West Coast hip hop

West Coast hip hop
West Coast hip hop
Stylistic origins Dancehall (Toasting) •  • Funk • Jazz • Rhythm and blues • Soul music
Cultural origins Mid 1980s, western United States
Typical instruments Prominent Bass • Drum machine • Rapping • Sampler • Synthesizer
Mainstream popularity Popular in the U.S. during late 1980s through mid-1990s. Gangsta rap subgenre dominant from early to mid-90s. Popularity declined during remainder of decade up to 2000s with small degree of mainstream exposure.
Alternative hip hop • Chicano rap • Electro hop • Gangsta rap • G-funk • Hyphy • Latin hip hop • Underground hip hop
(complete list)
Fusion genres
Jazz rap
Regional scenes
Los AngelesSan DiegoSan Francisco Bay AreaSeattle
Local scenes
Los AngelesSan DiegoSan FranciscoSan JoseOaklandSeattle
Other topics
East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry • Golden age hip hop • Hip hop • List of West Coast hip hop artists • List of West Coast hip hop record labels

West Coast hip hop is a hip hop music subgenre that encompasses any artists or music that originates in the westernmost region of the United States, as opposed to East Coast hip hop, based originally in New York alone. The gangsta rap subgenre of West Coast hip hop began to dominate from a radio play and sales standpoint during the early 1990s.



Early years

Some believe that the five elements of hip hop culture, which include B-Boying, beatboxing, DJing, graffiti art, and MCing, existed on the East and West Coasts of the United States simultaneously during the mid-seventies.[1] This theory runs in opposition to the more universally accepted belief that the fundamental elements of hip hop were all born and cultivated exclusively on the East Coast, New York City in particular, in the most early stages of the culture.[1] Although it is agreed that hip hop was given its name in New York, some say a culture that closely mirrored the East Coast hip hop culture had emerged in the West existing from Los Angeles to the San Francisco Bay Area during the same period.[1] The culture itself is believed to have been a mutual creation which probably evolved from interaction between people who identified with elements from their respective coasts.[1]

The entire west coast hip hop scene started in 1978, with the founding of Uncle Jamm's Army (originally called "Unique Dreams Entertainment"). The group was influenced by Prince, East Coast hip hop, Kraftwerk, Parliament-Funkadelic etc. In 1980, Uncle Jamm's Army became the best party promoters in LA. In 1983, the group's leader Roger Clayton influenced by Funkadelic's album Uncle Jam Wants You changes the group's name from Unique Entertainment to Uncle Jamm's Army. 1984 was the year that Uncle Jamm's Army released their first single Dial-a-Freak and the year Egyptian Lover released his On the Nile album which includes the most listened 12' single Egypt Egypt. In the city of Compton former locking dancer Alonzo Williams formed his own electro-hop group World Class Wreckin' Cru which included future N.W.A members Dr. Dre and DJ Yella. Williams founded Kru-Cut Records and made a recording studio in the back of his Compton-based night club Eve's After Dark. The club was the place where local drug dealer Eazy-E and Jerry Heller would come to the conclusion of founding Ruthless Records and where Dr. Dre and DJ Yella met the group CIA which included future N.W.A member and one of the best rappers from LA Ice Cube, Dre's cousin Sir Jinx and K-Dee. But the one greatest factor who spread the west coast hip hop style was the radio station 1580 KDAY and its hottest DJ Greg "Mack Attack" Mack.

Early West Coast rap scene

The rap scene started in 1981, when Duffy Hooks launched the first West Coast rap label Rappers Rapp Records, inspired by Sugar Hill Records in New York. Its first act was the prime duo of Disco Daddy & Captain Rapp. Their first single was Gigolo Rapp or Gigolo Groove. Captain Rapp would in 1983 create the classic West Coast song that to this day is played on the radio "Bad Times". 1981 would also bring the Rappers Rapp Group, a West Coast version of Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five. The group consisted of King MC, Lovin C, MC Fosty, DJ Flash, Macker Moe and Mr. Ice. One year later, the group broke up because MC Fosty & Lovin C went solo and released "Radio Activity Rapp", which was produced by Rich Cason and "When Doves Cry Rapp". DJ Flash and King MC became the Future MC's and had two hits, "State of Shock Rapp" and "Erotic City Rapp". "Beverly Hills Rapp" was done by DJ Flash and MC Fosty. In the mid-80s, Mixmaster Spade and his Compton Posse would define the early form of gangsta rap or reality rap. Out of this group future rap stars of the West Coast were mentored by Spade himself. In 1985, Spade's protege Toddy Tee recorded South Central LA's first anthem before Straight Outta Compton, "The Batteram".

Influences on the West Coast scene


Funk Styles is another fine element of the West Coast hip hop culture, which consists of several related dances included popping and locking. Locking started in 1969, when a dancer named Don Campbell introduced a whole new kind of dance which was called after him the Campbellock, which would later be shorted to locking. The dance was originally danced to funk music, which is still favored. Later it was danced to electro music. The legendary poplockers are: Don Campbell, Shabba Doo, Fred "Rerun" Berry, Boogaloo Shrimp, Boogaloo Sam. The dance is very performance oriented.

Popping developed from locking in the early 1970s, its development and popularization is largely accredited to Boogaloo Sam and the Electric Boogaloo Locker's dance crew. Like other street dances both popping and locking is performed in cyphers.

List of Popular West Coast Rappers

Tweedy Bird Loc

Alternative and underground scene

At that time all we had was N.W.A, and everybody thought everything coming out of L.A. is gangsta rap... We don't got to do that, you know? Let them do that, and let us do something else.[2]

In the early 1990s, many of the Los Angeles hip hop scene's most talented and progressive-minded MCs would attend the Good Life Cafe to hone their skills and develop their craft.[2] Artists such as Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Abstract Rude, Spinz, Ahmad, Freestyle Fellowship, Jurassic 5, the Pharcyde, Skee-Lo, a pre-Dogg Pound Kurupt, and many others performed at the Good Life's open mic Thursday nights from the late-80s into the mid-90s.[3] In the 2008 documentary This Is the Life, L.A. hip hop artist and Good Life regular 2Mex likened the Good Life movement to that of the New York punk rock and Seattle music scenes.[2]

See also


"All about West Coast Rap". by Shmuga. http://translate.google.ru/translate?hl=ru&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http://westcoast.at.ua/. 
  1. ^ a b c d "The Secret History of West Coast Hip-Hop". http://web.mac.com/ultrawave/ultrawavemedia.com/The_Secret_History_of_West_Coast_Hip-Hop.html. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  2. ^ a b c 2Mex, P.E.A.C.E (2008). This Is the Life (DVD). Forward Movement.  Retrieved on 2009-06-28.
  3. ^ Mullen, Brendan. "Los Angeles Music - Down for the Good Life - page 2". LA Weekly. http://www.laweekly.com/2000-06-29/music/down-for-the-good-life/2. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 

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