By 1996, Hobo Junction was dirt hustlinâ€™ 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 hustlinâ€™ 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 â€œShot Callinâ€™ and Big Ballinâ€™â€ but now they joined alongside members of Hiero, Mystik Journeymen/Living Legends and youâ€™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, â€œTownship,â€ plus one of the first new Saafir songs, â€œIn A Vest,â€ anyone had heard in a while. Best line ever: â€œif you aim for my head and you miss then you dead.â€
As for the Shigger Fragger Showâ€¦whoooo. This was a creation of DJ Billy Jam, inarguably, one of the Bay Areaâ€™s most important DJ/radio figures even if he doesnâ€™t always get that credit. He was a massive fan of the nascent turntablism movement and the Shigger Fragger ShowsÂ 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.Â