The biggest dis for west coast artist has probably come at the hands of the NY based press. Hip Hop magazines like The Source were percieved as constantly dissin' west coast artists via negative reviews and low ratings. Many felt that the musical icons from here out west were routinely dissected and dismissed within the pages of such publications. In actuality it appeared as if there was a lack of understanding of west coast hip hop culture. Critics never looked at an artists from a west coast perspective...instead they applied NY standards to an artist who never checked for things out of that arena. Hence a west coast artist who struck gold with his homeboys from around the way for having a slow rollin' funk beat would get dissed in NY based magazines for being too simplistic in his music... What wasn't realized was that such an artist may have been strivin' to make the ultimate beat for someone ridin' in a car and in fact may have achieved that objective... Of course NY critics not understanding this would arrogantly dismiss west coast artists.. This of course not only hurt the artist but also angered the legions of fans this artist had cultivated. |
For example, I remember how pissed folks in Oakland became when they heard how Too Short a Bay Area icon was being dissed by NY critics... His first album on Jive Records was the toast of the town out here... NY critics were dissing it, because they didn't like the beats or Short's slow rap style.. All this was happening at a time [the late 80s] when west coast artists were still seeking acceptance from NY.. the birthplace and mecca of hip hop. Such disses were taken as personal rejections.
Such rejections were felt even more when many west coast people would go away to music conventions and recall hearing comments from east coast writers djs and panelists stating things like west coast artists 'are country', 'they can';t rap', their music is wack.. and of course the 'west coast artists aren't really hip hop.. they are only rap'. These critics stereotyped and never bothered to learn the west coast culture. They've never bothered to research and acknowledge that grafitti, djaying, dancing and emceeing were as much a part of west coast life as it was back east. The only difference was the style and flava that west coasters exuded when executing these activities.
East coast artists really fueled the east/west conflict on a number of different levels... sometimes right in the backyard of popular west coast artists.. I recall East Coast acts refusing to relinquish stage time or open up for west coast icons despite the overwhelming fan response. This happened to folks like Too Short and Hammer. The offending groups were Stetsasonic and Run DMC.
Folks out west can recall more then a few east coast artists who would be on some of the local rap shows dissin' west coast music...and then would try and clown listeners for not supporting their own music. Two artist that immediately come to mind are Jeru and MOP.. In fact the situation surrounding Jeru resulted in a year long boycott of his music from the Bay Area's Hip Hop Coalition. Most of their remarks would come from a point of pure ignorance, but as WC said 'enough is enough'.
Tim Dog was the one who may have drawn first blood on vinyl when deciding to write dis songs for his debut lp 'Penacilin On Wax' Remember long before Ice Cube was yelling 'westside'.. Tim Dog was yelling 'F*@k Compton'.. and while I understand he had some legitimate reasons for wanting to call out the group NWA in that song, he unfortunately took things a few steps further by dissing DJ Quick among others.. DJ Quick up to that point had never said anything about Tim Dog if he even knew him. In fact I recall reading an article about DJ Quick and how fascinated he was when he went to New York and got a chance to visit the Bronx. Ironically Tim Dog now lives in LA and his attitude has dramatically changed.. He attributes some of earlier disses to being ovcerly ambitious.