The word hyphy (/ˈhf/ HY-fee) is Oakland slang meaning "hyperactive."[2] More specifically it is an adjective that describes the music[2][3] and the urban culture associated with that area.[5] It was created by Oakland-based rapper Keak da Sneak[2][5] when he used the term on an album he recorded in 1994. The hyphy culture began to emerge in the late 1990s and early 2000s as a response from Bay Area rappers against commercial hip hop for not acknowledging their region for setting trends in the hip hop industry. It is distinguished by gritty, pounding rhythms, and in this sense can be associated with San Francisco Bay as crunk music is to the Southern United States. An individual is said to "get hyphy" when they dance in an overstated, fast-paced and ridiculous manner, or if they get overloud with other people. The phrase "to get hyphy" is similar to the southern phrase "to get crunk". Those who consider themselves part of the hyphy movement strive for this behavior.[3]

Although the "hyphy movement" briefly saw light in mainstream America, it has been a long-standing and ever evolving culture in the Bay Area since the early 1990s. Throughout the Bay Area (particularly in East Oakland), there are regularly events called "sideshows", where different people come together and partake in or watch illegal automobile performances. This is where drivers do things such as donuts, ghost-riding and street race while others dance and "go dumb" around them. These events can be very dangerous.[6] From a USA Today article: "Every record label was getting at us at that time, but we fumbled the ball," says E-40, whose My Ghetto Report Card entered the Billboard album chart at No. 3 in March. "I hung on like a hubcap in the fast lane along with a few other rappers, and now it's time again. We had a 10-year drought and they went to other regions and were bypassing us like the sand out here. But we're trendsetters, and the rap game without the Bay Area is like old folks without bingo."

Rappers associated with hyphy movement