Graduation Date


Document Type

Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Department or Program Chair

Jordan Lieser, PhD

First Reader

Jordan Lieser, PhD


At the present, there is minimal scholarly research on the origin story of Bay Area hip-hop to compliment the various articles and books authored by hip-hop experts and artists. The consensus that emerges from the existing secondary literature is that hip-hop originated on the East Coast and later emerged on the West Coast with its own unique style. These accounts, while well documented, only include a few mainstream figures and styles related to the Los Angeles hip-hop scene. Looking past mainstream hip-hop, this study pieces together the origins of Bay Area hip-hop through both mainstream and underground key figures of the West Coast such as E-40, Too $hort, and Keak Da Sneak, and how it shaped present day Bay Area hip-hop culture. The study will incorporate previously unused primary sources such as local magazines and interviews of Bay Area hip-hop DJs to create a more comprehensive understanding of Bay Area hip-hop’s creation and development.