Tag Archives: west coast hip hop

Suge Knight wants to revive the West Coast

25 Feb

With all of the recent struggles, Suge Knight is trying to rebuild himself. He has lost everything he had because he failed to pay his child support. Once upon a time, he was one of the most-feared men in hip hop. Now, he is nothing more than a common joke. While Suge Knight does not want to be feared, he does want to be taken seriously.

Nearly twenty years ago, Suge Knight used his connections to get Dr. Dre away from Eazy-E and Ruthless Records. Immediately, they came together and created Death Row Records. The creation of Death Row led to one of the first hip hop dynasties. Artists on Death Row consisted of Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, and many other popular acts. Before their untimely demise, the label even had Tupac Shakur on the roster.

Growing up, it was said that Suge Knight often dreamed of being a mob boss and when he created Death Row, they acted as if they were a criminal organization. Dr. Dre, on the other hand, simply wanted to create music and go about his business. He and Knight often clashed about the way that they felt was best to handle business. Dr. Dre felt that things could be talked out, while Suge Knight felt that they should use force.

Sadly, a resolution could not be reached and their dynasty fell apart. But, this is not the last blow to Suge Knight. For eleven years after Dr. Dre left the label, he signed many acts to the label. Knight hoped that they could secure a solid distribution deal, again, and take the game over one more time. But, his reputation cost him a lot of business. Soon, the label stopped profiting and was eventually taken away from Knight.

In 2008, Suge Knight announced that he was going to create a new label, Black Ball Records. The status of that label is unknown, but Suge Knight does intend on creating another label. With the current state of West Coast hip hop, Suge Knight hopes that he can sign some artists from the Los Angeles area and secure another distribution deal. If everything goes as planned, he hopes to indeed revive West Coast hip hop.

Snoop Dogg is breathing life into West Coast hip hop

25 Jan

From the early to mid-1990s, the West Coast dominated the music scene. But, after the surprising demise of Death Row Records, the genre began to fall off. For over five years, the only consistent artist from the West was Snoop Dogg. Years later, Game would rise to become another consistent act, but the East and the South have much more than the two artists featured out West.

There have been times in the past where Snoop Dogg has spoken on the state of his area of hip hop. Given his time in the game and his success, many look at Snoop Dogg as the unofficial leader of the West. As close as he is to Dr. Dre, he criticized him when he chose to begin pushing 50 Cent as opposed to introducing Game, as planned. He said that people like his close friend are in a position to help the West Coast, but they choose not to.

Snoop Dogg, as the head of his own label, signed many West Coast artists to his Doggystyle imprint. However, Doggystyle was a label under Geffen Records, which is a label that is under the big label of Interscope Records. Not having the pull of Dr. Dre, whose Aftermath label was directly under Interscope, there was not much that Snoop could do to get their music out there.

By 2009, the West Coast hip hop scene was still comprised of Snoop Dogg, Game, and Dr. Dre holding off on Detox. Right at the beginning of the fall season, big news came, though. The label that was responsible for the early gangsta rap era of Ruthless Records and NWA, Priority Records was being re-launched. Making a name for itself in distributing independent West Coast hip hop labels, they signed Snoop Dogg on to run the label.

Aside from having Snoop Dogg as an executive, they also signed him on to become one of the new artists on the label. Priority Records agreed to release all new albums from both Snoop and his Doggystyle Records from this point on. After the release of Snoop Dogg’s most-recent album, Malice n Wonderland, the focus shifted to adding more acts to the label. Already using his role effectively, Snoop Dogg has signed quite a few acts.

In only four months time, he has signed 213, Cypress Hill, and Mac Dre 100. He is also rumored to be prepared to sign Warren G. When Snoop Dogg first spoke of his new role at the acclaimed label, he said that he was going to use his position to rebuild West Coast hip hop. Not only can he sign new artists with his role as Creative Chairman of Priority Records, but Snoop Dogg also decides when an album is going to be released.

The artists from the West Coast do not have a problem getting signed to a major label. The problem comes in trying to get their albums released. This is why more and more artists from the West Coast began signing to Koch Records. Now, with Snoop Dogg keeping an ear to the streets, he can sign an artist to either Priority Records or his own Doggystyle Records and an artist can finally see their albums released.

Snoop Dogg is looking to revive West Coast hip hop with New Role

20 Dec

Late last year, Snoop Dogg left Interscope Records, entirely. He had been with the label for five years, where he enjoyed some of the greatest success of his career. Through Death Row, he had started his career at Interscope. Still with the label were the founder, Jimmy Iovine, and his former partner, Dr. Dre. Because of that, Snoop Dogg was family at the label.

However, throughout his career, Snoop Dogg has been a rolling stone. Early in his career, he realized that he could not always count on his record label. That was the reason that he launched his own label, Dogg Pound Records. In 1998, he would move himself and his label away from Dogg Pound Records for a deal with Master P’s No Limit Records.

At the time, No Limit was distributed by Priority Records. For years, Priority had been an independent label that distributed music from many independent West Coast artists. Had it not been for this label, Eazy-E would have never been able to watch his Ruthless Records rise to such heights. When Death Row was removed from Warner Music Group, they came to this label.

Recording for the label had been a longtime dream of Snoop’s. In 2001, his deal with No Limit expired. Despite his strong relationship with Master P, Snoop Dogg had spent his time under him learning how to become a better executive. His first move was deciding to remove himself from under the No Limit name and sign straight to Priority Records.

The result was Snoop Dogg rising from an average rap star and into icon status. Many thought that he would remain under Priority for the long term. However, on his 2002 album, Paid tha Cost to be Tha Boss, he began working with Pharrell. It turns out that their working relationship was so strong that Pharrell convinced Snoop Dogg to sign with his Star Trak Entertainment.

At the time, Star Trak was distributed by Priority Records, however, soon the label switched to Interscope Records for distribution. Because of the fact that Snoop Dogg had signed directly to his label, he was also forced to move to Interscope. This was not a sad move for Snoop because he was allowed to work under the same label as Dr. Dre, again.

For four years, Snoop Dogg recorded music for Geffen/Interscope. He released hit singles and produced decent album sales. It was during his time under Star Trak that he released his first number one hit single of his career. His 2004 single, “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” became his first single to ever top the Billboard Hot 100.

However, over time, Snoop Dogg grew bored of his deal with the label. Watching Jay-Z work out a multi-million dollar deal with Live Nation, Snoop soon worked out a deal with MTV that allowed his music to be recorded on a new version of Doggystyle Records that would be distributed by MTV. For unknown reasons, this deal never happened, but Snoop Dogg remained off of Interscope Records.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Snoop Dogg had taken an executive role at Priority Records. It turns out that Snoop will serve as an Executive Vice President for the label. It is now his responsibility to get new artists signed to the label. While Snoop said that he is only looking for what is hot, he said that he hopes to use his position to revive the West Coast.

Pointing out the history that Priority has with such controversial groups as NWA, Snoop Dogg says that he wants to duplicate that success. Snoop Dogg wants to give many of the independent artists on the Los Angeles hip hop scene a chance now that he has an executive role at Priority Records. Unlike with Interscope, Snoop also has the power to determine when the music will be released.

The West Coast needs a DJ Khaled

17 Nov

It has been ten years since Southern rappers first took over the game. The South has had a strangle hold on hip hop for some time. But, without DJ Khaled, the South would have fallen off five years ago. DJ Khaled has a lot of connections with Southern rappers and Southern producers. He is partnered with Fat Joe, so he has exposure.

DJ Khaled has been instrumental in the careers of Flo Rida, Plies, and Rick Ross. Of all of the Southern rappers, these three are getting the most airplay. Before they hooked up with DJ Khaled, though, they were nothing more than regular men trying to make it as rappers.

Ever since the demise of Death Row Records, the West Coast has been in trouble. There are plenty of aspiring rappers on the West Coast, but there is not a person that can unite them all together for a big album and it receive mainstream attention. What West Coast hip hop lacks is someone able and willing to help the genre grow.

There is not a person like DJ Khaled out there, helping to create posse cuts for the West Coast’s up-and-coming. If someone would take the time, the West Coast would take over. The West Coast needs a DJ Khaled.

Jadakiss is looking to Save the West Coast

11 Oct

JadakissThe West Coast hip hop scene has been struggling for over a decade, now. Aside from Snoop Dogg and The Game, no one from the left coast has made any mainstream moves. It is looking like the East Coast just may give the West a much-needed jump.

Jadakiss has not received much mainstream success, but he is a well-respected rapper. He also runs his own record label, D-Block Records. At this day and age, he like many other rappers, have realized that it is more about business than music.

It was because of this that he decided to expand his D-Block label into more genres of hip hop. Recently, Jada announced the formation of D-Block West. He said that he can be reached online through various sites for any up-and-coming West Coast artists that want to be put on.

While the West Coast does not have much playing on the radio, they have built up quite a buzz on the underground level. Such rappers as Slim da Mobster are keeping the streets hot with their mixtapes, but there are other rappers out there doing their thing, too. Jadakiss wants to give these emcees a chance.

Who knows, D-Block may bring about a return to the G-Funk sound of Death Row, surprisingly one of Jadakiss’ favorite sub-genres of hip hop.