By Allen Ginnett
Imagine the reality of what N.W.A did to the world. I, like most white kids, was exposed to reality for the first time. I remember getting that Snoop’s greatest hits album for Christmas and it was on. Then, like a west coast scholar, I did my homework. I’m in Alaska, I’m getting exposed to all kinds of shit, Mac Dre to Odd Future. I’m from Anchorage, which is a city of a quarter million so the homies I grew up with playing basketball were hustling and going hard in the streets. Alaska has the same realities influenced by California.
I use all of California’s influences in my sound today from Dr. Dre’s compression of drums, the synth-bass so popularized by LA and the Bay, and synths like DJ Quik, Battlecat and many others. I call my sound, “Wamp” like the bass synth noise, “waahhhhmp.” But I’m from a different landscape in Alaska, it’s cold, dark and secluded. I’ve been to LA many times and it’s a whole different reality.
Cold187um laid the foundation for the G-Funk sound, just as much as Dre and Warren G. I use to blow people’s minds when I was a 14-year-old kid and they’d ask, “Who’s your favorite rapper?” I’d say, “Daz.” That was right around the time he signed with Jermaine Dupri and So So Def. Dubcnn.com was the place I would go as a kid to get the music I coveted like, ”So So Gangsta” snippets with Nate Dogg and The Game’s Joe Budden diss, “Buddens.” The time was before Itunes.
The Game blew with 50, I was in middle school. The coast was back. But really the coast never left because LA, the Bay, the whole state of California is such an economy by itself and it’s love for hip hop runs deep. This summer I went to LA and did a couple of shows with my homie from Lancaster, Cleen. It was cool to get love and have people come out to the events. There is so much more interest and freethinking individuals in comparison to AK.
The new west coast is even crazier than before as we have rappers like Blueface who blew up overnight. Mozzy is a favorite in my town, Sacramento is another California city that has a rich rap history. Being a rap journalist and understanding the importance of gang culture to rap go hand in hand. A lot of the scene is being pushed by the streets and keeping it going is crucial to not getting fazed out by the fuck-shit of politics and society’s norms.
Given the opportunity, I will take advantage of the resources the west coast has to offer. I have video experience for rappers Curren$y and J-Diggs. I have recorded podcasts, wrote articles, edited video, taken photographs, whatever is necessary to survive in the game. I have the necessary skills to help the west coast continue in having the freest spirited lifestyle on the planet earth; low-riders, rap, smoking tree, bad bitches, and having a good time in the sunshine. This is my west coast story.
I liked your topic, I remember being in middle school and high school listening to Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. I never kept up with the hip-hop culture after high school, but I still find it interesting. My little brother lives in Oakland, California and is very immersed in making music, he DJ’s a lot of party’s as well as recording his own music. I get to kind of live vicariously through him.