Above: Bridgeport rapper AB.Y.SS shows Park City pride in his video for “I Represent The City.”
It’s a time-honored tradition for rap artists to boast about the city that made them. Most often, we hear shout outs to hip hop meccas: New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta.
But beyond the major metropolises, emcees from more obscure cities swell with the same sense of pride. Take Bridgeport for example.
Expressions of hometown glorification are arguably more prevalent in Bridgeport than in larger cities. That might be because Bridgeport hip hop has long been overshadowed by the scenes in New York, Boston and New Jersey, and artists in the Park City have a stronger impulse to assert their provincial identity.
“If you go to our evil step-cousin’s house in New York, they have all the entertainment icons in every category of the arts,” said Bjorn “B.On” Byfield, a Bridgeport hip hop artist. “Connecticut is an untapped state for entertainment.”
The tendency to rep for Bridgeport could also be a reaction to regional neglect of Connecticut’s largest city. Southwestern Connecticut isn’t all tony suburbs with McMansions, boutiques and leafy boulevards. There are inner cities, too, and Bridgeport emcees are eager to affirm that their home is an important element of the diverse patchwork of environments in the region.
But perhaps the primary motivation for Bridgeport pride is promotion — emcees want to put the Park City, and its thriving hip hop scene, on the map. Often, their avenue of advertisement is music videos (shout out to Edwin Escobar).
Check out a few examples, below:
B.on featuring Seegz and Jrobb — “Da Bridge”
AB.Y.SS — “In My City”
Duece Bug featuring Chuck Nickels — “We Be Out Here“
Bori Puro featuring Sose and Tut Diggz — “I Represent The City”
Yung Souljahs — “Bridgeport Anthem”