A Look Back: Skeme – The Statement

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I’m honestly not sure if West Coast Gangster Hip-Hop will ever die.  New artists keep coming in, changing the genre, innovating the sound, and evolving the culture.  I wonder if Ice-T, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, or even Snoop knew that this two decade-plus dominance was in the future for the then-budding Gangster rap genre. Skeme is probably one of the closest to this original sound as it gets these days.  Even though the sound is far removed from classic old school G-Funk, the swag is larger than ever.

The Statement was my introduction to Skeme, a mixtape full of Southern-influenced bangers that hit just as hard now as they did a couple years ago (the project dropped in 2011).  This new wave of West Coast Hip-Hop brings along the trunk rattles and bounce, which are characteristics typical of Southern style.  The third coast has been influential enough to mold the East Coast and West Coast sounds in the past 15 years, but each coast still maintains their identity.  Skeme understands this, making perfect music to play in your car.

You know what I mean.  It’s that type of music that relaxes you and puts you in a good mood as you cruise past the world at “reasonable” speeds (whatever you think is, of course).

“We On (Brand New Day)”, “That Good”, and “I Can’t Lose” are just jams, plain and simple.  “Westside Rooftops ft. G. Austin”, “Let it Breathe”, and “When You See Me” show his pop sensiblity.  Plus, to top it all of, his Dom Kennedy-assisted “No Stress” is a smooth song with a catchy hook.  Versatility is clearly in the tool kit for this rising West Coast sensation, and he continues to prove it with releases such as his latest project, Ingleworld.

Skeme is on the rise, while West Coast Gangster Hip-Hop continues to stay at the top.

 

Take a trip back to a couple of years ago.  Do yourself a favor and listen to The Statement.

-Ronzo

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Monday Grooves (Back and kickin)

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Welcome to another edition of Monday Grooves, ladies and gentlemen.  Quite a lot has happened since my previous Monday Grooves post. New albums, cooked beef (Drake and Kendrick), and even a wildly entertaining Kanye interview.

Now that just scratches the surface, though.  The Hip-Hop world is alive and kicking, with all sorts of up-and-coming artists making waves.  Now, this does mean there’s a whole lot of songs for me to choose from to put on here today.  However, no matter what I pick, here are three tracks that are guaranteed to keep your week groovy.

 

Dom Kennedy – If It Don’t Make Money (feat. Skeme)

Get Home Safely had high expectations, especially around these parts.  The album is pure dope and features everything we love about the smooth rapper from the West Coast.  Props Dom, it’s been hard to live up to expectations for an album this year.

“If it Don’t Make Money” is one of my favorites off the project, with swag levels to the max.  The hustle is very apparent within the bars of this track, as Skeme and Dom both represent hard work and dedication.  On a side note, it’s nice to finally hear something big from Skeme, who for some reason has been very reclusive lately.  The West Coast is on the rise, and it’s certainly not gonna stop any time soon.

 

Problem ft. Bad Lucc – Like Whaaat

Usually I get tired of a heavily played radio track very quickly.  It gets old after I hear it for the 5th or 6th time that day.  This is the reason I’ve always used a CD player in my car, listening to endless amounts of rap mixes.  Unfortunately, circumstances lately have led to my CD player to break, forcing me to use the radio.

This song has been one of my favorites that I’ve heard on the air, and I’m still not tired of it.  The hook is infectious, the beat reps the Bay Area, and you just can’t help but root for Problem as he makes his way up the West Coast food chain.  It was good to see both him and Bad Lucc in the BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher, and I’m sure we’ll see plenty more of him.

 

The Diplomats – Dipset Anthem

You knew I had to throw in the old school favorite.  The Diplomats formed their own sound back during the Roc-A-Fella hayday, and the best way I can explain it would be referring to it as “Ghetto Extravagance”.  Cam’ron, Juelz Santana, and the rest of the crew found clever ways to display Gangster attitudes with humor mixed in.  I’m pretty sure if Cam’ron wasn’t a rapper he’d be a stand-up comedian.

Anyways, Diplomatic Immunity is a gem and should be added to any serious Hip-Hop fan’s collection.

-Ronzo