If Bay Area super producer Sean T worked in Los Angeles or New York, he undoubtedly would have the same kind of lofty status in the hip-hop world as Sean ``P-Diddy'' Combs or Dr. Dre.
The East Palo Alto native, who has been on the scene for more than 10 years, is credited as one of the main architects behind the Bay Area's distinctive ``Funk-Mob Music'' sound.
Although mainstream pundits have overlooked him, people in the music industry are well aware of his talent. They come to him regularly for the sizzling beats that lead to hit songs.
Among the notables he has worked with are Snoop Dogg, Daz Dillinger, Chunk, Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E., Dwayne Wiggins, Nate Dogg, Joi, Outlawz, Too Short, E-40, Keak Da Sneak, WC, Pastor Troy, Kam, Spice 1, Digital Underground and Juvenile. If I were to lay out the whole list, it would include more than 100 names, an impressive who's who of hip-hop.
In recent months, Sean T has been working with a young L.A. artist named Game, and they're generating a loud buzz in the industry. Game just signed a deal with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Records, and he's being touted as the next big thing.
Sean T may not get national props for his discovery and hard work, but the people who know their way around hip-hop understand he's the go-to guy.
Sean T is not only a gifted producer and accomplished musician, but he is also the CEO of his own record label, Get Gone.
In addition, he's a talented rapper who has released five albums. His latest, ``Terrain Boss,'' will make a great stocking stuffer for anyone who likes gritty, street-oriented hip-hop.
Among its 21 cuts, you will find traditional hard-hitting tracks such as ``We Gangstas'' (which features fellow Bay Area rappers E-40 and Keak Da Sneak).
You also will find a very soulful track that will take you back to the heyday of the Four Tops and the Temptations, ``I Choose You.'' Sean T dedicates that song to his wife.
When asked if he thinks it will erode his street cred, he smiles and says no. In fact, there's a good chance it will enhance his reputation, because he's willing to show many facets in his music, rather than just one dimension.
Another heartfelt cut is ``Papa,'' dedicated to Sean T's late grandfather. He says he wrote the song just hours after the funeral and shared it with his family so they could understand just what his Papa meant to him.
This holiday season, we salute Sean T. He's an unsung hero who, in his quiet way, has helped shaped the landscape of hip-hop for the better.