The sound of Bay Area rap music has had an interesting path. A lot of good, a lot of bad, and a lot of experimental stuff.
From the late 80's and early 90's with Too Short, JT the Bigga Figga, Mac Mall, Mac Dre and E-40 where they had a more Pimp-style of rap.
To the late 90's early 2000's with Keak Da Sneak, Messy Marv, Rick Rock, The Federation and Yukmouth where they talked a little bit more about the streets.
To the late 2000's to the early 2010's with Diligentz, The Pack, Mistah Fab, Roach Gigz, and Clyde Carson that gave us The Hyphy Movement.
And then the last 5 years has given us P-Lo, Iamsu, Mozzy, Kool John, ALLBLACK, and kids like ShooterGang Kony. A very strange mix of the different Bay Area styles over the last 30 years.
This next album gives us a little bit of everything we love that is Bay Area rap music.
SOB x RBE
Strictly Only Brothers
December 20, 2019
As we enter a new decade, we are entering an era of new sound. Nobody will ever be original because there's been too many of those over the last 100 years. Artists will always find inspiration from others.
This album is one big compilation of inspiration from the history of Bay Area rap music. Anyone who has listened to SOB x RBE over the last few years may be surprised to hear what they came with in their fourth full length album.
I had listened to their first two albums as they came out. "Anti" was a major banger that drew me in, but outside of that there was little substance to what I was consuming.
The opportunities to be successful were there, but they were lacking something bigger. Their music wasn't giving me any sense of nostalgia, it was just music. The chances of me going back to listening to them were slim.
But it was Christmas day, and I was feeling particularly giving, so I gave them another chance. The first song drew me in.
The slick talk and beat to open up the album sounds like something from an early 90's E-40 track.
Thought only God can judge, but I've been judged ever since
"Pass the Mic" has many quotes about how they got to where they're at. Not only can you hear them all on the same page, but you can feel like this is something different from what they've dropped before.
While their past albums have given a feel of kids just trying to seek acceptance, this track gives off a sense of them feeling like they have already proven they belong.
With the title of the song, you can imagine them coming into the booth with pure fury. Tired of feeling like they haven't been taken seriously this far into their careers.
They took themselves seriously, and expected the listener to do the same.
We don't hear this early 2010's sound as much as we should. There are heavy connections to The Diligentz when you listen to the beat carefully.
This track "Strictly Only Brothers" has many lyrics commenting on the guns they have and what they'll do with them. The album cover shows them showing off their guns. I don't know who y'all flexing on. Like, I'm a fan. I don't see what the problem is.
Bitch, I vow to never lose, I got a pocket full of blues
See, I told you they were talking about guns. I guess they were really trying to flex on someone.
But we have seen this from Bay Area music since forever. Tupac literally talked about murdering people for entire albums.
I'm usually all about positivity, but there's just something about gun violence that really gets me hyped up for my regular ass day job.
So when I first went through this album, I liked it. So the first thing I wanted to do was share it with my friends to see what they thought of it.
In the backroom at my job, we have a bluetooth speaker. So I told my coworker to play the album. I assumed they would just listen to it for a bit and then turn it off. It's pretty heavy on the street sound with a lot of connotations to gun violence.
But they seemed to like it, they even had the same view on it that I had. Saying that it sounded like a mix of new Bay Area sound with that 90's sound.
This track "Screamin Murdah" was playing when I came back to the backroom like 4 hours later. So I guess they liked this album.
Ah, your nigga died, nobody slide, nobody slid for 'em
That hook right there is incredible. It shows an unbelievable amount of transparency. He may have been yelling when he said it, but you can feel the pain in his voice the more you listen to it.
You talk about having somebody's back, this takes it to the next level. With words like these, it makes you wonder if your friends would really have your back like this.
This album is hands down the best work to date for SOB x RBE. These guys really got in the studio put their passion on the line.
They're older and have gone through more as artists and as young men. Money and fame usually changes people for the worse, but this piece of work makes us look forward to their future work.
So if you've listened to them in the past and didn't care for what you've heard, throw your previous thoughts on them out the window and give this album a try.
And if you've never listened to them before, make sure to get yourself in the right headspace. Or else you might feel like they're banging on you.
On March 31st, the West Coast lost a major figure in the rap game but more importantly in the streets. Nipsey Hussle wasn't just another rapper getting his money, he was a man from the hood giving back to the hood.
Giving young people the tools they needed to be successful on their own. Never took any handouts, and never gave any handouts.
Just a guy displaying what it truly means to help the people in his community.
But his loss inspired many young people to be better in everything they do. Especially young rappers from the west coast.
Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial
December 6, 2019
When Nipsey Hussle got Roddy Ricch to be featured on his hit "Racks in the Middle," it felt like the beginning of something big for this kid. The track was released just one month before Nipsey's death, and was the last single he would ever release.
Roddy Ricch has done nothing but make Nipsey proud with the work he has done in 2019.
His feature on Mustard's major hit "Ballin'" played through everyone's speakers for the entire summer, catapulting him to his first certified Gold track of the year.
Both of these songs are nominated for Grammy's. The kid continued to build upon his work by ending 2019 with his debut studio album Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial.
Roddy didn't just pop up out of nowhere. He dropped mixtapes Feed the Streets and it's sequel in 2017 and 2018, which can be found on all streaming services.
Anybody who listened to these mixtapes could hear the potential, but there was still something missing. It could have been the hunger to be great wasn't quite there yet. Or maybe he didn't even know the potential he could reach.
But this debut album shatters all expectations anyone could have had of him. Similar to Luka Doncic coming into the NBA and taking over immediately, this kid has already cemented himself as a major player in the game.
This single "Big Stepper" was the first to be released off of the album in early October. The video displays Roddy in all black in the middle of the night, in front of a dark horse. A lot of undertones of Halloween mixed with the dark nights in his streets of Compton.
In the hook he states "I was taught to never show no love." Which just encapsulates everything needed to know about this track and where his mindset was while creating this album. This track was the big step to get him to where he was trying to be when dropping this album.
The buzz was just beginning, and was only going to grow.
He decided to keep the ball rolling when he dropped "Start Wit Me" just a few weeks later with Gunna.
Once again dressed in all black, like he's going to a funeral. Only this time, it is daytime and he's surrounded by those dressed in white.
There's a bit of ironic humor in this track when he says "I'ma hang with the gangbangers. He only hang with the feds and the rats and the mice." As Gunna was just caught up snitching a few years back on a crime television show.
But this track displayed what we could come to expect from Roddy. It has all the makings of Future's DS2 mixed with his west coast sound.
As with many of the songs on this album, you can make many comparisons to that classic from Future. But not only the music, but there's a lot of similarities in how this album will effect his career.
After Future dropped DS2, every album after that came with major expectations. Roddy Ricch came with the heat on his first album, and anything less from now on will be a disappointment.
After his second single, he revealed the release date of his debut album. With much anticipation, Roddy dropped one final single before the album "Tip Toe" featuring A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie.
And I had the strap when I caught my case
Everybody knows the best weed comes from Northern California, even those from Los Angeles know what's up.
But that case he's talking about is the only time he's ever been convicted of a crime. He was charged with domestic violence, when an argument between him and his girlfriend turned physical. Neither of them needed medical attention thankfully.
Here's a bit of advice for many of you young men out there. It's a real simple thing: Don't put your hands a woman. Just don't do it. You'll ruin her life, your life, and it's a really tough reputation to shake.
So I hope he learned his lesson when he posted his $50,000 bail. And hopefully men wake the fuck up and stop with this shit. It's flat out stupid.
The album is a hit. The perfect way to bring in the new year with some good music.
But with talent comes lofty expectations. A young man with all the talent in the world can blow it a million different ways. And I'd hate to see it blown due to domestic violence.
The substance of there album carries a lot of weight for a few reasons. He can carry on a legacy of knowledge similar to that of Nipsey Hussle, or he can limit his growth by simply putting out what everyone wants to hear.
I don't believe that he's actually antisocial, that doesn't really make sense for someone who decided to become a famous rapper. Reserved would probably be a better word to use, but that doesn't sound as relatable to the kids.
Regardless of the choices he decides to make in his young career, he'll always have this album. And he'll always have 2019 as a stepping stone to build off of.
One of my first jobs ever was at a minor league baseball stadium as a cook. My boss was pretty cool and let me play my music to get through our work day.
The playlist was mostly pretty good, had some throwbacks, but mostly new music. Everybody was usually pretty happy with my song choices, I didn't have too many complaints.
There was one song however that was polarizing. I would either see a huge smile on my coworkers faces, or I would hear loud grunts followed by "This song again?!"
But no matter how much they complained, every Friday right before the gates opened, I would blast this one song and sing it at full volume. As time went on, I got a lot of my coworkers to sing along with me.
It was a way to get everyone excited for work, and people still tell me to this day that they remember hearing that song every Friday and actually feeling a certain nostalgia when they think about it.
Social media was still in it's infantile stages, so going viral really meant something different. When you went viral, you were the only thing everyone was talking about. And even though Rebecca Black's "Friday" came out in 2011, it still remains one of the most viral moments of the 2010's.
This was full of bubble-gum lyrics, and sounded like something you freestyle with your kids when you're trying to get them ready for school. Yet, those lyrics captivated people for the whole decade. Helping her to 140 million views on YouTube, and who knows how many plays on MySpace in its day.
We're going to rank those squeaky-clean lyrics because it seems like the right thing to do.
I'm sure you guys have heard the song by now, but if you haven't here it is.
It's Friday, Friday
This is a fact. Who isn't ever looking forward to the weekend? Even if you work on the weekends, there's just always a lot more going on during the weekend.
But especially for a 13 year old kid. High school is probably the last time you really had little to no responsibilities, so the weekend was literally all you were looking forward too.
This is probably the actual best bar of the song because you could see this being used in any huge pop song. A song based around Friday's could easily be a hit if some mainstream pop singer like Drake made it.
I see my friends
First of all, you're going to take whichever seat is available. If you have people in the front seat, you're getting the back seat, unless you just bully someone out of that front seat. And that would be fucked up, because that's your friend.
And it just reminds us how indecisive teenagers are. They can't even choose a damn seat in a car that has one seat available. So damn spoiled.
In the video, she makes her way to the back seat and rides in the middle. Which brings us to the next best line.
I got this, you got this
Probably the most empty lyrics of the song, yet they still somehow carry an immense amount of weight.
First of all, what is it exactly that I am supposed to have got when she says that we got this? And why must she repeat it? She says that I now know it, but I don't know what the fuck she's talking about ten years later.
Then she says that her friend is by her right. She's not wrong, but I thought her car was full of her friends. Why is just the one girl sitting next to her the only one she is shouting out?
Fun, Fun, Thinkin' bout Fun
WHAT DO I KNOW?!
We, we, we so excited
I just want to know why they felt the need to speak with such improper grammar in this instance.
They could've easily said "We're" instead of "We." But I guess if they did then "We" wouldn't be talking about it.
7 am waking up in the morning
We all remember what it was like getting ready for school. Especially on a Friday in high school. You had to make sure you looked good and was as she says "Fresh."
But the hardest-hitting, most relatable line in the song is "Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal." The fact that she had to let you know the bowl comes first should tell you how serious she takes her morning cereal.
She has one specific bowl that she uses for cereal, and she gotta have it. Cereal goes hard at any time of day, but the fact that she had enough time before going to school to eat her cereal should tell you how excited she was to wake up that Friday morning.
Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday
Here we are. The best line of the song.
I really don't know where to begin. The fact that they had to clarify the days of the week leaves me astounded to this day.
Unless you're a two year old listening to this song, then you know the days of the week. The whole damn song is about Friday. We know it's Friday. We know the days of the week.
Yet this line may have been the one that really pushed this song into it's viral holiness. It really just goes back to how pure and clean this song is.
It reminds us of everything that is good in the world. A kid who loved Friday's so much that she had to sing about it. My whole goal in life is to love anything as much as 13-year old Rebecca Black loved Friday's.
As much as people loved to hate on this song and this kid when the song came out, everyone knew the words. Not that it was hard, but they still knew them.
It was catchy, it was fun, and totally encapsulated a typical Friday for a young teenager. A certified viral banger.
I'm not sure when it began, but I've always gravitated towards the younger artists in music industry. I like artists of all ages, but for some reason I get intrigued with the amount of potential these younger artists show.
Just thinking about people we've wrote about on this site have been 6ix9ine, Smooky Margiela, Lil Skies, Jasiah, Bexey, and Jaden Smith. All artists 23 years and younger.
So let's keep the youth movement going with this next artist.
At this point, you've probably heard Lil Tecca's major banger "Ransom." And while that song is on my list of "Most Unskippable Songs," it's not what we're here to talk about.
In that song, he tells the audience that he's got what you want. Whether it's this or that, black or white, red or blue. He's got a versatility that you can only hear if you actually tune into his debut album.
With a lot of these young guys in the internet-era that we live in, you can make a lot of money off of one song. But it's difficult to maintain a career that way. An artist can make a few bangers and fall off and live rich for a while.
It takes time, dedication, and a willingness to grow. So when I hear an album like "We Love You Tecca" I listen for the potential more than anything else.
A 17-year old with all the potential in the world can throw it away in the timespan of a Vine. So let's dive into a few tracks that may just give us a glimpse into his future as an artist.
*We're going to try something new this time, where we break down certain lines into categories. Let's see how it goes.*
"Did It Again"
Smoothest Line: "If you want a feature, give me a grand. Drip on my body, I'm cool like a fan."
Everything with the kids nowadays is about "The Drip." For you millennials, think of it like "Swag" or "Steelo." The Drip can be anything you want it to be. It's basically the way you carry yourself.
On the surface, he just looks like another dorky kid you pass by in the hallway. He's got the big framed glasses and a mouthful of braces. But his flow carries a certain confidence that is similar to that you'd see from someone like Big Sean.
Most Quotable Line: "You steady watchin' all the winning niggas, you gone lose"
This is probably a caption on a million teenage boys' Instagram posts. The one's where they got their hood on and they're flipping off the camera. I was a teenage boy once, and I know for a fact I would've used this as a caption on one of my MySpace pictures.
Line that shows the Most Potential: "Fuck all the fighting, be cool. Fuck all the dying, keep tools."
Everyone has an opinion on gun violence. But we can all agree that dying at the hands of gun violence has got to stop. He's not with all the beef.
With that said, some people need guns to survive. Whether you agree with that or not is up to you. But a young kid with millions of dollars probably isn't going to chance anything. So if he thinks keeping a "tool" is going to help him navigate through, then so be it.
Maybe as he progresses as an artist and a young man, he'll be able to expand more thoroughly on this topic.
Smoothest Line: "You said you want beef, nigga go to Five Guys"
Once again, we're seeing that Tecca isn't really with the beef shit. But it's going to come eventually, if it hasn't already. At this time, it seems like he's not going to pay it any attention.
That goes for you, too. You'll spend a lifetime worrying about what other people want to say about you, when in reality you should be worrying about yourself. The only beef you should have is with yourself, and why you haven't reached that certain goal you've set for yourself yet.
Most Quotable Line: "She used to throw me, now she really want me. I can tell that she mad I'm on."
I'm not sure if he's talking about one girl in particular, but I know we all have that one person we think of when we hear this line. They don't really want you until you're doing good.
So if you just went through a break-up and you're trying to flex, use this as your next caption.
Line that shows the Most Potential: "Hit em with that slow grind, I had to go steady."
In an age where everybody wants everything right now, artists are more hesitant to think about what's to come in the long run. And I don't blame them, because people will judge you off your first piece of work.
Think about any artist you really like, most of them only get better with time and life experiences. So for a teenager to understand that it's about the "Slow grind" is a rare occurrence. I'm sure it took him a long time just to get where he's at, and it'll take a lot more work to get even better.
"Out of Luck"
Smoothest Line: "My life a movie the way they be acting"
When you get money and fame, it's hard to know who is really there for you because they are genuinely happy for you. Everyone will fake it just be a part of your lifestyle.
It sounds like a pretty basic line, and that's because it is. But as the first line in the song, it sets the tone for pretty much the whole album. This young man is trying to figure out what's real and what's Hollywood.
Most Quotable Line: "They say that 'This nigga a fucking nerd' ... Wonder why some nigga on the internet richer than them with brace teeth."
This one is a major fact. The first time I saw his video for "Ransom" was months ago. And before I even knew who he was or what he could become, I think I literally asked myself "Is this nerd for real?"
You know those old dorky high school pictures people show you of themselves? Lil Tecca is having to live his dorky high school in the public's eye. So he might as well use it to his advantage.
Line that shows the Most Potential: "Can't control if you broke or born rich. If you want a situation, nigga deal with it."
A whole mindset. Everybody has a different story and a different background. You may have been blessed with great parents and had more opportunities than other. But regardless of what opportunities you've had or haven't had, it's all about what you do with your situation to get the one you want.
He may not have even been thinking about it that deeply that when he spit this bar, but it's the state of mind that helped him get it out. If he's able to continue to have that hunger to make the most of every opportunity, he may just become something real.
This album gives us a lot of sounds and bars we've heard from a lot of other young artists. But it's the combination of his age, mindset, and his flow that give us faith that he can grow as an artist.
As a whole, I'd have to put this album as one of the best rap albums of the year. It's got versatility. There's something about it that just makes you excited for the future.
Not specifically for him, but for everything in your life. If there's something to take from this album, it's that we all still have that teenager with big dreams in our hearts. He was just able to put his dreams into music.
And maybe one day, We all will really love Tecca.
Whenever your day comes, you need to be ready. Continue to move sharp because who knows when your moment is going to come.
Life can be rough sometimes, but that's no reason to stop moving forward. It's the little details and little victories that make everyday worth living.
So keep moving forward, and don't try to hung up on the fact that you haven't reached your big goals yet. Sometimes Less is More.
Less Is More
April 29, 2017
It's been two years since Dave Steezy dropped an album, But Less is More still plays like it's brand new.
These nine songs that amount to just 21 minutes of art, which makes it easy to play over and over. Sometimes the best part about an album is it's replay-abilty.
You could be on a drive to work and get stuck in some traffic and not even realize that you've just listened this album two times. You also won't even be mad that you were in traffic because the music kept your mind at ease. Uninterrupted good vibes, with nothing but quality sound.
Steezy starts off the album proving that he's focused on his mission with "AGo-Getter." He introduces the listener to some motivation with phrases like "Money makin' moves all day, I'm not lazy" and "Only elevate up, that's the shit that I'm on." They type of words you should be telling yourself on a daily basis to keep it pushing.
"Hokeo Drift" is a pretty funny name for a song. But it's exactly the kind of name for a song we'd come to expect from anyone who grew up listening to the likes of E-40 and Mac Dre. Northern California rappers typically have their own slanguage that they continue to build upon.
It's a weird thing to think about, but there are still people out there who are listening to the radio. And everyone knows what "radio music" sounds like. But we should be redefining what "radio music" is.
Because when you hear songs like "Naturally" it sounds like it can be a radio hit, but for some reason it's not because it may not have that "Pop(ular)" sound.
But that sound the radio stations should be looking for is quality music, not what's most popular. But I get it. Thats why pop artists like Drake, Chris Brown, and Ariana Grande are Pop artists. Because they specifically make popular sounds.
Back to our story, "Naturally" is the kind of song that could be played on repeat because of the unique sounds and how it can be a mellow beat while still making you gig at the same time.
He starts off by saying "Naturally, these things do happen." Just think about what you're going through right now, whatever it is, listen to these words. Guarantee that they relate to your situation.
My family gonna be involved,
How many of y'all have used Airbnb before? I'm guessing it's going to be at least half. I'm still not sure what the track "Air B&B" has to do with the website. But I'm guessing when he's saying "Hit me when you on the way, I'm at a condo" he's talking about an Airbnb.
Either way, this song is real smooth. The beat lays down perfect like a blanket you put out for a picnic on a nice day. Steezy sandwiches two verses between three hooks. He literally brings the condiments when he says "Yeah I got the sauce, I got the condiments."
After the picnic and hanging out at the Airbnb, Steezy talks about his "Sunrise."
Girl, you make my sun rise
Everyone is looking for love, and a good time. But not just a good time as in "Oh yeah I had a good time with you last night." Good time as in like time well spent. Where you learned something about that other person and most importantly about yourself and your journey.
The sun rises every day because that's what it's done since the beginning of time. But it's all about finding people who give the sunrise meaning in your life.
Don't take for granted the little things in life, like the sunrise. If you spend too much time worrying about what's happened to you in the past, you won't be able to enjoy the time that's ahead of you.
So set an alarm tomorrow morning to watch the sunrise. And write yourself a note that simply says "Less is More." Guarantee it'll go a long way.
The artist formerly known as DJ Mustard has changed his name and his position in the game. Mustard, who was just known as a producer who dropped fire beats now has the hottest album of the summer and possibly the Rap album of the year.
He went from being a hype man for YG to being the guy that artists only wish to work with. His beats are seemingly exclusively for only the hottest artists, as we can see from his latest release Perfect Ten.
These ten songs live up to the hype of the album title, however he’s got some songs that are getting overlooked. Of course the biggest bangers are “Pure Water” with the Migos and “100 Bands” with Quavo, YG, and Meek Mill.
But there’s a trio of songs that may never get the same amount of radio play as those songs, but are hands down some of the hardest tracks of 2019.
What better place to start than the first track of the album. 1takejay came through with 2 straight minutes of bars. He didn’t even let the beat get a chance to breathe.
The summers in LA are always hot ones, just like this track. There may be no more relatable words than when 1takejay said “Ridin’ through the city where it’s litty, countin’ hunnids countin’ fitties,I like bitches with big titties”
All the talk of 2019 Summer has been that the women were going to have a Hot Girl Summer, but this is the anthem for the Hot Boys. The girls are taking an L this summer, boys y’all keep doing your thing.
While they going to keep claiming to be “Doing me” just tell them “Yeah I’m doing you too.” They can front and act like they’re all big and badd, but just play this track after you leave her house and you’ll know you’ve won the summer.
Baguettes in the Face
(featuring NAV, Playboi Carti, A Boogie wit Da Hoodie)
So I had to ask my 13 year old brother-in-law what Baguettes were. And from what I understand it’s a really expensive diamond. So I’m assuming when NAV says “Don’t ask me the time, I got Baguettes in the face” that he is talking about diamonds in his watch. If I’m mistaken, please let me know.
This track is perfect for if your girl just broke up with you and now you got some more money to spend on yourself. Let yourself be sad that she fired you, but then slap this and remember that you that n*gga for real fr.
Probably the most disrespectful bar of the entire album came from NAV when he said “Have you ever been with a boss? I know your boyfriend took you shopping at ROSS.” I just have to say that I’m personally offended and I’ll be filing a lawsuit.
These Hot Girls trying to act like they not about claiming about who they’re with, yet they’re the ones out here talking. Tell them like A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie said in the final verse “Don’t give me no hickies, baby give me sloppy.”
Hot Boys are two for two so far.
(featuring Roddy Rich)
The hardest track of the album, and possibly of the summer. Mustard linked up with fellow Los Angeles artist Roddy Rich to make a feel good song.
Everybody at some point will reach the peak of their life and will remember back to the times when they didn’t have shit. Whether it is mentally, financially, or physically, there’s always somewhere you can look back and say “This made me who I am.”
Roddy told his story of where he was just a short time ago, and it offers all kinds of inspiration. In the first verse he says “Young nigga on the corner, yeah I had to serve Crack. Uncle fronted me some P’s, had to get them birds back.”
If you’ve ever turned to selling crack on the corner, then you’ve been desperate for some paper. Whether it’s because you had to pay your bills or because you just love money too much, it takes a certain mindset to do that to get where you want.
So ask yourself right now, how bad do you want get to where you want? You don’t necessarily have to break the law to get what you want, but are you willing to put it all on the line?
I need all my Hot Boys to remember this; getting girls and all that is cool. But what’s even better is focusing on you and doing what you have too in order to take the next steps in your life.
So bump this album, get high, drunk, turnt, whatever you gonna do, and then use it as a motivation to set some goals for a Focused Boys Fall.
Heres an original Mustard Hot Boy Summer anthem...
In April of 2010, Michael Burton Jr. was working at a chemical plant in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania when there was an unfortunate accident. A chemical explosion caused him to go through multiple surgeries and spent years in and out of hospitals.
He decided the only way he could get past this incident was to create music and tell his story. He went by the rap name skies and instead of doing it on his own, he made music with his son. Their album was called Father/Son Talk and it brought them closer than ever and Michael passed something to his son even bigger than he could've dreamed of.
An accident led to the future, and the artist now known as Lil Skies.
It's beautiful to see great things come out of unfortunate situations. The story behind Lil Skies and his family is incredible. It gives me as a father motivation to always make sure to include my son in everything I am passionate about.
At just 20 years old, it may seem as if he is a new up and coming artist. But he's been doing this since he was about 13 years old, so being a musician has come natural. He is already on his second full length album and looks to have a promising career.
His following seems to be a positive group of young people who admire his lyricism for its consistency. Consistency in the fact that he is always looking forward and remembering that everything that has happened in the past is a lesson.
But it hasn't always been this way. His lyricism has come a long way in just a few years as a signed artist.
We'll go year by year to see the growth. "Rude" came out in 2017 and was just the third official video he ever recorded.
It's got a lot of your typical references about fake bitches and disloyal niggas. But you could see the potential. The flow was smooth and the story telling ability was in it's early stages.
It's similar to what you would see from a rookie in the NBA. That first year is always going to have its rough patches. There will be ups and downs, but there will always be flashes of the future that get you excited of what could come.
A lot of the song was in your basic four bar sequence. But every so often you would get a cold four bars and tell yourself "Ok youngin."
Call my lawyer, I'm beating the case
Fast forward one year, and it was the same kid but with a whole new approach to the beat. His 2018 video "Welcome to the Rodeo" was his introduction to the rap world. The video is a homage to Lil Wayne's "A Milli" as the camera follows Lil Skies backstage of a production set.
A little bit of time has passed and he has ben able to learn how to reflect on his past. He talks about his long nights in his garage, selling drugs to get his money up. Not sure how his dad would feel about him selling drugs, but it's tough to imagine a scenario where a struggling family would be able to pay for all those medical bills on a middle class salary.
But now he's at the top of his game and everyone who doubted him is trying to get in on his fortune. Another similarity to young NBA players who sign that first contract. Old friends and family they haven't seen in years start to come to them and ask to be around. Everyone wants to be close to you when you're on, but don't want to be there while you're struggling through the journey.
He bet on himself when nobody besides his close family did. The kid got tattoos on his face, so you know he that's he all in on himself.
I got tattoos on my face, I use that shit as motivation
It's 2019 now, and Lil Skies is a steady force in the rap game. His sophomore album was no slump. He kept his momentum going and may have dropped his best song of his young career.
"i" is a look into the mind of a kid who is getting closer to his emotional side. He is learning how to express himself with more of a mellow tone. Rap isn't always about coming with hard bars, and he realizes that.
This track has made him more relatable to people who may have thought his music was slightly aggressive, or may have judged him by his face tattoos. Everyone has times of sadness and darkness, and Lil Skies is no different.
Life goes on, I can't take breaks
The story of Lil Skies and how he became to be is enough to view him as an inspiration. But his story isn't over, it's just beginning.
So as he continues his growth in music and in life, we will be able to know where it all started and enjoy the journey with him. The sky is the limit for Lil Skies.
One of the strangest reasons for people not liking a rapper and their lyrics is when they say, "I can't relate to this." Therefore in their mind, the music is not good or it lacks substance.
Let's take Eminem for example. People on social media have said things such as "Y'all listening to a dude talking about his mom's drug addiction and him wanting to kill his baby mama? Can't relate." Yeah, no shit you probably can't relate.
But it's not about the lyrics themselves that you need to relate to in order to understand or feel the message being presented. In some cases, rappers aren't trying to be relatable. They're just trying to live their truth.
And they say the truth shall set you free.
"First Day Out"
November 6, 2016
There's something about those Michigan rappers, they really know how to tell intricate stories. This single from Tee Grizzley was recorded just two days after he was released from jail. And from that point on, his life would never be the same.
This was supposed to be a single just to get his name out there, instead it made his name one to be respected. Not only in the streets as someone who has lived through some shit, but as a new up and coming artist with dreams of going from nothing to everything.
"First Day Out" starts out soft and subtle. He is going through his mind and thinking about everything he has gone through to get to this point. Whether that was cooking dope, being dead broke, or sitting in the court room wondering if he would ever experience another "free" day in his life.
Grizzley talks to all the people who have been through the fire with him. Reminiscing on all the violence and criminal activities they committed before they were able to learn from their mistakes. He is essentially setting the table for what is about to be a hefty meal for the listener.
Go get a thermometer for the pot, I need this shit cooked right
What starts out as a song that songs like a heartwarming comeback story, turns into a hard hitting moment of truth. At about a minute and a half into the song, the beat and mood of the story completely changes. Grizzley turns from a man of reflection into a man with his sights set on everything.
His entire spirit is exacerbated and he allows himself to let out all the feelings he had cooped up while in his jail cell. Three years of being behind bars was a small price for him to pay to achieve this level or artistry.
One can only imagine what it is like to be locked up and feel like the world is against you. While facing multiple charges for armed robbery and home invasions, he continued to fight the system and his own demons so that he could keep pushing forward.
Some people could have easily folded in this position. Allowed the system to hold them down and continue to fall into the same criminal traps to get them right back where they were. But Grizzley knew he was destined for more.
Don't let them get the best of you, just get the revenue nigga
The constant bars in this song are unmatched from many artists in the game right now. And considering the fact that he wrote this just two days after getting out of jail while being an unsigned artist, truly makes this story that much more powerful.
Every bar is a story within the story. Every line means something to him, the person he is referring too, or the situation he was in at the time.
He wanted to share this moment with his younger brother. Getting out of jail, and having that first day with his family meant the world to him. However, his brother was already in jail by the time he had made it out. Only adding more fuel for his fire to make sure his message was felt by the world.
The feds say my name hot like when the oven on
It's not always about what music is most relatable to you. If every song you listened to made you say "Same" then you as a listener would never allow yourself to put yourself in someone else shoes for a day.
This man told his story of his "First Day Out" of jail. Something most, if not all of you, will never experience.
So the next time you are listening to a rapper spit some shit that makes absolutely no sense to you, think about where they were coming from when they wrote it. Think about how they must've felt when they were able to finally put their story in writing and get through it without having second thoughts about whether or not to share it with the world.
These words are more than just bars to them, it represents their moment.
Quality over Quantity.
Less is More.
It's a Numbers Game.
The world is one big cliche. You don't have to be crazy to live in it, but it helps. And going outrageously dumb at venues (GO DAV) helps too.
June 5, 2019
Five years into his career, P-Lo continues to keep on going. And by going, we mean going stupid just in time for the summer. Somethin' Light lives up to its name as it is just a three song release.
P-Lo somehow found a way to give the world exactly what it needed for the summer in this small package. The sounds represent everything the about the Bay Area weather that everyone travels miles to see. Put Somethin' Light on wherever you're at and you'll feel the Bay Area breeze.
He opens up the release with "Hella Fun." A track perfect for the strip clubs. (Not that we know what is played at the strip clubs. We're just assuming because of the lyrics that they would play it there. Don't tell Mrs. Irrelevant.)
"Going Hella Dumb
Jay Anthony on the chorus is a throwback to some Diligentz vibes. His smooth voice makes throwing one's sound like a hoot.
P-Lo has done his due diligence by consistently putting local artists on his work. From Jay Anthony, to ALLBLACK, to AKAFrank. He never doesn't stop putting the Bay on.
The next track on this release sounds like something between Zapp & Roger and Dave Steezy. "Luh You" is your typical rap love story.
A man has some plans to make her his girl.
He tells her that he's different and that she's independent.
He trash talks her ex.
Uses the term "Nothin' above you"
Is full of perfect Instagram captions, which we will display next.
"You text back, I hit my dance"
This track is perfect for the ladies who want to be sung to. And its perfect for the dudes who are looking for that special girl to call their summer love.
This last track is guaranteed to be a major banger. Put "Type Beat" on in the car at full volume and try not to let the feeling of the 2005 Hyphy Movement take over your mind and your limbs. It's the kind of beat that hits so hard that you start dancing while driving ad you take your hands off the steering wheel.
With every bar P-Lo spits, you'll be shouting "Aye! Aye! Aye!" while encouraging your passengers to hit that shit hard. The authentic Bay sound let's you know that the dream of Mac Dre still lives on through P-Lo.
Or if you don't like to be an unsafe driver, put this on at the pool party. Everyone will be giggin' with a red cup in hand, making sure not to spill a single drop of that ice-cold Patrennesey.
I know that they prayin' I don't hit again
Read those lyrics in Mac Dre's voice. Anyone who has ever listened to him can hear his voice saying these words. This is the precise lyricism that the listener won't get from anyone not from Northern California.
P-Lo has yet to release music that can't be danced too. But his music isn't all beats, there is substance in the work. If it was just about the beats, he'd just simply be a producer.
He continues to prove why he is one of the best artists in the Bay Area, and one of the best producer/rappers in the game. Somethin' Light has something for everyone.
The older generation's favorite thing to say about the state of the youth is that they ruin everything. The youth is creating a bad image for the future generations to follow. The youth is responsible for all that is bad in the world.
But here's something the older generations tend to forget, they were once that young generation who used to say "Fuck you" to the older generations before them. Especially with music. Music has always been the place for expression for the youth, specifically coming from rock & roll and rap music.
So what happens when you mix the two genres together? The biggest "Fuck You" you've ever experienced.
Trap music can often be described as ignorant, loud, and scary by those who don't consider it music at all. But to those who enjoy the sounds, it can described as emotional, uplifting, and colorful. The thing about most of these trap artists is that they couldn't give a shit about whether you like it or not. That's the whole shtick.
Jasiah isn't ignorant at all, actually he's an educated young man from Dayton, Ohio. He graduated from Stivers School for the Arts where he not only gained an education, but also learned about the different forms of musical performance and art.
It doesn't take a genius to make music, but it does take dedication to the craft and the ability to be a target for criticism. And if you're screaming your vocals the entire time, chances are that someone is going to hear you.
There's a lot of rappers out there talking about things they aren't really living, so lyricism is mad overrated. So when Jasiah says the same lines over and over, don't just sit there and think "He's just repeating himself, this lacks creativity."
Because maybe he's saying "I'm depressed" a million times because, I don't know, maybe he's feeling depressed. A normal feeling that many young people go through, he's just not afraid to say it. He's literally shouting it.
If you had the bass turned up on your speakers when listening to his track "This is for my Young Niggas Who Listen to Soulja Boy" then they might have blown out after this song. His production value comes on very strong. If the beat was a body building competition, then he snapped the trophy in half and shoved it down the judges throats.
Nigga, runnin' up on me is a mistake
These lyrics are from the video above, his most popular song "Crisis." The visuals are like those of the video "Bodies" by Drowning Pool mixed with "My Name is" from Eminem. What better combination could you possibly want from a music video?
This is the type of music you need to hear when you are getting ready for that job interview. Just because you are a Finance major applying for a job at H&R Block doesn't mean you aren't allowed to get hyped the hell up. Get your blood boiling and make yourself feel invincible by listening to this beat at high volume.
Allow yourself to scream one time. We're always talking in normal toned voice and the only time we yell is when we're mad. How about you yell to pump yourself up? Get out of your day to day crisis!
Make a nigga wanna take a step back
Ok, yes we were saying that this music is emotional and all of that. But sometimes it's ok to just get full ignorant and say screw everything. We don't condone the use of the words bitch and hoe, unless the woman likes to describe herself as that. Then in which case, be a hoe girl. Do you!
And for all the women with flat asses, there are dudes out there who will have sex with you. But not Jasiah, sorry. And for the dudes out there, he said you can have that. So congrats, he saved some women for you.
The best part about Jasiah's music is that it doesn't ask for anything from the listener. You get what you get from it, and if you don't get anything at all then he doesn't care.
Maybe that's what gets lost as we get older and become that older generation that doesn't understand the youth. There's an expectation that everything that is put out into the world must give something back. Why can't things just be?
Jasiah doesn't need your validation and he doesn't care for your criticism. And that's the message the youth should really get from this.