Five Classic West Coast Rap Albums Turning 20 in 2015

Categories: Hip-Hop

Interscope Records
2Pac was Against the World in '95

While 1994 was undeniably a great year for hip-hop, fans have plenty of 20th anniversaries to celebrate this year as well. Whether getting "Sumpin' New" from the mainstream or seeing boundaries pushed until they "bounce" in the underground, 1995 had something for everybody and its influence is still being felt today.

Here are five classic West Coast rap albums turning 20 in 2015.

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MF DOOM's MM...Food: 10 Years Later

Categories: Hip-Hop

Jason J├Ągel
MF Doom, Part of a Complete Breakfast

It's easy to forget that at one point, the MC known as MF DOOM/Doom/Zev Love X was an artist pumping out critically heralded and commercially successful weird hip-hop projects to an ever-increasingly growing cult following. Today his audience is bigger than ever, but there's a big difference between the prolific masked man of old and the masked recluse who only blesses us with new verses once in a blue moon.

The last time we heard from the former was on November 15, 2004 when Rhymesayers Entertainment released MM...Food, the last album of the hyper-productive Doom era. Ten years and a Monster Island of controversies later, it remains one of the strongest statements of who Doom was/is. Here's the story of what happened with previously unknown details from some of Doom's trusted cohorts.

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Rapper Jehuniko's "20 Years Old" Goes Global With Anti-Domestic Violence/Rape Message

Photo by Forshow
Jehuniko says 'Respect Your Sister'
Domestic abuse and rape rhymes are often spun by rappers without a second thought. Being true to himself, Los Angeles-based Jehuniko is coming on a different tip for "20 Years Old," the lead single off his newly released album Bittersweet ."They say that 97% of rapists are never incarcerated / I hate it / How can this be?" he sounds off on the Spooz produced track where a soulful Middle Eastern bamboo flute soars over boom-bap.

The music video for "20 Years Old' gives the anti-domestic violence/rape message a global echo with Jehuniko's fans holding "Respect Your Sister" signs from all over Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and even SanTana!

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Twitter War Between Rappers is Really a Battle Over the Soul of Hip-Hop

Categories: Hip-Hop

Meranda Carter
Azealia Banks: Queen of Twitter Tussles
Rappers taking jabs at each other on Twitter ain't nothing new. But after last year's non-indictments for the deaths of Mike Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in Staten Island by police, social media wars are cutting straight to the heart of hip-hop. Sensationalist reporting of tit-for-tat tweets miss the point: MCs are battling over hip-hop, appropriation, and the culture's responsibility to the black community that birthed it.

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Top 10 War Sampling Hip-Hop Songs

Categories: Hip-Hop, Lists

Thumbnail image for war_evolutionary.jpg
WAR is evolutionary...
The Christmas season in in full-swing, New Year's Eve is just around the corner, and the legendary band War is coming to funk up Anaheim! For the past few years, the classic sounds of singer/keyboardist Lonnie Jordan and crew echo through the walls of the City National Grove after the holidays. This Friday is no different, save for War low riding into Anaheim armed with Evolutionary their first studio album in 20 years since 1994's Peace Sign. Looking back at their acclaimed body of work, the LA-bred band created a living legacy by mixing genres with funk. Jordan calls the concoction "universal street music" and it has withstood the test of time now enjoying a multi-generational appeal.

It comes as no surprise that hip-hop producers and artists dug into the crates over decades to sample from the War. The band even gave their blessing to a 1992 album Rap Declares War dedicated to the practice. The Weekly did its own digging ahead of Friday's show in presenting the 10 best hip-hop samples of War. Enjoy! And don't let no one get you down!

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Warren G Reflects on His Classic Regulate...G Funk Era Album 20 Years Later

Marv Watson
Mr. Warren G on the board
West Coast hip-hop seemed as invincible as ever when rapper/producer Warren G dropped Regulate...G Funk Era 20 years ago. Released on June 7, 1994, the debut album tapped into the strength of Dr. Dre's The Chronic and Snoop Doggy Dogg's Doggystyle that came before it while offering something distinctive along its path as a hip-hop classic. "Regulators! Mount up!" the title track called out before Warren G and Nate Dogg slickly traded rhymes with perfection over a smooth sample of "I Keep Forgetting" by Michael McDonald.

"Regulate" soared all the way up to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 list propelling the album to triple platinum status. Although the smash single detailed the gritty side of Long Beach, Warren G perfected a good times G-funk vibe throughout the album, especially with the reminiscing rhymes of "This DJ" and its eternally quotable chorus. Regulate...G Funk Era netted two Grammy nominations in creating a simply defined soundscape "where rhythm is life and life is rhythm."

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Femcee WBD Tells Tales of Survival on 'Hate Me' EP

WBD: Hate only motivates
Rapper WBD invites all haters to hate on Hate Me, her latest EP. The Salvi spitfire makes sure they've got their work cut out for them. The Weekly first introduced the rhymer last year as OC's newest hip-hop outlaw when she relocated to Anaheim from LA. She came to town back then with her Words of the Wicked mixtape. WBD returns with Hate Me, a collection riding a hybrid sound of underground and Chicano Rap allowing for WBD to spin her stories of survival. The anguish is evident in her vocal inflections on the tone-setting opener "Heaven or Hell." Produced by Toks the Blue Loko, guest features on Hate Me are stocked with fellow femcees including impressive lyrical assists by Top Dime and D'Duchess.

After an album's worth of grappling with the harshness of life, WBD ends with a laid back bonus track expressing gratitude for every waking day. And if people can't kick down with that, hate can't depreciate what it's worth.

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Five Signs You Might Be a Shitty Rapper

Categories: Hip-Hop

By: Kat Bein

Ever since dance music decided to overdose on molly, the only thing respectable alternative for pop music lovers is hip-hop.

With that said, we're sorry, hip-hop, but we have to start holding you to a higher standard. You don't want to end up like EDM, do you? Trust us, you don't.

Fix up, look sharp. You're pretty sloppy. So please, take a real hard, close, honest look at yourself. And if you're guilty of one of these five symptoms of wack-hackery, well, do the Gandhi and be the change you wish to see in the world. The future of music depends on you.

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West Coast Legend Ras Kass to Meet and Greet Fans in Orange

Categories: Hip-Hop

Timothy Norris/ LA Weekly
Ras Kass, the west coast rapper behind hip-hop classics "Nature of the Threat" and "Interview With a Vampire," will be meeting and greeting fans tomorrow at DSTRTD Truth's headquarters in Orange!

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Womyn in Hip-Hop Puts Ladies First in Santa Ana

Categories: Hip-Hop

Lucero Archuleta
Krudas Cubensi: Poderosxs!
It's been 25 years since Queen Latifah first rhymed, "The ladies will kick it the rhyme that is wicked / Those that don't know how to be pros get evicted!" on All Hail the Queen, her debut album. That very same "Ladies First" spirit lives on and thrives this Saturday in Santa Ana at an event called "Womyn in Hip-Hop," showcasing the talents of women in all elements of hip-hop culture.

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