By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
DUBOIS: Freestyle Fellowship and N.W.A had a similar sort of aggression. N.W.A said "Fuck you" by saying "Fuck you." Fellowship did it by saying, "Can You Find the Level of Difficulty in This?" By doing that, they asserted their aesthetic and intellectual superiority over 99.9 percent of people. They were saying you have to learn how to understand us. It's the same sort of impulse that you'd find in the early stages of avant-garde art — the idea that you have to keep up.
It's an obviously broad question, but how would you say L.A. altered the trajectory of rap?
BRADLEY: For a while, the sound of the West Coast tipped the whole continent that way. Though it's no longer dominant in the same way, there's an enduring power to that kind of hip-hop and the kinds of themes that emerged from both Southern and Northern California.
DUBOIS: West Coast hip-hop represents what the West has always signified in American culture, this duality toward freedom of expression and the potential for violence inherent in expressing yourself freely. If you think about the 1960s counterculture, it was about total freedom and openness but also the potential for destroyed life. The strength of West Coast hip-hop has always been about embodying those paradoxes.
The Anthology of Rap, edited by Adam Bradley and Andrew DuBois, will be released on Nov. 9 by Yale University Press.