Los Angeles is like the Mecca of hip hop and gangster rap. From N.W.A to Tupac, West Coast music has influenced rappers across the nation with its innovative sound and raw lyrics. Although the music has changed, one thing has remained the same: Southern California is still home to the best music in hip hop.
Read on to find out more about five of the artists carrying on the tradition of great LA hip hop in 2015!
In comparison to everyone else on this list, Skeme is a fairly new rapper. However, that does not mean he can’t hold up to them. In fact, he is one to watch as he has some hot underrated music out there. His most recent album, Ingleworld 2, is blowing up with features from The Game, T.I, and BJ the Chicago Kid. Coming from Inglewood, Skeme is here to make a voice for himself and his city.
4. Dom Kennedy
Dom Kennedy grew up in Leimert Park and broke into the music scene in 2008 with his debut album, 25th Hour. As he continued to grow with his music, his 2011 album, Westside with Love II, hit the Billboard 200 album chart. This week Kennedy will be heading out on a tour for his new album, By Dom Kennedy, with support from the next rapper on this list…
3. Casey Veggies
Casey Veggies has stolen the hearts of Angelenos with his inspirational lyrics and raw storytelling. The first time I saw the Inglewood-born rapper, he was losing his voice but still delivered a show better than any I had seen that summer. His joint album with Rockie Fresh, Fresh Veggies, will always be a classic in my library, but his mixtape Life Changes is what first put him on the map. Veggies’ newly released album, Live & Grow, is an expansion of his musical life journey and a view into his personal life.
2. Nipsey Hussle
Nipsey Hussle is just what his name implies. His “get money” mentality has allowed him to channel his inner hustler and make music that is nothing less than real. His raw lyrics are the reason why he is the only rapper who can get away with selling an album for $100. He has developed more than just music — he is a brand. The Marathon Clothing began as a pop-up shop on Crenshaw and Slauson and has grown to be internationally recognized. Hussle’s latest album, Mailbox Money, was released in December 2014, so we look forward to whatever he’s cooking up in his studio next.
1. Kendrick Lamar
Incomparable to anyone else in the music world, Kendrick Lamar digs deeper than money, women, or drugs. He has made it a personal mission to inspire his followers in a way only they can understand. His 2011 album, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, was on repeat all over Los Angeles and renewed the idea of music as a form of storytelling. Two years later, he released one of most relevant albums in hip-hop history, To Pimp A Butterfly. The poetic message in this album has created a shift in musicianship, and Lamar will continue to spread his message on his recently announced first annual Kunta’s Groove Sessions mini tour.