Pub date October 15, 2013

Jaunty East Bay rapper-producer IamSu! has released a barrage of clever mixtapes and collaborated with the likes of big-timers like 2 Chainz, Wiz Khalifa, Juvenile, E-40, and Roach Gigz — but his career can be traced back to Youth Radio, a nonprofit media center based in Oakland. Like so many others before and since, the talented 23-year-old MC got his start there at age 15 and learned all about the art of beat making. Fast-forward a decade and IAmSu! (born Sudan Ahmeer Williams) is getting some serious love for attention-grabbing lyrics, bold beats, and his casual return to hyphy, not to mention team efforts with his crew HBK (Heart Break Kids) Gang. He still reps his hometown even while sending it up in hits like “Goin’ Up” feat. Khalifa, nonchalantly tossing out rhymes like “Ask around I got hell of love in the Bay/Get money give a fuck what a hater say” over a wobbly beat in a video directed by Kreayshawn and featuring cameos by locals like Gigz. He may be bursting outside the bounds of the Bay, but his output remains a family affair.