The 5 Biggest Hip Hop Acts to Come Out of Los Angeles
From Hollywood to sports teams, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate the city these iconic kicks were inspired by, but the music scene surrounding it is one of the most influential in the world.
Home to some of the biggest rap acts in history, and some of the hottest names in the genre today, we’ve picked out five of the biggest hip hop artists to come out of the City of LA and the LA County. Check ‘em out:
Possibly the most influential hip hop collective of all time (sorry, Wu Tang), N.W.A. hail from the notorious city of Compton, Los Angeles County.
Started by Eazy-E in 1986, N.W.A. were the founders of gangsta rap, being the first group to openly glamourise crime in their lyrics. Original members included Arabian Prince, DJ Yella, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, with the last two seeing huge solo careers when the N.W.A. posse eventually split after the release of their final album in 1991.
#2 KENDRICK LAMAR
As if N.W.A. weren’t enough talent to come out of Compton, one of today’s biggest hip hop artists is also from the same city.
Kendrick Lamar Duckworth was born in Compton in 1987, first signing to Top Dawg Entertainment in 2004 before moving over to Aftermath/Interscope in 2012. Also a member of rap supergroup, Black Hippy, and a Reebok rep, Kendrick is one of the hardest working players in the game.
His major label debut good kid, m.A.A.d city went platinum, with him receiving two Grammies in 2015 for his single “i”, which would later feature on his To Pimp a Butterfly LP, reaching #1 in the US and UK charts. No big deal.
#3 SNOOP DOGG
Long Beach’s finest, Snoop Dogg is one of modern hip hop’s longest serving artists. Discovered by N.W.A.’s Dr. Dre in 1992, Snoop first featured on Dre’s debut solo album The Chronic, and the rest is history.
A creative genius in the eyes of many, Snoop Dogg evolved into a Lion in 2012, taking a brief diversion from his rap career to produce a reggae album that no one expected. Turning 43 in 2014, Snoop’s output is as strong as ever, releasing his latest album, BUSH, in 2015.
#4 JURASSIC 5
J5 are a six piece alt hip hop outfit from the City of Los Angeles, making their debut in 1993 as a combination of two previous groups, Rebels of Rhythm and Unity Committee. Despite suffering a minor fall-out in 2007, Jurassic 5 are still going strong to this day.
Made up of four MCs (Chali 2na, Akil, Zaakir aka Soup and Marc 7) and two DJs (DJ Nu-Mark and Cut Chemist), their first release, Jurassic 5 EP, came out in 1997, with the collective’s most recent track dropping in 2014.
No one’s ever explained why they’re called ‘Jurassic 5’ when they have six members, though…
#5 ODD FUTURE
Love them or hate them, the Odd Future fam are a strong talent from the city of Los Angeles. In 2010, controversial lyrics and aggressive stageshows brought them to the forefront of the world rap scene, with the group going on to see global success, even starring in their own comedy sketch show ‘Loiter Squad’.
Passively announced by leader and founder, Tyler, the Creator, as no longer a ‘thing’ in 2015, plenty of Odd Future members are currently enjoying solo careers or other projects, including Tyler himself, Earl Sweatshirt, Mellowhype, The Internet and more.
What's your favourite LA music act? Are there any non-hip hop artists that deserve a shout-out? Let us know in the comments!