Los Angeles is a big enough city to support a diverse and eclectic range of artists and styles. The past year has seen the rise of several up and coming superstars that are making their way into the national scene.
The City of Angels is now home to some of the biggest names in Rap. West Coast emcees like YG, Problem, Kendrick Lamar, and Nipsey Hussle have been holding the streets down for a minute. Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, and the incomparable Dr. Dre are legends. Tupac is a cultural icon for showing us how to live and die in LA. Hip-hop has chronicled the evolution of Los Angeles through economic and social instability, the rise of gangs and the crack epidemic, and other such issues endemic to our time.
However, a new crop of superstars is emerging and carrying the tradition of LA rap, taking the torch from world-class artists that have kept the West Coast burning for decades. LA is all of a sudden at the center of the Hip-Hop world and music universe, and there seems no better place to be an artist than the City of Angels, especially if you are one of the young stars making their way through the tough to crack place that can be Hollywood. For their perseverance, as well as their commitment to their grind and art, these young men are making a sizable imprint, and seek to be on the road to glory and international dominance.
Reem Riches comes to mind for his consistent work ethic. Putting Midtown on the map, Reem has dropped 3 installments of his American Reem mixtape series with DJ Carisma. In addition, appearing on YG's legendary Just Re'd Up Mixtape series and My Krazy Life has only made Reem's movement stronger. The rapper appeared on YG's major label debut, which was one of the most successful hip-hop projects of 2014. More importantly, the continual love and support in the Pushaz camp is proving an asset to this young one on the rise. Reem has all the resources and capabilities to carry that torch from YG and be the next great street king on the LA rap scene.
TeeFlii is another artist that's been doing his thing on the underground scene for years. He's now getting his name out there through his hit records, as well as collaborating with some of the biggest names in the business. A little known fact is that TeeFlii was a world-renowned krumper, and appeared in several Chris Brown videos as well as the 2005 movie about the LA dance scene, Rize. Over the past year, he has released two major singles produced by DJ Mustard, including "This D" and chart success "24 Hours" featuring 2 Chainz. 2015 looks like TeeFlii may reign in his niche as a R&B/Hip-Hop superstar.
Why is Marc Payne not just another rapper? As a talented lyricist and charismatic performer, Marc Payne has the gift to connect with the streets and relate to a more affluent audience. Growing up in the diverse area of Los Angeles, this Inglewood native's versatility over mega-talented Producer TC Turner Classic's New West Coast sound and production is . He embraces his Vices as he paints a picture of his addictions to partying, strippers, alcohol, sex, and drugs. As a USC graduate, he is as politically conscience as they come. His most recent single "Juvenile", targets police brutality and captures a snapshot of the urban youth's current and ongoing frustrations dealing with the injustice they face within the community. Snoop Dogg showed his support for the #Justice4Juveniles movement, and it was #1 on Snoop's Underground Heat Channel. Payne's "As the World Turns" collaboration with Mann was also one of the year's most stirring tributes to recent injustices across the land. Marc Payne has encouraged us all to keep going through your #GrowingPaynes.
It's easy to see whyCasey Veggies has been the talk of the town as of late. His name is not new to most in the city, or even to global audiences. As a founding member of Odd Future, the young Inglewood-legend has made his name known with a plethora of mixtapes and appearances as part of his steady grind the last few years. While Tyler The Creator may have experienced global prominence first, Casey is surely following in that path and exceeding expectations, even separating from the pack. After dropping the Life Changes effort last year, he signed with Epic. Now the streets and youth around the globe are awaiting his first major label release. After the success of the Customized Greatly mixtape series, and rising to greater prominence as a part of Mac Miller's Blue Slide Park Tour, Casey is finally in the position to stand and shine as an undisputed royal in the Cali streets and solo act the world has been waiting to witness.
Louis King is one of the most international of the young rappers coming out of LA. His new album, International Slap features timeless performers like Chali 2na of Jurassic 5 and Osiris Booque of Ubiquitous Love Tribe, who appears in King's video for "Waterfalls". Louis is an accomplished director himself, crafting said visual as well as producing films in Hollywood. The son of Yoruba drummer Ayo Adeyemi, Louis is breaking ground on HipHop Lives International, a forthcoming series giving positive international artists a platform to share their stories. Louis has penned songs for a number of well-known artists and is part of writing/production crew ZJ30, as well as the leading member of fusion band South Banks, whose "Superwoman" single rode DJBooth.net's Independent Music Charts for eight weeks straight. Embraced by West Coast legends at an early age, Louis excelled on DJ Quik’s Book of David Tour, and has performed in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Tokyo to date. He's also a former All-American College Football Player, National Champion, and NFL Draft Prospect. One of the real ones whose credibility extends from the booth, to the streets, and across international waters, Louis King is taking LA to places it still has yet to reach.
Compton AV has been made some of the biggest street anthems in LA this past year. "Run Me My Money" is an undeniable jam for the streets, the radio, gym, and in the whip. Who else is repping this hard for the CPT? Having collaborated with Cali's greats including The Game, Too Short, Eric Bellinger, and Problem on "Or Nah", he may be able ride the wave of LA's popular sound into national prominence and global stardom. His style is raw -- lyrically aggressive, but at same time fun enough to support the rage up functionin' lifestyle that LA is all about. Compton AV has the streets, and as the golden child of one of the most notorious cities in the country that has contributed so much to Hip-Hop culture, this artist should be able to pick up where N.W.A. and others since have left.
If you've been in the LA club or party scene, you've probably been to one of DJ Goonie's functions. As the up-and-coming DJ to know in LA, his Western Conference mixtape series has featured the rap titans of the West Coast for quite some time now and he is known as the premier mixtape DJ in the LA underground. DJ Goonie is highly respected in the nightlife scene for being the in-demand DJ for raging the city up and out. A humanitarian as well, he is highly respected for his Toyz N The Hood toy drive every Christmas for the less fortunate children of LA. A Who's Who of LA rappers have participated in the past, including Kendrick Lamar, YG, Cali Swag District, Compton AV, DJ Mustard, and Nipsey Hussle. Once Kid Ink's tour DJ, Goonie is no stranger to international exposure, but his prominence as a leading musical force and community leader in the streets of LA is what truly makes him worthy of the spotlight. More artists should strive to emulate his contributions to the community.