(Editor’s Note: This is the eighth and final installment of Kollaboration SF’s Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month series on prominent APA figures in media. Read our entire series, and stay tuned for new features and projects on our FB!)
Hopie Spitshard (aka Hopie Baby and Kae Hope) is the rapper with a law degree. Although Hopie was born in Manila, Philippines she represents through and through the culture of the Bay Area that she grew up surrounded by in Daly City. Before releasing her first album, Hopie joined a rap duo called the “The Wrong Hands” which released an album called We All Fall. Hopie’s rap flows echos dreams of an immigrant childhood, the scars of a violent upbringing, and the strength to challenge a society that undervalues smart women. Check out her debut solo album The Diamond Dame or her new album, Sugar Water and get a taste for the future generations of Bay Area Hip Hop.
– Zihao Huang
Lyrics Born, also known as Tsutomu “Tom” Shimura, is Berkeley’s resident OG underground Asian American MC, but don’t mistake his experience for a lack of relevance. With his newest album Real People, Lyrics Born weaves his signature flow through a funk-filled live instrumental accompaniment while hitting on the realest topics he’s ever covered, including his emigration to the US as a kid. Check out his single “$ir Racha” and groove along with us, but be warned: if you accuse him of jumping on the soul train that’s been taking the hip-hop scene by storm recently, he’ll laugh and point out he’s been the conductor all along.
Ruby Ibarra is an up and coming Asian American rapper repping San Lorenzo. She is a rapper and spoken word artist, often speaking in both english and Tagalog. Her writing is influenced from being a female and minority in a male dominated industry. She speaks about love and hate, and the movement of bringing more female and Asian American representation into the industry. Her works can be seen through her mixtape, “Lost in translation,” and numerous features with various artists.