I’m embarrassed, but not too afraid, to admit that I had little knowledge of The Jacka before his untimely passing last month. Before February 2 he was just a name that I vaguely recalled being featured on a smattering of E-40 songs, but in the wave of tributes and conversation about Jacka’s contribution to Bay Area rap and music in general, I’ve had the opportunity to explore his catalog more deeply and begin to gain a true appreciation for his unique style and powerful messages. It feels in poor taste to pay tribute to someone that you didn’t have a proper appreciation for while they were alive, so I won’t be that presumptuous here. I’ll leave that to those more qualified. I feel the best tribute to Jacka I can make is to be more thorough in educating myself about the lesser known artists I’m exposed to so I don’t make the same mistake I did with his music. What better way to start than another name that I only vaguely recall from a smattering of E-40 songs?
Joe Blow – Million Dollar Dream (feat. Mistah F.A.B.)
I remembered Joe Blow from this mini Jacka tribute on Tumblin’ Erb, and Mistah F.A.B. was a name that I’d seen inside the parentheses of tracks like “In This Thang Breh” for the past few years, and I also remembered Jacka mentioning him in this interview as an example of the diversity of Bay Area rappers, so I made the extra effort of deliberately listening to this song I normally might have let slip past my attention. My efforts were rewarded before I heard a syllable from either rapper.
Lil’ B – Silent President
Speaking of the diversity of Bay Area rappers. If I spent the time to track down every sample in a Lil’ B song I liked, I wouldn’t have time to listen to Lil’ B anymore, so they usually remain obscure to me until moments like these when I’m given the occasion to chase down a particular one. I’m so glad I did.
The Whispers – In the Mood
14KT – Step N2 the Shower