The West Coast music scene is a fractured mess of homogenized talent, centralized into private, thriving pocket communities which have generated enough self-sufficient interest and income that the artists which are apart of said community have no desire or need to move beyond these self-created confines. The crucible for the discerning Hip-Hop aficionado outside of these musical bubbles is this- How do we define and infiltrate these insular communities in order to reap the auditory rewards?

Damn. That shit sounded both intelligent and thought provoking, didn’t it? *golf claps for self*

But that ain’t me, lol. Well, I wrote it, but that pseudo-hyper intelligent rap psychoanalyst bullshit is better off left to the nerds and weirdos. As I listened to a project from the homie Doobyis (Check outFeelin Good Vol. 2, which is very dope BTW) I got to thinking about how the West Coast Music Scene has slowly devolved over the years into three categories I created my damn self, fuck if you like em can identify: Gangsta Rap, The Bay Area, and Blog Rap Darlings.

Note: Don’t give me any shit for missing or ignoring a particular favorite– this shit is CLEARLY an overview, not a fucking primer for the West Coast.

Gangsta Rap:

For the majority of its Hip-Hop musical history, the West Coast has been defined by Gangsta rap- From Ice T to NWA to Snoop to Game (with a whole lot of dope ass niggas in-between). With (formally) Lil Bow Wow Crip Walking gangstas into oblivion, the West Coast representation of reality rap was driven into caricature– a gross parody of its street-oriented roots.

Nipsey Hussle, Glasses Malone, and those lurking on the underneath, including 40 Glocc, Spider Loc, Jay Rock, and Clyde Carson, among others.

The Bay Area:

I’m not going to make any type of ATTEMPT to break down the Bay Area music scene. My knowledge essentially is E-40 and the Sick-Wid-It extended family,Too $hort, the Luniz, Mac Dre, Keak Da Sneak the guy who shitted on Royce in that battle that one time, the pretty bitch, Roach Gigz, and whoever Noz says I should at least give a chance too.

Meh.

The Bay Area music scene is EASILY the most insular music scene on the PLANET– you either get it, or you have simply never bothered to begin with– either way, they just keep moving along.

Blog Rap Darlings:


These guys are split into two distinct categories- the rappity rap brigade that includes your Blu’s, Fashawns, Tirons, Kendrick Lamars, and whoever else Fuckboy Shake posts over at 2DBZ, or whatever the hell Kevin decides to post at his site.

Sleep-inducing, uninteresting regular nigga rap, basically. Some would call it J. Cole Syndrome. I would call it… J. Cole Syndrome, but with less usage of the words “nigga,” “Fayettenam,” and “nigga.”

In the same category, you have your Pac Div, Odd Future, and Strong Arm Steady’s <– Each lacks some of the vitamins and minerals (c)cOLD that would gain them acceptance beyond a specific category of fans and well-wishers.

And thats it. I don't think there is ANY artist on the West Coast who doesn't fall into one of these categories, cept maybe Joker Da Bailbondsman, but his category is reserved for those who can be called—

LEGEND.

JihaD

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Comments on: "The Curious Case of the West Coast Music Scene" (21)

  1. Yeah, this isn’t the West Coast I grew up on by any stretch.

    God bless em tho.

  2. @tony

    Yea, I never remember the West Coast being so insular as they are now. The better music doesn’t WANT to be heard outside of their area, Gangsta rap is essentially dead, and 90% of the underground guys sound like Kanye West ghostwriters before they sniff the cocaine off the white woman’s crotch.

    SMH.

    JihaD

  3. In which category would you put Freestyle Fellowship?
    Isn’t a large part of Bay Area Rap to be considered Gangsta Rap?

  4. Big_seth said:

    and 90% of the underground guys sound like Kanye West ghostwriters before they sniff the cocaine off the white woman’s crotch.
    ^^

    i feel like this can be said of a lot of the rap game now days tho.

    not just CA. LOL.

    good observation. Cali rap will always have a place on my ipod tho. no matter how crazy it gets.

  5. scjoha said: July 19, 2011 at 10:51 am
    In which category would you put Freestyle Fellowship?
    Isn’t a large part of Bay Area Rap to be considered Gangsta Rap

    ^

    Freestyle Fellowship would fall into the 2nd section of blog rap darlings (ala Pac Div, OF, etc) <– infinitely talented, but lacking a certain something that would allow their sound to move beyond their boundaries.

    And yea, a lot of Bay Area stuff is Gangsta Rap, but its not defined by those tropes and themes, nor is there anything that says you can't have some crossover, hence me including Clyde Carson in Gangsta rap, even though he's from Oakland.

    JihaD

  6. Cosign Joker Da Bailbondsman being a legend

    #BringBackUncut

  7. D double O Blunted said:

    I’m still waitin for the San Andreas to go before I can really rep that west though, I mean, Edmontons closer to Vancouver than Toronto, but I’d call it Midwest at best. Appreciate ya posting my link regardless, just thought I’d clarify, I’m Canadian, not Californian.

  8. rip west coast gangsta rap

    west coast blog rap has taken over cali

  9. rip west coast gangsta rap

    west coast blog rap has taken over cali

    ^^
    *twists up fingers & skip skip whilst whistling WC’s “West Up”*

  10. Miss da days west coast g funk ran da game..great muzik..great memories..90’s best decade eva..! Anythang..muzik..fashion..economics..ANYTHANG..!

    Khakis..chux..exotic greenery..West>

  11. gramMasta said:

    “The West Coast music scene is a fractured mess of homogenized talent, centralized into private, thriving pocket communities which have generated enough self-sufficient interest and income that the artists which are apart of said community have no desire or need to move beyond these self-created confines.”

    ^ its that obvious huh?

  12. @ Shellz from da Otha post

    Ayo Jihad..what’s da baccground on dat nigga Frecc Billionaire..? He really bout what he say he bout..? Was his name rangin’ in da streets(on some rap shit or trap shit) b4 rap..? Reason I’m askin’ cuz once pon a time me and him was posed 2 do a record 2getha but it ain’t neva materialize cuz of some bullshit..but give me da scoop if u got it..and don’t 4get 2 checc my lil shit on YouTube out Dubb Dollars and I’m a keep an eye out 4 dat LifeStyle muzik..RealNiggaShit..1

  13. I’ve always thought it was time for the West to move on and do something fresh. A lot of the current Gangsta Rappers ain’t even spittin that well compared to some of the blog type rappers, but balance is key. I listen to everything from Fashawn to Clyde Carson to Dom Kennedy to Pac Div to Glasses Malone/Spider Loc, personally I’ve never been disappointed with what the West has put out, I’ve enjoyed all their music.

    Ps I only just realised the other day how good at story telling Fashawn is, he’s a young dude too

  14. AmpGeez a.k.a. Chief Heavy said:

    I’m with XLNC. The West Coast has a lot of promising acts to look out for & right now I’m prolly enjoying the music coming out of that region more then any where else.

    Skeme – The Statement >>>>>.

  15. AmpGeez a.k.a. Chief Heavy said:

    “The West Coast music scene is a fractured mess of homogenized talent, centralized into private, thriving pocket communities which have generated enough self-sufficient interest and income that the artists which are apart of said community have no desire or need to move beyond these self-created confines.”
    ^^^

    It worked for Atlanta.

  16. That new Jeezy >>>>>

  17. Mistah Fab shittin on Royce (no scat) >>>>>>

  18. Thats as fair an assessment of the Bay by someone whos not really into as anyone could hope for, good work man.

    One thing though: Fabbys the fucking worst and Sprinkle Me, despite being probably his most recognisable hit from the nineties, is one of forty waters blandest songs and easily the only weak link on his otherwise most well-rounded album. Just never thought it was fair how thats the go-to 40 joint for outsiders when its really not representative of how he does at all. This should really be the one:
    Sideways or
    I’m Mannish
    Check It Out or
    L.I.Q. or
    Flashin etc

    90% L.A. raps been confused since round the late-ninties when everyone started trying to make poor facsimiles of the Mel-Man-era Aftermath sound.

  19. Also, the great thing bout the bay is how they support their own and their rappers (more so than anywhere else) tend to know know how to keep making good music long into their careers as well as stay relevant, so them being so insular isn’t the problem it would be for everywhere else on the planet. I mean, people tend to favor their own but theres such a noticable disparity in the amount of local influences Bay Area rappers mention in interviews when compared to a rapper from say, Detroit, somewhere which has a similar rep for supporting homegrown talent (least in the last half-decade or so anyways)

    So long as them dudes stay humble, hungry, work way harder and continue to support their artists and small, community-run businesses they can easily stay self sufficient indefinitely.

  20. I feel like apart from Roach Gigz and Lil B your understanding of the Bay Area scene looks like it’s from 2005. Mistah FAB, The Federation, Celly Cel, B-Legit and more or less Keak Da Sneak are all completely irrelevant to the scene now. Some artists that are making the Bay real exciting to listen to right now are Main Attrakionz, Husalah, The Jacka, Young Gully, Young L, Lee Majors, Shady Nate, J-Stalin and Philthy Rich just to name a handful. Plus the veterans in the Bay such as Messy Marv, San Quinn and Spice 1 seem capable of releasing quality music sporadically as well.
    I’m sure if I had to write an overview of your area’s music scene it would sound pretty dumb, but damn you are missing out on a lot of quality music if your understanding of Bay Area rap mostly revolves around Hyphy-era rappers.

  21. at least we got categories nigga. east sound the same. south sound the same… am i lying?

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