Given Name: Sudan Ahmeer Williams
Occupations: Rapper, Producer
Releases: Su! The Right Thing, debut mixtape, July 2010; Young California, mixtape, May 2011; The Miseducation of Iamsu!, mixtape, December 2011; Kilt, mixtape, May 2012; Stoopid, mixtape with Jay Ant, October 2012; $uzy 6 $peed, mixtape, November 2012; Million Dollar Afro, mixtape with Problem, April 2013; Kilt II, mixtape, June 2013; Gang Forever, collaborative mixtape, August 2013; Camo, EP, February 2014; Sincerely Yours, debut album, May 13, 2014.
Career Highlights: Su's first hit came in 2011 in the form of Loverance's 50 Cent-assisted song "Up!," which he produced, co-wrote and rapped on. Early the next year, he would live out the Bay Area rapper fantasy of being featured on an E-40 song, rapping on his track "Function." He later hooked up with Problem (who also appeared on "Function") for the Million Dollar Afro tape in 2013, which would show up on year-end lists by SPIN and Stereogum. Later that year, Iamsu! would appear on Sage The Gemini's "Gas Pedal," which ended up being both artists' first Top 40 song.
Sound: Su seems to have built his sound from the bass up, starting with the Bay's signature bone-rattling style of bass, and adding varying elements on top of it. That can include early Cash Money-style bounce, more modern trap fare, and even some breezier stoner rap fare (the like of which punctuated the middle of the Kilt II tape). Originally accused of ripping off Keak da Sneak's rapping style, Su has since developed a more distinctive, conversational style.
Strengths: Versatility, for sure. Whereas it would be difficult to mistake any other HBK Gang member's music as a product of somewhere other than The Bay, Su varies sounds enough on his tapes that it begins to encompass the West Coast as a whole. He's had success in this regard with guest spots too -- playing host to artists as diverse as Tank, 2 Chainz and 50 Cent, Su shows his rolodex extends far beyond his neighborhood. Sincerely Yours seems like it will continue down this path of questing for wide appeal, so we'll just have to see where it takes Iamsu!