What Is "Real" Gangsta Rap? Avatar Young Blaze Will Make You Question Your Assumptions

Avatar Young Blaze has quite the background: born in Estonia, the Russian emcee lived and banged in Seattle's Central District and attended Garfield High before moving to Los Angeles, his current home, at the beginning of the year. And with three mixtapes out in the last nine months, his drive is respectable; the most recent, Russian Revolution, sports original production from the likes of local legend Jake One, Cam'ron's guy Araab Muzik and Trap Camp. But the big name collaborations are nothing new, and the tracks he's jumped on with the likes of Lil' Wayne and Alchemist are proof.

But among the mountains of kush and pistol-packing rhymes, his persona raises the question: can you be a skinny Russian kid and push gangsta rap? Well, yeah, yeah he can. As divisive as Young Blaze's been, and for all the disrespect he's earned on message boards and blog comment sections, Avatar speaks on what he knows and speaks it well. If The Game can get clowned on a dating show and Rick Ross can rap about Big Meech and Larry Hoover after his previous life as Correctional Officer Roberts, I'd say Avatar has a solid up on a decent amount of the "gangstas" in the credibility arena. Factor in the bars on bars he spits and banger beats he spits over, and you've got a real problem. Cosigned.

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