Thursday, July 05, 2007

West Coast Rap Sucks

Now that I have your attention, let me re-phrase: it doesn’t suck but I feel it’s isolated. The whole Hyphy movement tried to become mainstream last year but never took a hold. To be with Hyphy, it seems you’ve got to reside on the West Coast. The sound just doesn’t click with me. I find myself asking “what is this?” after listening to some Hyphy. Furthermore, it seems Hyphy spoke for West Coast music in general the last little bit—at least that’s how it feels to anyone not from Cali. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way too!

The West seems to want to keep it in house and to only watch out for their people, as you can tell it in their choice of lyrics that pepper almost every song: Dickies, ‘64’s, gangbanging etc. I know that’s how shit is out West and every region does the same shit but it feels more prevalent on the Left Coast. The longer the isolation persists, the harder it is for West Coast music to be marketable.

Hyphy sound is the only sound along with Crunk that I cannot stand. Every Bay artist seems to let Hyphy control them; they’re unable to transcend Hyphy and be on some other shit. As for L.A. and other West Coast shit, the sound is quite archaic. Someone else said it for me, “You can put on a West Coast record from ’89 and it’ll sound the same as shit today.”

The present artists from the West, Bay area included, haven’t done anything for me lately. That is to say, I haven’t been repping someone out West for a while. Because of this feeling, I am hesitant to even give a West Coast cat a chance. Plus it seems like the West hasn’t had anyone to take over since the legends prowled. And they’re still out there doing there thing, which tells me they can still dominate: Snoop and the DPG, Ice Cube and Westside Connection, E-40, Too Short etc.

Game is cool but he’s overrated. My beef with him is he has everything at his disposal to be great. He’s got the money, backing and notoriety to net good ass production and features. Alas, he comes correct with those. The flow’s good but where he falters is content: too much material and name dropping. Plus he’s always on some bullshit, whether it’s with G-Unit, Yukmouth or some other Spider Loc-ish turd. The real image of Jayceon Taylor versus what he tells us through the mic is frustrating. It’s like Game, we know what you are, don’t front. And his whole Black Wall Street fam is like whatever.

In the last I don’t know how long the only Cali cat I’ve felt is Mr. “Ghost Ride the Whip”. Mistah FAB’s got some good ass material but the recent album was a downer. And too, Jacka and Husalah from Mob Figaz are cool but I haven’t heard anything from them in almost 2 years.

What started me on this feeling that West Coast rap was crazy ridiculous (in a bad way) was this group named the Pillionaires. I listened to their tape back in March thinking, 'let me try and see if I can change my outlook.' It was wacker than wack like finding out that Jessica Alba is married. If you’ve heard of the Pillionaires you’d know the feeling. Keak da Sneak is annoying. Even E-40 to me is silly as fuck, now that I look back on it. Ya Boy has never made me say “oh no”. The Pack is a bunch of little kids (no shit). Lil’ Eazy E is pathetic. Yukmouth is so old news. Hot Dollar is hot mess. Guerilla Black is ooo-kay. Zion I is straight. But maybe my expectations are too much. I’m not expecting a ‘Pac or a NWA but I’m looking from some good ass, different than the norm West Coast music.

So with that said, I decided to actually listen to some cats I’ve been hearing about. I choose Bishop Lamont, Murs and Jay Rock. I’m using
Dat Piff to provide listens and downloads, so use them for your advantages. Yet I have yet to check some cats out thoroughly: Crooked I, Mitchy Slick, Clyde Carson, Planet Asia, Juice (even though he’s repping AZ) and even San Quinn and Messy Marv.

Bishop Lamont
Bishop Lamont is real. I’ve never heard him before I delved into Nigger Noise. The whole tape is a good ass listen. I’ve listened to it 4 or 5 times all the way through and I’ve rarely switched to the next track. The best way to describe Bishop is that he just raps. He doesn’t try to cater to a certain genre; he offers a little bit of most things. Nigger Noise’s production consists of riding music. And he keeps the features to a minimum. Considering he’s affiliated with Dre, he’s in good hands. Check “Don’t Kill Me”, “Translator”, “Footsteps in the Dark”, “Last Crusade” and “Hisstory”.

From listening to “L.A.” in December, I was curious (no homo).So I found his hook-up with 9th Wonder. After listening to it through for the first time, I wondered ‘But doesn’t 9th make any rapper tight?’ That is true. But 9th complements the MC. Murs has more than enough to ride on his own. No song falls flat. Every track has something to say and he doesn’t repeat the same material in every song. Judging from his track record in releasing material, I can rely on him to be productive.

Jay Rock
Jay Rock is decent. I’m not about to say he’s resurrecting West Coast Rap but I like his ferociousness. It’s a plus that he sounds like Shyne too. On Watts Finest 3, he stays hard on thug life but doesn’t think about it or how it affects him. What struck me the most: his running partner throughout the tape, K-Dot, outshines Jay Rock.
Anybody got some K-Dot? But Jay Rock rides beats without any hitch so I’ll remember him for the future. Check “Lift Me Up” “J. Dilla Freestyle” “K-Dot Freestyle”.

The end result is good, as I’ve already changed my mind of West Coast Rap sucking. While I’m still not completely convinced, these 3 have helped. With everything said, I have an open ear. I’d like to know if I’m missing out on something. Especially to West Coast heads, fill me in on what y’all are listening to, drop me some links, MySpaces or even names. I don’t care; just let me in on the fun.


At 11:20 PM, Anonymous hdot said...

I can't really find any artists reppin' the West that I'm feeling either and I'm in Cali. Most my music interests are from the South or the "other side of the South" as Supastition would say. (i.e. Little Brother, all of the Justus League, Rhymefest, etc.)

As for the West, Murs has always been a favorite(still waiting on that Murs - "Dreadlocks" from you lol). Bishop Lamont hasn't really disappointed me and I don't expect him to anytime soon. Mistah F.A.B. is probably the only "semi-conscious" Bay Area artist I've heard. Someone who I thought would blow up because of his delivery and rhymes when I first heard him was gonna be Juice of BWS, but after listening to his recent tracks it sounds like he is turning into "Game Jr." which is bullshit.

If I find anyone doing it big over here, I'll let you know, don't even worry. Payce.

At 1:01 PM, Blogger The Major said...

appreciate the input hdot.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger M-A Two L's One Y said...

Man don't get me wrong i used to like the west coast, but instead of hearing they shit..i'd rather have a strep throat and a pink trench coat...


At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo check out Mistah Fab first cd, Son of A Pimp, the team cd World Premiere both slap pretty hard. Traxxamillion is one of the hottest producers the bay has to offer. Slap Addict is his cd.
i agree with some of your statements that a lot of the bay area music is watered down. it is wierd how liek people from the west feel it but others dont. Thas just the Cali lifestyle maybe but i tihnk ur sleepin on the pack. Their Mixtape "Wolpack Muzic" is pretty dope but these dudes is young'ns in the cut em some slack till retail + thy produce and they are catchy as fuck!
Hyphy is almost a poison but controversial publicity is better than no publicity.
This track is the intro to turf Talk's new cd.. check it out and the bay is waitin for Clyde and mistah Fab to drop... if they cant do it nobody out the west is goin to.

At 4:06 PM, Blogger said...

Shout to you major.

West coast rap sucks. no why. because they don't freaking get it.

Everyone is still doing the same BS west coast rap they was doing in 1995. There is no more GANGSTA MUSIC FELLAS! Let it go!

That's why its never on any chart. Your doing 1995 in 2007 don't even make sense. LET IT GO! U right major!

At 6:25 PM, Blogger Tyro.k.y said...

'Ya Boy' from the Bay comes nice over various tracks.

Bishop Lamont is the future.

I like the respect various West Coast artists has for those that came before. For example, The Game shows respect by name dropping. I will say that, he should be at a point in his career where he doesn't need to name drop anymore.

I still think Juice is nice but I will agree that he seemed better when he first hit.

At 12:22 PM, Blogger The Major said...

I haven't heard that much Ya Boy or Juice... From listening to The Pack's "Skateboard to Scrappers" I wasn't impressed. But I will say Bishop has really grown on me the past few weeks. It's odd why I haven't heard of him before.

At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You people are tripping. There is so much shit out in the west coast it is IMPOSSIBLE not to like a part of it. The bay isnt all about goin stupid, a great deal of backpackers reside on the left coast. Most people wouldn't understand the shit unless they lived here.

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Article was cool, yeah the bay in my view hasnt had any classic cd's coming out for awhile. I think you should have mentioned Hieroglyphics tho. I think they are the best crew to ever come out of the bay. They havnt had much new material, but Opio just dropped a new cd Vultures Wisdom vol. 1 you should check it out the lyrics and production are on point. Best i heard from the bay in a long time.

At 3:13 PM, Anonymous RD said...

I dunno wtf is wrong with you people. There is so much good west coast shit out there it's hard to keep track of. The only thing ill give you is the fact that there is too much of it. Messy Marv comes out with a CD or mixtape like every other week. Thats why there is the perception that the music is watered down.

The reason you don't understand the bay, and crunk music for that point, is that you don't live it. It's like hanging out with crips and wondering why your not a gangbanger.... its because you see the life, not live it. A lot of the bay music is about slappers. Hard beats with dope lyrics.

You guys are talking about Bishop Lamont,Hieroglyphics, Murs, etc.. Those guys are more hiphop than rap. I used to listen to a lot of living legends, grouch & eligh, and they are on a completely different level than bay area rap. You can't compare apples to oranges right?

The answer is the people from the bay feel this music because we live the lifestyle they are talking about. Dont you think people from the south feel crunk music more than anywhere else? if you really want some tracks to make you feel differently holla at me. I'm sure I can make a good effort to change your mind.

The hyphy movement is isolated because we dont give a F*** about what others think about the music. If the music was so shitty why were the Ying Yang Twins trying to make a CD talking about "Go" music after they were int he bay? It is isolated yes, but it's still heat.

Oh ya, to the dude statin there NO GANGSTER MUSIC, is out of touch with reality. I will say it isn't as much mainstream as it used to be, but is still very relevant.

If you want to hear some good tracks and actually give those artists the chance holla at me on my gmail

dont be scared of good music

At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this article is old now, but I just finished listening to a famous west coast rapper (that MANY ppl like) but I thought the album sucked. I think the person who wrote the article was right on BUT there's always some underground stuff that's nice in each city. I live in DC, and to the mainstream we would not only suck as far as hip hop goes but be virtually non-existence (with the exception of Wale). BUT he also asked to be proven wrong, no one did that. Give us some names, if you rep the West, and know more than the Bay music (or even some really good stuff), please share. Enlighten us.


At 12:54 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Kendrick Lamar. nuff said

At 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the "Yay Area" music sucks all they really rap about is jumping on cars and poppin "thizzers" trash rap about something....literally something and maybe the west can come back.

At 5:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

damn thats alot of time put in to hate on sum of the bays best artists smh u aint from tha west coast if u aint slappin wat thiz bitch nigga hatin on reatalk bitch azz nigga talkin down on all these rappers but still behind a computer screen smh pussy azz so cal nigga


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