Baylingual: Remembering Bay Area Legend "The Jacka"

On February 2nd, I was having a conversation with some of the homies about Bay Area Hip Hop Artists that got taken from us. There was Pac, Mac Dre, Coughnut, and Charisma to name a few. The very same night we had this conversation, coincidently The Jacka was taken from us in a tragic shooting in Oakland. I grew up listening to this guy, I met this guy, and it's just a sad day in The Bay, a sad day in America.

I'm not someone who was close to him, I am not someone who grew up with him, just to his music. I've met him a handful of times, and I've kicked it at different spots, from his pad, to taquerias and at shows.

I remember the first time I listened to The Jacka, I was probably no older than 16 years old. My boy swooped me up from my pad and I rolled with him and my cousin to a secluded spot off the Alameda where we were hot boxing. My boy usually had his iPod slapping on shuffle, but there was a song that I heard that made me go "What is the name of this song?" My boy looked at me and said, "You don't know the Jacka?" and gave me this look of disgust. I just looked around the car as if I was in a movie and the camera would see the faces I was making. He then laughed and said, "I'm playing with you, here give me my iPod and I will show you who the Jack was."

The Jacka was a Hip Hop artist from the Bay Area, specifically the Pittsburg part of the Bay. He was well known for being a part of a group called the 'Mob Figaz' with Fed-X, Rydah, J- Clyde, Husalah, Ap.9 and himself, who blew through the Hip Hop scene when they were discovered by Bay Area O.G rapper C-Bo. They dropped their first album "C-Bo's Mob Figaz" in 1999 and from then on, his career jump started.

Back in those days I was still discovering Bay Area artists. I mean, I knew The Mac named Dre, I knew of Andre Nickatina, Equipto, Keak Da Sneak, San Quinn, Mistah Fab, and The Ambassador himself E-40. But The Jacka was on some other stuff. Like the beats he chose were smooth and hella mobby, which made me feel Mobbligated to Mobb with the homies whether shit was popping off, to even just 5-10 deep walking to the liquor store to pick up some Swishers. He was also an introduction to a lot of artists that I would soon be gigging to at all the functions all throughout high school.

Now, I'm not going to lie to you and say I know his whole discography like that, but the songs that I liked off back, would be on consistent replay on the little mp3's I would purchase. I was heavy into rapping back then, like that is what I thought life was supposed to be.

I met this kat who said, "Hey for 500, I can get you a verse with The Jacka." I was in a group with my cousin Rawblo, and I told him about the opportunity, and he said let's do it. So, we came up with the guap, and went to The Jacka's pad. We took my boy JoJo with us, just in case the homie was kattin' (talking out of his A**) cause we had to go out of town to get the verse from The Jacka. That was an experience in its own, when Jacka rolled up and got out the whip with 5 dudes. "You Baylingual?" I just stood there in disbelief, and Rawblo shook his head and said "yep," and Jacka invited us inside. It was hella cool, he was eating and invited us for some of what they were eating, and then said something about his dogs. I didn't go outside, his pitbulls were huge, but my cousin Rawblo went to pet them. Then Jacka came inside listened to the song, wrote his verse, gave us the files and we left.

A few months later something happened to the song that I didn't think was cool, and I got back in touch with The Jacka. I got invited to a different studio to get a new verse. I thought that was dope of Jacka to have done this. At the time, a good homie of mine Young Ghost had always wanted to do a song with The Jacka so he was the first person I invited to roll with me. I didn't have a car back then, but the homie Andrew Bigz did, so I invited him and Cola cause I knew they were fans of the music also.

As we got to the studio The Jacka came in cracking jokes about the night before saying stuff like,  "I should have stretched," while he rolled up some Yerba Buena. His new verse was a one of a kind type verse saying, "You don't know the Jack, must be square than an iPad, where my n*gga mac pushed crack just for what I had." Yung Ghost was on the hook, Cola and Andrew both got verses on the song also. It was dope, ‘cause he was hella cool people, even though he had a busy schedule working on his new project he was down to kick it with some young up and coming Bay Area rappers.

When I saw him perform for the first time, it was when he just dropped his album "Tear Gas," and "Glamorous Lifestyle" was my shit. I think it was the whole Bay Area’s song for the longest, constant repeat in every car I was in during that time. Hopping out going dummy on the side of the whip, hanging out the sunroof, just enjoying the after effects of when the Hyphy movement was going into a different era, where it was more of a “Mobnificent” time period. Everytime I saw him at a show he would always show love to the up and coming artist performing, and he would bounce around that stage with so much high tension energy that you would wonder how a guy his size was able to do that.

He was a good dude and is loved by people all over the place. He was inspirational, spoke from the heart, you could just hear it in his music - he was just saying it the way it is. That is probably why so many, including myself loved his music so much. You  could see and feel where he was coming from.

The thing about Bay Area rappers like The Jacka, is that you won’t find them on a high horse even if they get big. They’ll always be down to hang with the youngin’s coming up. The memory of The Jacka and my good homie Ghost exchanging rhymes and putting each other up on game will always be one of my best memories. Both of them should still be here. It is just a shitty situation all around, and I know that this is not the way anybody should go out. They will for surely be missed. 

If you have stories, memories about The Jacka please feel free to share them in the comments section of this story

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