In recent years, Los Angeles hip-hop has lost its place at the top of the rap game. Dr. Dre’s once ubiquitous G-Funk sound has largely disappeared thanks in part to the emergence of other super-producers, the growing dominance of southern hip-hop and the good doctor’s own absence from the scene. As a result (with the exception of the likes of Game and Snoop Dogg), the region has been mostly dormant on a national scale — until now.
In recent years, a new wave of hip-hop acts has emerged, awakening a newfound interest in L.A. hip-hop culture. These artists have each individually carved their own lane without the help of their rap forefathers, creating a sound in contrast to the G-Funk/ gangsta rap sensibility. Beginning Monday, April 18, MTV News will be highlighting some of the best of L.A.’s talented and diverse acts with our weeklong coverage of the New West.
The week kicks off with a mixtape double-feature highlighting Nipsey Hussle’s The Marathon and Casey Veggies’ Sleeping in Class. The up-and-coming Casey Veggies has made a lot of noise in the last few months — all while trying to graduate high school. Our second piece is on rising star Nipsey Hussle, who many fans once hoped would singlehandedly bring back the West. Nips’ momentum has slowed a bit in recent months, but the MC won’t be deterred. Nipsey has since embarked on his own marathon, planning to take his career to the next level.
One crew that has been pegged as “the next big thing” is the much-hyped Odd Future. OF have made waves in recent months, though, the question remains whether the 10-man collective can take the next step to the mainstream. Then there’s the four-man group known as Black Hippy, made up of Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul and School Boy Q. The foursome have made quite a bit of noise on the underground and it they seem to have already caught the attention of some important people in the industry.
But it’s not just the MCs that have been making noise in L.A.; the city’s party and dance scene has also been the focus of hip-hop fans and spawned nationwide trends. The Jerk, the Dougie and Cat Daddy (all dances, of course) have not only brought about new crazes, but they’ve helped to shed light on how L.A. youth are reviving the culture.
Finally, can Dom Kennedy, Pac Div and Young Money MC Tyga overcome their underdog status and make their mark outside of L.A.? Each act has been grinding for years, but can they defy the naysayers and prove they’re the cream of the crop?
Before the New West Week kicks off, MTV News will be gearing up by talking to a few heavy hitters about the scene. The Doggfather Snoop Dogg talks to us about how the New West MCs have made a name for themselves without a co-sign from the old guard and also shares a little bit about his new artist, Pilot. And Renaissance man Chris Brown opens up to us on Friday about how he got inspiration from L.A.’s party and dance scene while rejuvenating his career.
All week, we’ll be bringing you interviews with these artists to watch, breaking it down into four categories: the Black Hippy, the Future, Up and Coming, the Party and the Underdog. Each day, MTV News’ Sway and our hip-hop beat team will focus on a theme and recap the following day.
Starting Monday, stick with us all week as MTV News turns the spotlight on the New West, the next wave of hip-hop acts helping to restore faith in the L.A. rap scene. From groups like Odd Future to rising MCs like Dom Kennedy, we’ll bring you up close and personal to these artists as they carve their own lanes in the post-gangsta rap era. Keep it locked here for the next week for more on the West Coast up-and-comers!