View Full Version : When the West is in the House

08-18-2010, 06:08 PM
Today I look at the left coast and why people hated on them for years


Almost two decades ago Ice Cube made the brilliant decision to go solo long before it was considered a smart career move. What came out of that was the first true east coast/west coast collaboration as The Bomb Squad handled the production for “Amerikkka’s Most Wanted”. At the time it was groundbreaking, as not only did it open the door for more east/west collabs (like Biggie and Pac working together, unlike what Missy Elliot and her dumb ass seems to think, as she once said it’s a shame those two never were in the studio together), it also proved that not everyone has to stay inside their little box, and now 20 years later we see that most of the boxes don’t even really exist anymore, to the point where labels like “east” and “west” are becoming irrelevant for anything other than geographical identity.

There was once a time when people claimed the west coast rappers were a little short on lyricism, and while people like this obviously chose to ignore legends like Ice-T, King Tee, and Spice 1, there was a noticeable different between the style of hip hop coming out of New York versus what Cali was offering. It made sense seeing that hip hop was still very much in its infancy and the majority of rappers grew up listening only to local music, at least as far as hip hop went, so their style would be influenced by those around them. However with the Ice Cube album it proved that the two styles could work together, but it still kept consistent with the differences in east coast/west coast sound. We’ve always held on to those labels of “east” and “west” and recently “south” but in the last couple of years the rookies are showing us that where you’re from doesn’t necessarily define your style anymore, as growing up now kids are hearing hip hop from all over, not just their local communities, so the influences they are getting prevent them from being pigeon-holed into one style based on their location.

Jay Electronica reps the South but sounds like he’s straight outta New York, Nipsey Hu$$le is straight up west coast but lyrically can hang with any east coast rapper, same goes for Fashawn who recently dropped a mixtape paying homage to one of the greatest east coast albums ever made. We all know the distinct differences regarding rappers from Brooklyn and Queens (by the way, Brooklyn rappers > Queens rappers), but now we gotta check the bio and even then we might be surprised to see where some of these cats are from. So with all the talk about how the west coast has always been weak on lyrics and how they’re “finally” getting some talent up in there, is it because they’ve finally learned how to rhyme, or because the kids now aren’t just growing up with Too Short and Ice-T but also Nas and Jay-Z? You see the influences these rappers list, from Pac to Biggie to Nas to Cube to Chuck D to Snoop. You got the whole spectrum instead of an obvious area. It’s dope to see how these young’ns have opportunities that those before them didn’t, with the ability to hear everything from everywhere and develop of their style by being influenced by legends in the game from all over, it only expands the culture that much more.

So rather than sarcastically applaud the west coast from catching up as far as lyricism goes, realize that the west always did have lyrical talent to offer and that the reason we’re getting so much more talent now is because the expansion of hip hop has affected all areas of the culture, including the most basic of elements, and as it grows more and more the talent pool is only gonna get better and better, and if you’ve slept, get up on your west coast history, don’t Act A Fool.

David Daniel Davis
08-18-2010, 10:46 PM
Lyricism seems to be more of an East Coast trait and the laid back style seems to be more of a West Coast trait and that is why both coasts came out like that; New York rappers come up hearing lyricism; so they emulate that and California rappers come up hearing that smooth stuff and they use that style.

08-19-2010, 12:55 PM
I don't know why some New York rappers don't like Los Angeles and Oakland rappers. I don't care what coast rappers are from as long as the lyrics and beats are tight. I like a lot of rappers from Los Angeles and Oakland.