Souls of Mischief
Oakland poets A-Plus, Tajai, Opio and Phesto could be considered the founders of what has become a fruitful legacy of Northern California lyricism. Together with Hieroglyphics associates Del and Casual, Souls of Mischief launched an underground hip-hop movement in the San Francisco Bay Area that a legion of groups have since sustained in their wake. Their rhymes and their production have always been strikingly individualistic. Lyrically, they combine stylistic perspectives to assemble verses that fuse intellectual abstractions with political agendas, traditionalist hip-hop convictions and good old-fashioned, my-rhymes-can-serve-your-rhymes attitude. Musically, although they've been known to incorporate live instruments, they seem decidedly unique based solely on their choice of samples. Never ones to use worn-out hooks, Souls of Mischief consistently incorporate jazzy clips that other crews haven't yet discovered and kick themselves for missing.