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by Nora Ephron (2006)
  1. Synful Ambitions : Saved By A Certified Goon – Supreme Works Publications
  2. Torn Between a Goon and a Gangsta
  3. Broken 'Arrow': A dud finale highlights a series in decline
  4. The 25 Most Violent Rap Songs of All Time

Synful Ambitions : Saved By A Certified Goon – Supreme Works Publications

Their swaggering, opiated hectoring has been honed by years of skateboarding, graffiti missions, inebriated kickbacks, and, of late, months of stop-start touring. East Hollywood is quite unlike its namesakes. But East Hollywood is reminiscent of the way much of Los Angeles used to be. Thai, Armenian, and Guatemalan families lease battered bungalows; sooty mini-malls are crammed with seven-table restaurants, glowing all-night donut shops, and liquor stores with bulletproof glass thick enough to stop an anti-aircraft missile.

Wiry teens seem to skate, tag, and loiter on every available surface. Barnsdall Park——we would be up there deep. One of them had lights and water running up there. Videos filmed in graffitied, just-made condos and fluorescent strip malls near East Hollywood helped make Shoreline Mafia the group of choice for truant teenagers.

Stealing instrumentals from a decidedly non-litigious Ron-Ron ended up being a shrewd decision. The songs impressed Ron-Ron, leading to his producing an entire mixtape for the group. With its slinking, minimalist beats and coldhearted dope-dealer raps, ShorelineDoThatShit thrust Shoreline Mafia into a vibrant scene at its inflection point. Rob Vicious, Master Kato, and Fenix Flexin are popular, but OhGeesy is the Great Latino Hope, an ethnically Mexican crosscultural star with the charisma to perform mostly without controversy in a black genre.

With sometimes-collaborators the Stinc Team and 03 Greedo incarcerated for the foreseeable future, Shoreline are the as-yet-unsurpassed stars of their generation, and look to remain such.

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I wanna see all the homies up. G Perico just moved in, and what he lacks in furniture he makes up for in owning a purebred bulldog, Kilo, who wobbles about the house with a doe-eyed guilelessness. Nestled deep in the San Fernando Valley, the white-carpeted three-bedroom is his bulwark against the intrusions of his native South Central.

Four years ago, the Broadway Gangster Crip was serving a two-year prison bid for possessing a firearm. The first Innerprize , created during sporadic recording sessions in preparation of serving that sentence, is unpolished, as is Tha Hiatus , released while he was behind bars.

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I say as much to Perico, who agrees. His fiefdom——a South Central clothing store for his brand So Way Out, Mid-City smoke shop One Stop, an as-yet-unopened juice bar, and some real estate——is considerably smaller than that of, say, the late Beverly Hills industrialist Norton Simon. But its mere existence sets him apart from other rappers of his era.

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I still be having reckless moments, even though I got all this shit at stake. My comfort zone is the hood. We was just rocking after that. Rucci was tight as fuck, too. The past year of his life has been marked by tragedy, but when we sit down at the fully stocked bar of a Hawthorne recording studio, Rucci is happy.

Like Juan Sr. The country, in turn, is being terrorized by two gangs that originated in Los Angeles, 18th Street and MS Big Tako was an Inglewood Neighborhood Piru, and he inculcated Rucci into gang culture from a young age. I seen a lot of shit. That remains the case. Because he openly discusses and displays his Neighborhood Piru affiliation——one which was essentially foisted upon him by his father and uncle——Rucci lives within a narrower set of strictures than those capable of fully rejecting blue-and-red divisiveness, as many of his peers have done.

These strictures extend to his music. Other L. In June, he and Kalan. That was the song for a minute—— and the song not even mixed. For those only superficially familiar with the city, Compton evokes a set of specific associations: blackness, gangbanging, a certain humorlessness. With their giggly camaraderie and knowingly ridiculous dancing, 1Take offer an alternative vision of an evolving Compton. Where you from? A warm and starless summer evening in a Gardena living room overflowing with weed smoke, crosstalk, and a growing cadre of young men.

Its only unusual quality is that I, a white year-old, am present. WoodroTheMan——who, too, is dabbling in rapping, and whose black MCM bookbag is stuffed to the zippers with an array of designer belts, watches, and cash——praises the fluid blunt rotation. I discuss the relative merits of marijuana and alcohol with Bam Bam, a Culver City bus driver whose thin frame is gripped by a white undershirt.

It was dope, I always wanted to be around it.

Niggas accepted me. I met Swaye when he was 16, 17, and that nigga was rapping on some conscious shit. Chike is just venomous and explosive. I fuck with [producer LowTheGreat] so much that I trust him.

Torn Between a Goon and a Gangsta

He just hit me with some shit to test my skills and see what I could do. We kept playing it back, back, back Here, Rob pauses. A car honks, and I can hear the hissing whisper of the just beyond the property line. Further north, in the Newhall Pass, I catch a fleeting glimpse of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, where water diverted from Owens and Mono lakes cascades—foaming, ivory, and silent—down a zig-zagged path.

In the Antelope Valley, between brown-green hills of dry brush and below a merciless noontime sun, a 3-Series overtakes me on Route 14 using the carpool lane, then overtakes another driver using the emergency lane.

Broken 'Arrow': A dud finale highlights a series in decline

Suddenly, a man-made oasis is revealed: a stately white windmill overlooking Lake Palmdale, a blue droplet in an otherwise dun expanse. After an hour-long drive, I park on a leafy street in Lancaster, next to a home with a lawn sign memorializing a dead cop. I spot an elderly man in a driveway. He seems unsure, but if the young man in the rear of the duplex is Swaye, could he please stop addressing his Amazon packages to the wrong unit?

When AzSwaye and his family moved from South Central to Lancaster, a defense industry outpost in the vast Mojave Desert, they became, like hundreds of thousands of others, part of a wave of migration reshaping Los Angeles. In the last 30 years, LA has experienced a steady decline in its once robust black population. Facing senseless violence, rising rents, faltering schools, and bleak job prospects, black Angelenos have relocated to the Antelope, Apple, and Moreno valleys, and, even further afield, to Arizona and Nevada.

The 25 Most Violent Rap Songs of All Time

He describes the incident, which happened when he was That could have been me, my brother, anybody. That was the breaking point. He pauses to reflect. I lost my cousin on that street—— he got hit by an ice cream truck , rest in peace——and my brother lost his friend also in front of my house. He got shot four times trying to fix under his car.

In a county with more than 50, unhoused people , poorly maintained infrastructure , and runaway gentrification , there are more pressing issues than music, but this massive demographic change will alter how Los Angeles rap sounds. So Swaye regularly weathers the mostly featureless drive between Lancaster and LA. Just do it for the remix. He was raised, in part, in the cancerous footprint of the and interchange, and has known Drakeo, Ralfy the Plug, G Perico, and 03 Greedo a distant cousin, he recently learned for much of his life.

And we all rap about those types of things. Now everybody wants to be cool-ass drug gangsters. From its Santa Monica Mountains perch, the Hollywood Sign once gazed impassively at a curious blend of Spanish Colonial duplexes, Craftsman bungalows with chipped-paint, and resplendent Golden Age apartments in the lightest pastels. Today, steel, concrete, and, glass high-rises block sunrays meant for golden-brown palms, whose distant ancestors were brought to California by Franciscan missionaries.

These thirsty and scoliotic trees, dusty from exhaust and bark crosshatched, will continue to sway beneath crisp Pacific skies. But for whom? For now, Los Angeles is a wild-as-fuck barroom brawl of micro-cultures fighting for their right to drink and smoke on the beach in peace. There is no heaven or hell in the Los Angeles theology——they are both here, right before you.