If you're a hip-hop fan from the West Coast, you have a lot to be happy about these days. First of all, there's Compton rap prodigy Kendrick Lamar, who was recently named MTV's Hottest MC In the Game, which doesn't mean anything except that people outside of the rap blogs actually care about him, which is awesome. Then there are his Black Hippy cohorts Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, who are so talented, it's unfair. There's also this ragtag group of skate punks from L.A. called Odd Future that you might've heard about if you're into blasphemy or the Neptunes. And for the Bay Area heads ... well, E-40 dropped five albums last year: a solo triple album and a double album with another Bay legend, Too Short. There were 88 songs in total and somehow most of them were good-to-great.
Of course, E-40's biggest song was "Function," which by no coincidence just happens to feature two of the most promising West Coast artists around, Richmond's Iamsu and Compton's Problem. Earlier this year, they dropped a collaboration mix tape called Million Dollar Afro. Now they're on the Million Dollar Afro Tour, and they're stopping at House of Blues San Diego this weekend (tickets here).
If you're the type that's into introspection, socio-political commentary and crap like that in your rap music, stray far, far away. These guys are pretty much just out here trying to function i.e. party non-stop like big a--holes. Of the two, Iamsu has probably gained more notoriety in the last year. He's become known for a weird sort of party music, this cold "ratchet" style that's like if hyphy calmed the f--- down. Meanwhile, Problem's been making waves by taking hyphy and injecting it with even more molly. Together, they have a grand ol' time blowing money, doing drugs, sexing women and generally being immoral jerks. And it's kind of a ton of fun to listen to and it'll probably be just as fun to watch live.
Quan Vu Quan Vu is the founder and editor of local music blog sdRAPS.com. He has also written about local and national hip-hop acts for San Diego CityBeat and the San Diego Reader. You can nerd out on rap trivia by becoming BFF's on Facebook or e-mailing him directly.