Game Says West Coast Hip-Hop Will Rise Again
In the book of hip-hop history, West Coast music is credited for introducing gangster rap to the mainstream. While that credit can never be repealed, these days, the region has yet to produce a solid group of emcee's obtaining a level of notoriety set by predecessors like N.W.A., Tupac Shakur, or Snoop Dogg, but according to rapper Game, the West Coast will rise again.
"Right now it ain't our time," Game told The BoomBox. "Everything is fluorescent. You ever seen that crayon box with all the wild colors, like neon green? That's what hip-hop is right now." According to the Compton native, the shift in hip-hop continues towards pop, a trend that the West Coast has yet to bow down to. "Everybody's having fun and if you notice [on] the West Coast our style of music is gangster rap. We don't have no pop artists or mainstream artists outside of me, Dre and Snoop. Maybe we'll come back and make a surge, or maybe we'll have to change our styles to cater to the new hip-hop. But right now the South is running s---, the East is on a slide like us, but I think hip-hop just has its spurts. It will come back to us, go back to New York and Philly -- just right now the ATL [and] Miami is winning and I'm with 'em. I wanna see everybody win."
For new school West Coast rappers like Nipsey Hussle, Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock, the climb to the top has been no easy feats. Hussle, who continues to garner a steady stream of media shine, has run into a brick wall with his debut release, delaying the album indefinitely. Lamar recently received a co-sign from Dr. Dre and maintains a steady online following recently after he released the mixtape 'Overly Dedicated,' while Jay-Rock is prepping his debut later this year. Despite respect from the music industry, many West Coast artists have yet to break the national radio mold in regards to their singles. Even Game, whose long delayed 'R.E.D. Album,' saw several pushbacks, took matters into his own hands dropping two mixtapes -- 'Purp & Patron' and 'The Hangover' -- last month thus reinvigorating anticipation for his label release. U.S. record sales continue to slump with no signs of resuscitation.
According to a study done by Forrester Research, U.S. music sales and licensing fell from $14.6 Billion in 1999, to $6.3 billion in 2009. With such a dismal outlook, hip-hop sales can only hope to stay afloat as the music tide continues to change, and for West Coast rappers the journey may be even harder. That being said, Game makes it a point to support his peers. "I try to do my best to support all of em," he says. "No matter what West Coast artist you name like all of 'em have come from under my embrace. I try to just help measure the coaster. I mean, we out here right now, it just belongs to the South."