (2022) Monthly Spotify Listeners: 670K
P-Lo has been making beats since high school, he pursued his music career and co-founded HBK Gang a locally renowned hip-hop collective with his brother & other Bay Area natives in 2008. He was a producer before a rapper, creating beats for his HBK members gaining widespread popularity & attention. In 2013, he produced beats for Yo Gotti’s hit Act Right. He continued to collaborate with major players including Wiz Khalifa & Flo Rida. In 2017, he released his album More Than Anything with features from G-Eazy, Kool John & E-40. P-Lo released an album year after year, his 2018 song same squad has over 22 million Spotify listens. He is currently signed to Empire Records.
BERNER - San Francisco
Birthday: January 1 1981 (41)
First Release: Dirty Money 2 (2006)
Latest Release: Cookies Forever (2022) Monthly Spotify Listeners: 2.4M
Berner started rapping in his high school hallways, releasing his first mixtape in 2006. He pursued his career by forming his own label in 2007 called Bern One Entertainment. He has released at least one solo album each year since 2011. After meeting Wiz Khalifa through Mistah FAB at a show in the Bay Area, he was signed Taylor Gang Records in 2012. In 2013, Berner joined Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Rocky, Trinidad Jame$, and Joey Bada$$ on the “Under the Influence of Music Tour.” He’s collaborated with everyone from Snoop Dogg, Juicy J, Chris Brown, Wiz Khalifa, Cam’ron and Jacka. While continuously releasing music charting the BillBoards, Berner co-owns a cannabis empire, Cookies, worth over half a billion dollars.
KEHLANI - Oakland
Birthday: April 24 1995 (27)
First Release: Cloud 19 (2014)
Latest Release: blue water road (2022)
Monthly Spotify Listeners: 14.6M
As a teenager, Kehlani joined the group Poplyfe as a vocalist. In 2011, Poplyfe placed 4th on America's Got Talent. After parting ways with the group, and gaining support from one of the show's judges, Nick Cannon, they released their debut mixtape Cloud 19 in 2014. They landed on Complex's 50 Best Albums of 2014 at #28. After they released their 2nd mixtape You Should be Here a year later, their career took off signing to Atlantic Records. In 2016, they were nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Urban Contemporary Album, and made the soundtrack for the movie Suicide Squad. They have collaborated with everyone from Eminem, Chance the Rapper, Cardi B, Ty the Dolla $ign , and the list goes on. Kehlani is currently on tour across the globe hitting 14 countries from North America and Europe to Australia.
E-40 TOO $HORT MC HAMMER MAC DRE
As LaRussell said, “When they talk about the greats they gotta mention the Bay.”