What many people don't realize is that Cali was up on hip hop pretty early on.. Artists like Too Short were rapping and selling tapes back in '82... In LA hip hop was represented by acts like Uncle Jamms Army, Egyptian Lover, LA Dream Team, Toddy Tee, Ice T and Mixmaster Spade to name a few. Like the hip hop scene in NY, these artists were a part of a bigger scene which consisted of djs, dancers and graffiti writers. Like NY's early hip hop scene, most of these activities were born out of gang culture. Hence while folks back east were break dancin' and cutting and scratchin', kids in Cali were pop locking doing 4 turntable mixes at huge underground hip hop parties and clubs.|
Because the Cali music and lifestyles were so far removed from NY's reality people in the Big Apple never really related to the artists initially coming from out west. But in Cali folks gave NY artist love and respect..Their music was always being played.. When NY had radio stations that were refusing to play hip hop, LA had stations like KDAY and KPOO in SF that dedicated themselves above and beyond a segmented 3 hour rap show to playing hip hop. Later on, SF's Top 40 power house KMEL took the reigns and began presenting hip hop to the masses. In fact stations like NY's Hot 97 exists because of a KMEL... Not to deviate too much, but the point I'm making is that east coast artists were always given love in Cali..This was never the case in NY..DJs from Mr Magic to Chuck Chillout to Red Alert to Funkmaster Flex would consistently turn their back on west coast artists and not be responsible to the hip hop community and present new material to help open people's minds.. Oh yeah every so often a Flex would play a Snoop Dog or an Ice Cube cut and I recall Red giving some love to Young MC but there was never any real consistency. And it was disproportionate to what hip hop djs out west were doing. In fact west coast hip hop jocks like Power 106's Tha Baka Boyz, KMEL/ KKBT's Sway & Tech of The Wake Up Show were often accused of being too 'east coast' in their music selections. Many west coast acts were discovering for themselves there was huge imbalance or trade deficit. East coast hip hop culture would be exported and exposed to the west. West Coast hip hop culture would be exported back east and never exposed. This imbalance has been made more apparent when you consider that east coast jocks like Funkmaster Flex were given hip hop shows on Cali radio stations like Power 106 while that can't be said about Tha Baka Boys or The Wake Up Show.
West coast djs have and still do constantly present NY underground artists who have no impact on the west coast market.. As my man Sway from The Wake Up Show would say.. 'We're just trying to alert people and turn them onto new flavas..' That has not been the case in NY.. Here in the West one always hears acts like Group Home, East Flatbush Project, Mic Geronimo, Ten Thieves, or Sadat X etc...on hip hop radio shows. But you never hear popular underground groups like JT Tha Bigga Figga, C-BO, E-40, Spice 1, The Whoridas or The Conscious Daughters being played in NY..not even on college radio.
To show you just how closed the NY market has been to the west coast and how intolerant the Big Apple can be, a few years ago['92] a west coast jock named Omar A Parker moved from the Bay to NY. Omar had established a nice rep with his 'House Of Music' show as a dj on UC Berkeley's college radio station KALX. This was where groups like NWA did there first Bay Area interviews. Anyway, Omar moved to Brooklyn and found himself spinning at a party. He decided to stretch out a bit and began to play some songs from Bay Area west coast artists.. Some kid got pissed and shot him in the back. Omar was told this is Brooklyn and to take 'that wack Cali music out west'. This incident probably had no bearing on the current bi-coastal conflict however, it again illustrates the attitude many New Yorkers have had toward West Coast hip hop. It's not something they dislike but seemingly detest.