Oakland has cemented its impact on hip-hop through legendary acts like Too $hort, E-40 Mistah F.A.B., Mac Dre, Keak Da Sneak, and 2Pac.
It’s not uncommon to find murals of Bay Area’s hip-hop legends throughout the streets of Oakland–the walls of parking lots and highway underpasses are all canvases decorated with icons. Recognizing the cultural innovations that have sprung from its own backyard, Oakland’s Museum of California has created an exhibition celebrating the city’s stories of yesterday and today. Running through August 12, RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom explores hip-hop’s evolving traditions and its influences on youth, activism, and self-expression.
Lake Merritt, the manmade body of water in the heart of the city, has its own history with hip-hop. Too $hort’s eighth studio album, Get In Where You Fit In, features it as the backdrop of the album cover. Now, Lake Merritt is home to Eastlake Music Festival, an annual festival promoting Oakland’s music, art, and dance.