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    Watch Dogs 2

    Game » consists of 19 releases. Released Nov 15, 2016

    The sequel to Watch Dogs moves to San Francisco with a new protagonist.

    The Selection of Rap/Hip-Hop Music in Watch Dogs 2 SUCKS (Rant)

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    Vod_Crack

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    I am probably taking this too seriously but it really does bother me how much of a missed opportunity the soundtrack is in Watch Dogs 2. As a big Rap/Hip-Hop fan, I am especially disappointment by the lack of Bay Area Hip-Hop in the game. The only artist in the game who fits the bill is Mac Dre but the rest of the Hip-Hop on here is just sporadic as fuck. Did Ubisoft forget that their game is set in San Francisco or did they get access to these songs on the cheap years ago and just threw them on here? I love Eric B. and Rakim, I really do but they have no place in this game. Oh and don't get me started on Dizzee Rascal, he can fuck right off. Would it have killed them to put in some E-40, Too $hort, Spice 1, etc.? You know, actual Bay Area artists?

    Rockstar Games on the other hand, clearly get it. In Grand Theft Auto V, the West Coast Classics station was a perfect mix of popular songs and lesser known gems that really help you immerse in the game's version of Los Angeles. A large part of this is thanks to the fact the songs that the chose are actually from the West Coast! It's not hard people. Even Mafia III, which isn't that great of a game in my opinion, managed to hit a home run with its well thought out soundtrack which is often cited as one of the best points of the entire game. In my opinion, a good licensed soundtrack is actually a big part of this particular style of open world game.

    However, the soundtrack in Watch Dogs 2 feels like an afterthought. Generally, I do think the soundtrack is an absolute shambles and it feels so thrown together. I know have focused on Hip-Hop in this rant but that's just because that's my passion but even in the Rock playlist, you have Megadeth and Creedance Clearwater Revival right next to each other. Talk about chalk and cheese! They could not even be bothered to spell DJ Quik or Eric B's names correctly, which clearly demonstrates how little of a fuck Ubisoft gave when putting this soundtrack together. A real shame.

    I did put together a 1990s focused Rap/Hip-Hop YouTube playlist with songs that I think would have been a good fit for Watch Dogs 2. If you want to check that out, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhvICX-r_PqUlgK4RQWrO6-hu5KAZtjWx

    Thank you for reading my rant.

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    Humanity

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    Music is highly subjective so you'll never please everyone. There are plenty of people that won't even listen to the hip-hop station because they don't like hip-hop, Bay Area or otherwise.

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    Vod_Crack

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    #3  Edited By Vod_Crack

    @humanity said:

    Music is highly subjective so you'll never please everyone. There are plenty of people that won't even listen to the hip-hop station because they don't like hip-hop, Bay Area or otherwise.

    You are missing the point my dude. It's not that I don't like the music, it's the wrong music. Imagine if GTA V was filled with music from Jay-Z, Nas, DMX or Biggie... I like those artists but it wouldn't be right, it wouldn't feel right. As I mentioned, I focused on hip-hop because it's one my my passions. Of course what I think is good is subjective but they at least should have put together a playlist that had some... identity? Run the Jewels, Mac Dre, Dizzee Rascal and Naughty By Nature? What a hodge podge of whatever that is!

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    planetfunksquad

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    Oh and don't get me started on Dizzee Rascal, he can fuck right off.

    Actually, nah, I'd like to get you started on Dizzee. Begin.

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    Darth_Navster

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    I haven't played WD2 yet (waiting on the PC version), but I'm totally with OP about the song selection. The Bay Area has had some amazing hip hop come out of it over the decades and it seems like a huge miss not to celebrate that in a game set there. It seems especially galling since they took pains in all other aspects for it to feel authentic to the area.

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    Vod_Crack

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    @vod_crack said:

    Oh and don't get me started on Dizzee Rascal, he can fuck right off.

    Actually, nah, I'd like to get you started on Dizzee. Begin.

    Haha, I actually don't hate him as a person, just not a fan of the music! And one thing I know for sure, when I think of San Francisco, the last rapper I would probably think of is Dizzee Rascal! What a bizarre choice.

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    planetfunksquad

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    #7  Edited By planetfunksquad

    @vod_crack said:
    @planetfunksquad said:
    @vod_crack said:

    Oh and don't get me started on Dizzee Rascal, he can fuck right off.

    Actually, nah, I'd like to get you started on Dizzee. Begin.

    Haha, I actually don't hate him as a person, just not a fan of the music! And one thing I know for sure, when I think of San Francisco, the last rapper I would probably think of is Dizzee Rascal! What a bizarre choice.

    Ha, I mean yeah, dude hasn't made a good record since Maths + English, but those first 3 were legit. When he moved to Miami and started working with EDM producers it was all over. Out of curiosity I'm guessing you aren't from the UK? I actually can't imagine anyone coming from here and not fucking with Boy in da Corner at least a little bit. Well, no one from a council estate. Def not what I think of when I think of SF though ha.

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    Vod_Crack

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    I haven't played WD2 yet (waiting on the PC version), but I'm totally with OP about the song selection. The Bay Area has had some amazing hip hop come out of it over the decades and it seems like a huge miss not to celebrate that in a game set there. It seems especially galling since they took pains in all other aspects for it to feel authentic to the area.

    Thanks for agreeing with me. That's something I forgot to bring up actually. From what I can tell, Ubisoft have done an excellent job of recreating the look and feel of San Francisco from a graphical/technical perspective, it's a shame that the soundtrack doesn't really match up.

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    Vod_Crack

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    wjb

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    Watch Dogs 1's music selection was not great, so I'm not expecting Rockstar levels of choice picks in 2.

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    Vod_Crack

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    @wjb said:

    Watch Dogs 1's music selection was not great, so I'm not expecting Rockstar levels of choice picks in 2.

    Yeah you're right, good point! The original Watch Dogs had stuff like Nas, Wu-Tang Clan and Public Enemy... if the game was set in New York, that would have been great but nope, it was set in Chicago!

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    Humanity

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    #12  Edited By Humanity

    @vod_crack: no that actually IS the point. You can't say that it's the "wrong" music. If it was an all classical strings soundtrack then I might be inclined to agree that it's a rough fit for this game, but you can't really argue that it has the wrong type of hip hop because some people might love Dizzee Rascsl or Lady Sovereign or just grime in general and think "man finally a mainstream game got the hip-hop right!"

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    OurSin_360

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    #13  Edited By OurSin_360

    @vod_crack said:
    @wjb said:

    Watch Dogs 1's music selection was not great, so I'm not expecting Rockstar levels of choice picks in 2.

    Yeah you're right, good point! The original Watch Dogs had stuff like Nas, Wu-Tang Clan and Public Enemy... if the game was set in New York, that would have been great but nope, it was set in Chicago!

    lol, i mean you could get common and kanye(if you could afford him) or maybe even chief keef but i doubt many people would know, crucial conflict, do or die, pyscho drama, triple darkness etc. Maybe some people would know twista still?

    I could imagine this game full of e-40, too short, and lil b? lol, that's about all i would know tbh. It would be cool for games to get a local station though.

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    paulmako

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    @humanity: He's saying it's the wrong music geographically. It's not that OP doesn't like Dizzee Rascal, which as you say is subjective. It's that hearing a London rapper in a game based in San Francisco seems like a wasted opportunity given that the Bay area has its own hip hop artists who aren't being fully represented.

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    planetfunksquad

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    #15  Edited By planetfunksquad

    @paulmako said:

    @humanity: He's saying it's the wrong music geographically. It's not that OP doesn't like Dizzee Rascal, which as you say is subjective. It's that hearing a London rapper in a game based in San Francisco seems like a wasted opportunity given that the Bay area has its own hip hop artists who aren't being fully represented.

    Yeah, but are we saying that hip-hop radio in the bay is exclusively playing artists from the area and never anything else? I'm sure you'd hear a lot more E-40 out there, but I guarantee that shit like RTJ is played on those stations.

    @humanity said:

    Lady Sovereign

    Nah. No. Never. Come on man.

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    Vod_Crack

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    @humanity said:

    @vod_crack: no that actually IS the point. You can't say that it's the "wrong" music. If it was an all classical strings soundtrack then I might be inclined to agree that it's a rough fit for this game, but you can't really argue that it has the wrong type of hip hop because some people might live Dizzee Rascsl or Lady Sovereign or just grime in general and think "man finally a mainstream game got the hip-hop right!"

    I get what you're saying to an extent but we are just going to have to agree to disagree on that one. I am not a fan of that grime genre but hypothetically, if Watch Dogs 3 was set in London and it had Dizzee Rascal, Lady Sovereign, Big Narstie and whoever on the soundtrack, I would not complain because that actually makes sense and shows that the developers have put some thought into their soundtrack. Hell, I half expect that music in the game, even though I don't like it.

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    Vod_Crack

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    #17  Edited By Vod_Crack

    @planetfunksquad said:
    @paulmako said:

    @humanity: He's saying it's the wrong music geographically. It's not that OP doesn't like Dizzee Rascal, which as you say is subjective. It's that hearing a London rapper in a game based in San Francisco seems like a wasted opportunity given that the Bay area has its own hip hop artists who aren't being fully represented.

    Yeah, but are we saying that hip-hop radio in the bay is exclusively playing artists from the area and never anything else? I'm sure you'd hear a lot more E-40 out there, but I guarantee that shit like RTJ is played on those stations.

    Yeah, this is a good point too! I am not saying JUST put Bay Area stuff in the game, variety is the spice of life after all and it makes sense to also put in whatever is big in the charts at the moment. GTA V had two separate stations, one that focused on 80s/90s West Coast Hip-Hop and the other one focused on more modern stuff. This would probably be the ideal route to take.

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    paulmako

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    @planetfunksquad: I was just going off OP's point. I agree that yeah, you can have a balance of representing local artists and having songs from elsewhere. GTAV had Danny Brown and Future alongside their west coast artists, for example.

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    planetfunksquad

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    #19  Edited By planetfunksquad

    @vod_crack said:

    Yeah, this is a good point too! I am not saying JUST put Bay Area stuff in the game, variety is the spice of life after all and it makes sense to also put in whatever is big in the charts at the moment. GTA V had two separate stations, one that focused on 80s/90s West Coast Hip-Hop and the other one focused on more modern stuff. This would probably be the ideal route to take.

    Yeah fair point. If WD3 was set in Manchester I'd be a bit annoyed if there wasn't any Levelz on the tracklist, but lets be real, it'd definitely just be full of London artists cos apparently thats the only city in England ha.

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    kcin

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    #20  Edited By kcin

    @humanity said:

    @vod_crack: no that actually IS the point. You can't say that it's the "wrong" music. If it was an all classical strings soundtrack then I might be inclined to agree that it's a rough fit for this game, but you can't really argue that it has the wrong type of hip hop because some people might love Dizzee Rascsl or Lady Sovereign or just grime in general and think "man finally a mainstream game got the hip-hop right!"

    The quality is irrelevant. You know what he's saying, but you're playing devil's advocate for no real reason other than to say "there's no problem here." Why? He's right: the game takes place in a location that has extremely rich hip-hop culture, yet the game fails to exploit that or 'place' itself with its musical choices. Similar games are lauded for their attempts at evoking place through their musical choices; as such, this one is justly derided for failing to do so. What good does it do to argue that someone might like the music anyway? No shit someone might like the music anyway. No one is arguing that point.

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    Vod_Crack

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    @vod_crack said:

    Yeah, this is a good point too! I am not saying JUST put Bay Area stuff in the game, variety is the spice of life after all and it makes sense to also put in whatever is big in the charts at the moment. GTA V had two separate stations, one that focused on 80s/90s West Coast Hip-Hop and the other one focused on more modern stuff. This would probably be the ideal route to take.

    Yeah fair point. If WD3 was set in Manchester I'd be a bit annoyed if there wasn't any Levelz on the tracklist, but lets be real, it'd definitely just be full of London artists cos apparently thats the only city in England ha.

    Haha you're definitely right about that!

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    pompouspizza

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    Zefpunk

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    Man, as a GIGANTIC fan of Hip Hop, this is a bummer to hear. I feel like Bay Area fans are real hardcore about their rappers, and it does seem weird to not AT LEAST have a little E-40 on there!

    I still wanna play this game, but I feel your point, and agree wholeheartedly that in these types of open worlds, the soundtracks can help to immerse you a great deal. Also, I just nerd out over that stuff!

    (For the record, DIzzee Rascal sucks and always has, LISTEN TO SKEPTA)

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    Vod_Crack

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    @zefpunk said:

    Man, as a GIGANTIC fan of Hip Hop, this is a bummer to hear. I feel like Bay Area fans are real hardcore about their rappers, and it does seem weird to not AT LEAST have a little E-40 on there!

    I still wanna play this game, but I feel your point, and agree wholeheartedly that in these types of open worlds, the soundtracks can help to immerse you a great deal. Also, I just nerd out over that stuff!

    (For the record, DIzzee Rascal sucks and always has, LISTEN TO SKEPTA)

    Yup, E-40 is a massive omission. They could have just went down the obvious route and put "Tell Me When To Go" on there and I would have been happy.

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    @humanity: It obviously doesn't matter to people who don't know a lot about hip hop or people who don't pay attention to the tiny details, but he's valid in pointing out the inconsistency.

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    Humanity

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    @frostyryan: in an era of Spotify and satellite radio I think that sticking to this formula of chaining your music selection to the geographical location is a really outdated idea. I would not begrudge a game set in Seattle if they didn't have any Nirvana but that's just me I guess. Lots of people with really strong opinions in here so I can agree that it's apparently an issue people take to heart.

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    Lv4Monk

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    @humanity: The internet hasn't totally destroyed local cultures.

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    #28  Edited By ThePhantomnaut

    Nice playlist but you ain't got dat I Got 5 On It remix with everyone in it? Damn.

    I thought Ubisoft would go for this. It seems like an obvious choice. I only visit the Bay Area a couple of times a year but I still hear this remix on the radio.

    I bet Jeff is disappointed as well.

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    jeff

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    @vod_crack: The one thing I'll say is that if they're trying to emulate modern Bay Area hip-hop stations, then they're right to exclude almost all local acts. Bay Area hip-hop has always gotten the short end of the stick on KMEL. I don't listen to it anymore, but it always felt like they only jumped on local acts well after they blew up nationally.

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    @humanity: You know how you get plenty of people (most of which are in their 20s-30s completely removed from teen culture) shitting on teen dialogue in games saying "that's not how teenagers talk"? OP's argument is like that but actually based on a real understanding of the local culture and not outdated ideas of society! Authenticity goes a long way in creating the feeling of immersion. That can also be expressed in the choice of music, especially where the geography supposedly matters.

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    #31  Edited By Nodima

    I beg to differ on Mafia III. It's chock full of "hey it's the late-60s / early-70s and we're dealing with Vietnam a little here!" stuff that really doesn't provide a sense of place like, say, Vice City, San Andreas or GTA V do (GTA IV was pretty hap hazard though there was a lot of good music there).

    I'm not surprised to hear this about Watch Dogs 2 though, the first game just had troublingly bland music in general.

    Actually, I think this is an important distinction to make the more I think about it. The first Watch Dogs just had primarily boring choices for music, and a weird system for putting more songs on your playlist. GTA IV had a lot of great music across its three soundtracks, but it just didn't always feel like "New York, 2008" as a result because everything was so all over the place from station to station. Mafia III has a lot of great songs, but only a few of them feel like something that got regular radio play in New Orleans in 1970 (Mafia III's radio issues go far beyond just the songs selected for it though).

    Based on what I've heard in advertisements and on Giantbomb coverage, the music in Watch Dogs 2 is pretty good for the most part, the issue as I can understand might be that, much like I came to feel with Mafia III, the music staff didn't dig deep enough into artists' discogs or genre's deep cuts and just went for the surface level stuff we've been hearing every else for months and years now. Again, I haven't played the game and heard most of it but this hip-hop station doesn't seem so bad in and of itself; the issue video games face is that you can't escape those radio stations without simply turning them off and listening to the ambient noise of the open world. This was where GTA V was so smart with picking songs that weren't necessarily the most popular from that artist at that time, or picking deeper cuts or even getting them to make an original song for the game. Obviously most studios don't have that pull but it goes a long way.

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    The_Tribunal

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    #32  Edited By The_Tribunal

    @humanity: What? Regional music still develops in their own little corners, especially bands. If Seattle was tackled by Rockstar they would have a fountain of great local music to tap into that wouldn't devolve into the monotony of a Spotify playlist.

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    flippyandnod

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    I love Dizzee Rascal although I don't like Grime in general. And if there's a place where Eric B. and Rakim aren't appropriate I wouldn't know what it is. I guess I'll have to just play and find out.

    I'm sure they didn't spend much time or money on this.

    Why doesn't anyone care that Turbo Lover is a low-rung Judas Priest song? That's the real crime here.

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    Rebel_Scum

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    #35  Edited By Rebel_Scum

    I don't remember the first Watch Dogs having a great selection either, apart from the blues/jazz channels iirc.

    Its is annoying when the music doesn't fit the bill like that. As for GTA doesn't T-Bone Burnett pick the songs for that? That's probably why its good.

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    flippyandnod

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    It did have C.R.E.A.M.

    I don't remember the first Watch Dogs having a great selection either, apart from the blues/jazz channels iirc.

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    ghost_cat

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    This is the first time I've heard anyone complain about a track list in an open-world game because of region specifics. I don't think anyone in this day of age (like the game) chooses to listen to music mostly because of their region, so that point doesn't really matter.

    But who cares about the track selection in this game when the actual OST itself, produced than Hudson Mohawke (oddly enough), is pretty fucking dope.

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    Vod_Crack

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    #38  Edited By Vod_Crack

    @thephantomnaut said:

    Nice playlist but you ain't got dat I Got 5 On It remix with everyone in it? Damn.

    I thought Ubisoft would go for this. It seems like an obvious choice. I only visit the Bay Area a couple of times a year but I still hear this remix on the radio.

    I bet Jeff is disappointed as well.

    Oh yeah should have had that on there probably but oh well! Thanks though.

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    Vod_Crack

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    @jeff said:

    @vod_crack: The one thing I'll say is that if they're trying to emulate modern Bay Area hip-hop stations, then they're right to exclude almost all local acts. Bay Area hip-hop has always gotten the short end of the stick on KMEL. I don't listen to it anymore, but it always felt like they only jumped on local acts well after they blew up nationally.

    As someone who doesn't actually live there, I really appreciate this information and this helps me understand why they went in the direction they did. Thanks for popping in Jeff!

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    mems1224

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    As someone who was deep into all kinds of hip hop up until about 2010 I'm definitely bummed about the lack of bay area rap since that's always been my blind spot. I know all about east coast rap, southern, Midwest and even the west coast stuff from LA but never really listened to bay area stuff. Not only that but the hip hop music that is in there is mostly meh. What do you really expect from devs that spell DJ Quik wrong though

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