The west coast versus east coast rap rivalry has subsided somewhat since the days of 2Pac and Biggy but that doesn’t mean that it still doesn’t occasionally pop up.
California was on the back foot after Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg responded to Jay Z’s NYC anthem Empire State of Mind with the paltry California Girls but it seems that this year it’s been all about the west coast. Records by Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, Vince Staples and YG have dominated 2015 and it’s also been helped by the Straight Outta Compton movie which revived N.W.A’s legacy.
Last month Ty Dolla $ign crept through last month with the unofficial west coast anthem of 2015 aptly titled LA. With Kendrick Lamar, Brandy and James Fauntleroy on board, it’s the smoothest, sunshine-soaked ode to the city since 2Pac’s California Love. It’s easily one of the songs of the year with the rappers, Lamar and Ty, blending perfectly with the singers, Fauntleroy and Brandy.
NYC isn’t going down without a fight though. NYC electronic duo The Knocks have teamed-up with rapper Cam’ron for an ode to the big apple that’s actually an impressive tribute. Unlike the coastal vibes of LA, New York City sounds like it was built on a glossy dance floor clutching spirits on ice. It’s essentially a dance track but Cam’ron’s opening monologue is straight out of the hip-hop world and damn impressive.
Still, if we have to declare a winner, it’s the west coast in 2015. LA is an anthem but also a universal jam that anybody can vibe off.