Picture it, its 1992, and Northern California rap music was on the rise. Sacramento had it’s underground hip-hop king, DC Ray, but who would be prince?
Cedric Singleton, a young producer from Ohio, had come to Sacramento State University to play basketball. He ended up staying in Sac and setting up shop as a music manager and producer. He was hungry for the rap game, and had help. He started Black Market Records, put out Oak Park’s Homicide, and his vision was official. Through parties and the music scene, he met a young Brotha Lynch Hung and X-Raided. He heard their talent and decided to go all in. Little did he know the crazy stories he’d be a part of. Little did he know the impact he and his Black Market Records crew would have on our region, and the world.
Homicide’s “Knockin’ Off All Weak MCs” was Black Market’s first album
By this time, Sactown rap crews, with their own sound and serious heat, carved up rap battles all throughout the region. Bloods and Crip gangs were infiltrating Sacramento streets as well. Northern California rap had become the hottest underground rap hub in the world. Northern rap pioneers E-40 and The Click, produced by Mike Mosely and Sam Bostic, had the nation appreciating the unique, Northern California hip hop culture. Street crews like The Garden Blocc’s Brotha Lynch Hung and C-Bo, Meadowview’s Be Gee, Rup Dog, and AK47, Greenhaven’s First Degree The D.E., Crucial Point and DJ Urban Thesis (MC King at the time), and Freeport’s Ace Mak (Ace Of Spades at the time) and Ms. Marvaless ran the underground through the battle rap circuit.
Sacramento’s rap sound was hard, dark, and reality based. Music producers like Phonk Beta, Mike Mosely, Sam Bostic, Ace Mak, Brotha Lynch, and First Degree The D.E. created the musical sound. It was a quality, rich sound that many had a part of. It was a sound that made Sacramento stand out.
Black Market Records owner Cedric Singleton explains on a recent episode of The Fahrenheit Hour that although everyone ended up in different crews, on different labels, everyone felt connected. In the beginning, all of the pioneers participating in the Sacramento music game were a family, working together.