Who’s Leading West Coast Hip Hop Now?

With the release of Universal  Pictures  “Straight Outta Compton”  set for  August 14, 2015, it brings to mind the glory days of when West Coast hip hop took the world by storm during the mid 80’s and 90’s. While there was most definitely many great artists and albums after this period, it is hard to compete with the attention West Coast hip hop artists acknowledged at that time.  It’s 2015, who are the West Coast hip hop leaders now?

Hands down Kendrick Lamar makes the top of this list, coming straight outta Compton himself,  he has been noted for saying a huge inspiration for his career was being a small boy standing awestruck in the crowd  watching  legendary Tupac Shukar and Dr. Dre film the chart-busting, world famous “California   Love” video.  It can’t start any more grassroots than that.  From his early works as an independent artist, to his work in Black Hippy to platinum “good kid, M.A.A.D city”, and now “To Pimp a Butterfly” he has proven himself over and over.   His powerful lyrics are deep and thought-provoking, and his musical style is complex and varied.

Native Long Beach artist, Snoop Dogg has proven himself to have staying power throughout the years delivering hit after hit. With his latest album, “Bush”, expected for release May 12, 2015, a cameo appearance on the finale for the hot television series Empire, and a well received live performance of his new single “Peaches N Cream” for the 2015 iHeartRadio Music Awards, there is sure to be more upcoming news about this West Coast long time favorite.

The Game, native of Compton and protégé of Dr. Dre, takes a high honor for being considered to revive West Coast hip hop at a time of decline. With a multi-platinum debut album behind him along with other hits and nominations, he has beyond proven his talent and notability.

Nipsey Hussle, a now independent artist from Crenshaw, was recently listed on Forbes’ 2015 list of Hip Hop Cash Princes. He shows perseverance, talent, and a new sense of business in the industry, lining him up to possibly one day become a hip hop king.

The list could go on with present day West Coast hip hop artists that should be added for the work they have done and what is to be expected from them, such as Schoolboy Q and Tyga, but it would turn an article into a novella.  This summer, with the release of the “Straight Outta Compton” movie, homage will be paid to the music of NWA, and we are looking forward to the present day artists that are chosen to participate in the soundtrack.

Stephanie Hodgson

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