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'Hyphy Hitz': Bouncy Hip-Hop from the Bay Area

About 10 years ago, a new variation on hip-hop became popular in San Francisco's Bay Area. It's called "hyphy" (pronounced "hi-fee"), slang for hyper-active, and it's gaining in national popularity. Hyphy Hitz, a new anthology of tracks from Bay Area acts, suggests that's partly because hyphy presents a more playful, energetic attitude than most contemporary hip-hop.

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Ken Tucker reviews rock, country, hip-hop and pop music for Fresh Air. He is a cultural critic who has been the editor-at-large at Entertainment Weekly, and a film critic for New York Magazine. His work has won two National Magazine Awards and two ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards. He has written book reviews for The New York Times Book Review and other publications.