"Rap history" is a funny concept. The culture's always had a complex relationship with its past, sometimes dismissive, sometimes reverential. "Rap history" is both the last three tweets on Tyler the Creator's timeline, and also the rec centers, dingy basement studios, and sports stadiums where the key moments in the music's past took place. In a new series called Rap Atlas, Complex will take a look at those places, from the spots that have become cultural signifiers in themselves (think Sedgwick & Cedar), to the unknown corners where the people who became cultural signifiers met and worked.

For our first Rap Atlas, we head to Oakland, the city on the other side of the Bay from the City on the Bay, and a bona fide rap capital in its own right, alongside the BX, the QB, BK, and South Central (if you don't know, by all means, ask somebody). Last month we featured the 50 Greatest Bay Area Rap Songs, this time around we're taking a tour of the places where a lot of those songs were conceived, recorded, and hustled (and citizens of Vallejo, Richmond, Marin City, and even San Francisco, please note this is just Oakland, but we've got plans to visit your towns soon). Our tour guide is Eric K. Arnold, a Bay lifer who was the Editorial Director at the seminal '90s rap mag 4080 and a contributor to pretty much every hip-hop publication worth its salt. For our first stop, we take a trip down 880 (or the Fremont BART line if you're feeling green)...

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