Oct 28, 2014
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Richmond-based HBK Gang proved again Monday the group’s recent and swift rise in the national hip hop scene will not be short-lived, dropping a new tune “On Me” featuring Atlanta star Rich Homie Quan.

But despite working with a famous East Coast rapper, HBK’s Iamsu! made the case that his group’s increasing fame will not come at the expense of its love and respect for Richmond and the Bay Area.

The new song, partly inspired by the late Tupac Shakur’s track and album, “All Eyes on Me,” includes versus from HBK’s Iamsu! and Kool John. Iamsu! doesn’t stray from his Richmond roots in the first verse.

“I’m hustling, I’m on a mission, trying to get it done; cuz ain’t too many opportunities back where I’m from,” Iamsu! rhymes.

He later boasted about his unique roots:

“They’re looking at me cuz I’m different, I know I’m aware, type of clothes that I wear, how I’ve grown my hair, how I’m reppin’ my city on the stage, I do my dance.”

Iamsu! later added, “I expect my respect, dropping all around the world but I will not forget, how to live and maintain, stacking change…never change.”

The track is the latest in a flurry of hit songs from the HBK Gang that included the May release of Iamsu!’s debut album Sincerely Yours, which topped the iTunes hip-hop charts with help from the radio track, “Only that Real.”

In July, Kool John released his latest album $hmopcity, and then the following month the HBK crew joined Wiz Khalifa’s Under the Influence of Music tour.

And we won’t soon forget last year’s platinum singles  “Gas Pedal” and “Red Nose” from HBK member Sage the Gemini, which led to performances on Letterman, Arsenio Hall and Jimmy Kimmel.

All of HBK’s successes prompted a review in the Washington Post to boast that HBK has helped birth “syrupy, trunk-rattling tunes” over the past several years. The HBK crew “has been just as responsible for the West Coast’s ratchet revolution as L.A. hitmaker DJ Mustard,” the Washington Post reported.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.