West Coast’s 5 Best Hip Hop Artists – Part 2 누가 더 랩을 잘 하나

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Previously belittled by hip-hop purists for its alleged deficiency in lyricism and substance, the West Coast shrugged off this criticism by delivering rhymes that scream with personality. Whatever the aesthetic, bleak and sadistic, cool and unperturbed, it doesn’t really matter. Why? Regardless of the stimulation behind the lyrics, the emotion comes through just as effectively. Now, without anymore dribble from me, lets take a look at the five greatest West Coast rappers of all time.

5. E-40
For E-40, quite literally, his family helped craft an impressive legacy, as with his brother, sister and cousin, he helped create the Click, and this is where E’s love with rap began, However, since those rather innocent days, most of his artistic output has come in a solo capacity. Blessed with an idiosyncratic style, E raps like a man possessed, desperately trying to squeeze as many syllables into a bar as humanly possible. An artist with his finger firmly placed upon the fast-forward button, its this very fact that makes his music instantly decipherable.
A ludicrously successful rapper, the vast majority of his seventeen albums have hit the top twenty on charts all across the globe, and this in itself speaks volumes for E’s commercial practicability and reliability. Even now, well into his forties, E-40 is still going strong.


4. Ice-T
Long before he was kicking ass and taking names on Law & Order, Ice-T was anything but a law abiding citizen. Although N.W.A. gets the credit for initially ensnaring the nation through ferocious and exhilarating gangsta rap, Ice-T is the protagonist regularly credited with crafting and promoting the brand. 1986 was a pivotal year in T’s life, as the track “6 in the Mornin'” signalled his genre debut. Oh yes, and as if I really needed to justify T’s place, take a listen to “Colors,” it will blow your mind.


3. Snoop Dogg / Snoop Lion
So much more than just a rapper, Snoop is an epic personality, a character that we instantly associate with catchy beats and even catchier aphorisms. Doggystyle, his magnum opus, showcased his dexterity as a lyricist, especially on epics tracks like “Murder Was the Case” and “Lodi Dodi”. A seemingly ageless rapper, what separates Snoop from the other herd of MCs? Is it his hypnotizing vocal influence, his chill, self-assured appearance, or his unperturbed, conversational flow?
Quite possibly all these aspects have helped catapult Snoop into the realms of rap royalty, and on one of his most renowned tracks, “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” with huge assistance from the Neptune’s unbelievably memorable production, Snoop simply kills it. From the subject matter to his lyrical dexterity, Snoop is a legendary MC because of his legendary magnetism.


2. Ice Cube
Gangsta-rap made him do it, Ice Cube a.k.a. the Don Mega, is a living hip-hop legend. Between the late 1980’s and early 90s, Cube established himself as lead writer in the group C.I.A., then in N.W.A, a major factor in a title which was lorded upon him; The Godfather of Gangsta Rap. Following a massive dispute with N.W.A over contractual issues, Ice embarked upon an extremely successful solo rap career.

This split came after the group’s influential Straight Outta Compton album, a release that re-shaped the world of hip-hop. Having received much ridicule in recent years for his questionable movie roles, nonetheless, the world of hip-hop must regard Ice Cube as one the most talented artists to ever emerge. For instance, AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, one of the rapper’s finest pieces of work, is a full-bodied affair, an album that boosted the enormity of hip-hop immensely.

For me, listening to Cube unleash a verbal tirade over a loop from George Clinton’s “Atomic Dog,” is one of the highlights of my musical explorations. Never a man to shy away from the questions that so many were afraid to publicly declare, Cube probed and made us all too aware of the inequality in American society. A formative question that proved to be fundamental in his early career, “Why there more ni**as in the pen than in college?”

Even when he went solo, Cube never verged far from the constant doubt and fright tactics employed by N.W.A. Long before Fox News decided to scare the world on a regular basis, Cube was doing a pretty good job; however, this man did it in an artistic and totally distinctive manner. On the timeless classic “Turn Off the Radio,” Cube spits, “What I’m kicking to you won’t get rotation/Nowhere in the nation.” Complimented by the invigorating production and the rapper’s fierce delivery, Cube displays unparalleled lyrical venom.

On each album, whether in a solo or group capacity, this man has always displayed splendid wordplay, with so many tracks hitting a home run. Even though, with that being said, so many can never forgive the cruelty of “You Can’t Fade Me,” a track that angered many fans when Cube described kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach. This slip aside, Cube is an eternal, spellbinding example of artistically driven disdain for the immoral elements of society.


1. 2Pac
Yes, as we all know, Pac was in fact born in New York, although, after a quick listen to “California Love,” the rapper’s loyalty to the West is rather evident. A hip-hop modernizer, with songs like “Changes,” “Dear Mama” and “Keep Ya Head Up,” Pac gave us beautiful tracks, masterpieces that were completely different from anything else around in the ’90s. Displaying a poetic compassion yet never losing his reputation on the street, this lyrical tenderness actually reinforced Pacs hip-hop repute.

Going on to become the poster-boy for gangsta rap martyrdom, Pac is a heart-breaking representation of the needless pain that this existence inflicted on sections of black America. 23 years ago, Pac dropped his universally acclaimed debut, 2Pacalypse. Now, and quickly coupled this with an unforgettable performance in the haunting movie that was Juice. Three years later, and by mid 1994, the rapper was one of the most contentious names in the world of hip-hop. His notorious reputation within society assisted in the success of 1995’s Me Against the World, an album that shot straight to the top of the charts.

Even though lesser informed critics paint Pac in a violent manner, tracks like “Dear Mama” illustrate his capacity for affection. Almost exactly 18 years on from the release of the double-album All Eyez on Me, as well as its lead single, the aforementioned “California Love,” Pac’s rhymes still sound as fresh and as poignant.

Regrettably, the way of life that Pac portrayed so beautifully through his music soon cast a shadow over his own existence. While his celebrity was at its peak, he publicly fought with his rival, Biggie, and in September 1996, the rappers rise to superstardom was cruelly ended. Less than a week after he was shot, on September 13th, Pac lost the fight to survive. Even though he’s gone, Pac is far from forgotten, simply because we are discussing a man that left behind a legacy that can never elapse.


john glynn

Contributor, John Glynn

As a contributor of CultureM Magazine, he is writing about global culture, for example, movie, music so on. And he has a PhD in Psychology.

영국 출신의 컬쳐엠매거진 컨트리뷰터 존 그린은 영화, 음악 등 문화 관련 컨텐츠에서 날카로운 분석을 통한 심도 깊은 이야기를 전해주고 있다.

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