Ghost riding the hyphy press wave


We reported on ghost riding last year, when the hyphy-ghost riding movement seemed to be building; however, the viability of that wave has been debated a lot lately. Rapper Keak Da Sneak assumes responsibility for naming the style; "hyphy" is derived from "hyper"--his hyperactive antics as a child were the inspiration for the stop-start-freak-out-get-stupid vibe of hyphy, which started in Oakland in the early 90s.

Recently, the San Jose Mercury News suggested hyphy's lackluster reception compared to other genres of hip-hop (e.g. Crunk) could be attributed to career mismanagement, NorCal/SoCal hating, and a conception that hyphy was too regional a trend and perhaps, like its eponymous hustle, spectral. If only the starburst that was/is MC Hammer were enough to sustain the Bay Area's contribution to hip-hop!

The ghost riding fatalities didn't help hyphy's image, and once Columbia Pictures grumbled about unlicensed use of its "Ghostbusters" van, MTV complied and yanked F.A.B.'s "Ghost Ride It" video. But the SF Gate rallies to declare hyphy victim to a lethargic fiscal year--"rap's overall sales in 2006 were reportedly down 20 percent from 2005"--and cites Paul Frank's appropriation of stunna shades and a new documentary about the movement as harbingers of hyphy's slow, organic, and permanent presence.