Ah, the fourth quarter. The season of brown leaves, event records and holiday shopping -- also known as "the least bad season" for the music industry. If you're a fan of West Coast rap, in any case, you're in for a real treat. L.A. has a sweet clutch of stocking stuffers lined up. Below, five fall rap albums ranked in order of what we'd give up to hear them in advance. Peep game.
What We'd Give Up: Six Oreo Cookies
A lot has changed since Tyler, the Creator and Hodgy Beats first ear-raped America on Jimmy Fallon. For starters, that shtick is well worn now, which makes MellowHype's quest for a breakthrough that much tougher. We know exactly what to expect from the duo of rapper Hodgy Beats and producer/part-time rapper Left Brain. Beats is a capable emcee with a limited scope; Brain is brilliant on the boards; they love upside down crosses and songs with the number "6" in the title ("64," "65," "67," "666," "F666 the Police"). We also know that Hodgy Beats is fond of the Ganja. Every professional stoner needs great munchies, and Devin the Dude once told us Oreos are the best.
Murs + Fashawn
What We'd Give Up: $3
Fashawn is major-league good with minor-league status. Murs can rap pashmina shawls around most rappers. In an ideal world, both would be bumping out of every car stereo in America. But they're not, so we'll settle for a collaborative album where they rap about "this generation" and goof off in front of a jukebox.
What We'd Give Up: A big bag of Ricola
X to the Z is releasing this album on his own label, Open Bar Entertainment. Going indie eliminates pressure* from the forces that castrate other rappers. But that's not why we're willing to donate a bag of lozenges to help Xzibit soothe his throat after yelling all over rock-tinged beats.
1) He wrote "The Foundation," one of the greatest odes to fatherhood.
2) He filmed the video for "Napalm" in a warzone.
3) He managed to get King Tee, Tha Alkaholiks and Dr. Dre on the same song.
Fuck yeah, this thing has potential.
(*Sadly, it also ensures that Napalm will sell 3 copies, vanish from the Billboard 200 after two weeks, and end up in the discount bin at Movie Exchange.)
good kid, m.A.A.d city
What We'd Give Up: This. It's one of our most prized possessions.
That tingle in your spine is real. Surely, you remember it from the first time you tried KFC's Double Down. Your appetite for the Kendrick Lamar experience is justified -- he's one of the most exciting new rap voices of the last five years, after all. And he's already shown that he can make a stellar album (see: Section .80). With all the planetary bodies aligned outside his window, it's hard to imagine good kid, m.A.A.d city -- Dr. Dre's input and all -- as anything but a clear winner.
Deltron Event II
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What I'd Give Up: One of our locks.
Del the Funky Homosapien rebelled against evil oligarchs on the first installment of Deltron 3030, so yeah, we'd give a lock of dread to hear him tackle a more "desperate and dystopian" universe over Dan the Automator's scrambled beats. And, unlike that other L.A. rap album that also starts with a "D," this thing actually exists.
Bonus: Here's a video of Del talking about Deltron 3030: The Event II and gushing over dubstep ("Not flipper step, or scooter step, or all these other little steps, but dub step.")