Yesterday I had a lovely phone interview with the guys of the highly hyped hyphy group, The Federation.
First a briefing…For those who don’t know the deal with hyphy then shame on you. In late 1990’s a small subculture emerged in San Francisco due to a local music drought and massive influx of commercial hip hop being produced nationally. The Federation, E-40 and Keak Da Sneak, rapper and connoisseur of Bay Area slang, are considered the founders of the hyphy movement. These Bay Area aka “Yay Area” fast tempo beats are the west coast’s crunk. Now in 2006 hyphy music is taking the dance floors by storm with tracks like I Wear My Stunna Shades and 18 Dummy. With an entire philosophy behind it, hyphy is not just music but a dance, a language and way of life for The Federation and fellow hyphy enthusiasts. As the guys would say, “it’s about letting lose, being yourself.”
As a reflection his of hyper demeanor, Keak Da Sneak coined the term “hyphy” at a young age. The Federation has pioneered the movement and accept their props as the founders of hyphy, “if that’s what people say, it must be true.”
Even though it was a lot less formal than an actual interview and more like a three way call with the thizzed out Dali Lamas of hip hop, here is a loose transcript of my interview with The Federation:
Q:With hyphy’s growing popularity, how do you feel about having artist from other regions producing hyphy music? Do you think should it should remain in its birth place, the Bay Area?
A: I don’t care as along as they pay homage. People should be giving the Bay Area props. If you don’t give the props don’t try and come play here….
Q: Hyphy music’s tempo is a lot faster than most of the rap and crunk being played right now…what is it about the Bay Area that makes people like their music fast?
A: Well it’s just different, we are different. It’s about the energy about letting loose. Hyphy is the black rock ‘n’ roll.
Q:The hyphy slang has helped to catapult the music into a nationwide talked about genre…are their any new hyphy slang words you all can turn me on to?
A: There are a lot of new words we can’t tell you, they are secret. We can tell you a few like “F150” and “Bezzie”
Q: Hahaha ok what do those mean?
A: An “F-150” that’s a fat girl with a pretty face and “Bezzie” is a girl that’s a bitch. But it could good or bad if you call a girl a “Bezzie” like “Yo I want to get with that Bezzie” or “She's a straight Bezzie.”
Q: Of course I am going to ask about fashion….what’s the hip hop fashion like in the Bay Area? Is it different from the east coast?
A: Yeah it’s different because we are different…we are individuals. We ain’t no average nigga.
Q: What kind of gear do you rock?
A: We like the colors, all the clear sneakers because we can wear colored socks to match our outfits. Bapes and Ice Creams, no white tees or plan shit like that. Of course we wear Dickie’s and Dickie shorts they’re good and come in navy, black any color.
Q: I know you guys are about the Stunna Shades, which brand of glasses do you all wear?
A: Oh we make our own. We have our own website were we sell stunnashadez with a “Z.” Got to www.stunnashadez.net or call 1-877-stunnaz and an operator will be with you shortly.
Q: So what’s the word on future tours or special projects for The Federation?
A: Well we are going to be performing in Mexico on Rosarito Beach on September 3rd. We also have a show in San Diego. Since Paris Hilton just signed to Warner Brothers we are having an official “Stunnaz in the Air” party with Paris Hilton on a private jet. We are going to be partying in the air for two days straight and only stopping for fuel. Anything else we don’t know….we ain’t got the money yet.
Follow these links for streams by The Federation
Video stream for "18 Dummy"
Audio streams for "Stunna Glasses At Nite"