Is West Coast Rap Obsolete?
by Kam... 5/24/02

This article first appeared in Its an interesting read where LA Hip Hop artist Kam brings up the problem of Hip Hop media silencing certain types of voices.

Kam burst on the hip-hop scene in 1991 with the track, "Every Single Weekend," from the "Boyz In The Hood Soundtrack." Shortly after, he connected with Ice Cube and put out his debut album "Neva Again" (1993). Kam later parted ways with Cube and released "Made In America" in 1995 and "Kamnesia" last year. His new album, "The Self", will be out this summer.

Since I left the rap scene, I have noticed that rap has become the most compromised art in the Black community. America is calling for a "War on Terrorism." There is a definite war going on. But there is a continued war on the poor, the ill, the disenfranchised, the women, and the Black Man. But I what I am asking us to observe-is the continued War on West Coast Rap. Because West Coast Rappers point out the various urban plagues and constrictions mentioned. Sure our lyrics may not be laced with riddles and tongue twisters, yet our reality messages paints a true and sometimes grim picture of what urban America -TRULY - is. There is a war to silence artists' true expression. If your not buckdancing, shoe shining, booty shaking or *#@ kissing-you are the enemy. Unfortunately my very own home town radio stations are apart of this political agenda against West Coast Rap. Tupac spoke about it and so did Ice Cube, but many laughed it off as an East Coast vs. West Coast thang. It was not an East Coast vs. West Coast thang, it was a "will you play the real" or "will you play bogus", regardless of the coast.

The reality of it all is that most Black People struggling cannot afford to escape in the Bling Bling that some rappers talk about. Although, I believe we should strive to attain good homes, luxury, wealth, and friendship of all walks of life, there has to be checks and balances. You cannot say you are trying to help the Black community and give them a weak %*# "how to" pamphlet in lyrics on how to escape. We need a REAL Blue Print. Art is one way to provide that blue print. But who has the balls to step up and provide it? Don't get me wrong, fantasy is a good thing, I believe we need to escape every now and then. But at some point in time, we have to review reality. West Coast rap provides that missing ingredient of reality. Not every East Coast Rapper or Hip Hop head is rapping about fantasy, much props and respects to NAS for his introspective lyrics, and clear dedication to the art. But, we need to close the gap between fantasy and reality, and I truly think shutting out the West Coast Rapper stifles this much needed opportunity.

I am asking the Nation, this is not an east coast versus west coast vendetta, I just want everyone to truly self reflect: What other coast raps about police brutality-f*ck the police, cop killer, letter to George bush, struggles, racism and, etc.? Our message is not only rarely heard, I am asking the public to bear witness that we are deliberately shut out. And if we as artists do not go to the plastic mind games of putting out bullsh*t lyrics, we are not supported in the Industry.

There is an ever growing dissent in the Hip Hop community. Frankly, as one that is a fan of rap, I am growing tired of the mindless music, laced with commercialized beats. I am tired of the TV dinners, I want a home cooked meal. I believe the public will soon grow tired of the TV dinners, ready made art, and want the REAL deal, that only Mom can cook. The mother being a representative of truth, where Hip Hop all started. You are seeing a return of real heads that are saying enough is enough. The masses are growing tired of eating just snacks, and TV dinners. They want some nourishment, they want vegetables, they want diversity in the art game. The West Coast needs to very much be apart of this agenda. We need to have more love for one another. The radio stations get shunned for playing some West Coast Local artist, but let the local radio stations not play a New York hip hop artist, the program director might have to find another job. I know that I am saying some stuff that too often folks are just too afraid to look at, but it needs to be said. From the Bay to LA, rappers in California are speaking topics about grim reality and as a result not getting the air time they deserve.

I have decided to take revenge against the rap game, by bettering my SELF. And focusing on the SELF, so that I won't fall victim or prey to means of selling out my soul to the devil, inner and outer. I can only be honest with my self, and my quest and my journey and that is all any artist can do. My main focus right now is to ask the Hip-Hop community through out the Nation to support West Coast Art. We are asking our local community to accept YOUR OWN local artist, and be yourself, and stop trying to follow the local trends set forth by the Record Industry, who don't give a damn about you anyway.

It should be no secret that the Rap game has a lot of prostitution going on. And if you prostitute yourself, by compromising your skills then you will get recognized by those who control the media. I just won't do that. So many people are asking: WHO IS KAM? But as an artist I rather you ask WHO IS KAM, and hear about me word of mouth, then compromise the artistic vision that was given to me. For those underground heads that are out there like me, whether you make commercial success or not, no matter how dark it may seem-you will eventually come to the surface. The truth always come to the light. My light has come, I promise to give the Nation an Earth Quake, off the Richter with my upcoming CD: THE SELF.

Peace and Thanks to, in particular Quiban 'Q' Salazar-Moreno KAM

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