By 1996, Hobo Junction was dirt hustlin’ their music on Bay Area street corners, part of the broader move towards independence that so many Bay artists were at the forefront of. At its heart, dirt hustlin’ was a profound rejection of the standard hip-hop narrative where groups just try to get signed and roll the dice from there. Hobo Junction had that moment already, back when Southpaw put out “Shot Callin’ and Big Ballin’” but now they joined alongside members of Hiero, Mystik Journeymen/Living Legends and you’d have to also think, in a broader sense, E-40, Master P and Too $hort, all of whom got their start selling tapes out of car trunks.
If I recall, this cassette EP was notable because it had a striking Hobo family cut, “Township,” plus one of the first new Saafir songs, “In A Vest,” anyone had heard in a while. Best line ever: “if you aim for my head and you miss then you dead.”
As for the Shigger Fragger Show…whoooo. This was a creation of DJ Billy Jam, inarguably, one of the Bay Area’s most important DJ/radio figures even if he doesn’t always get that credit. He was a massive fan of the nascent turntablism movement and the Shigger Fragger Shows reflected the creative madness and zaniness that so many of those DJs embodied. This was episode one and therefore, before they started videotaping the sessions (which took things to a whole other level of nutty) but the main point was that the SFS were always an open invitation to improvise and innovate.