Later this morning I'll be heading to Los Angeles, and after obligatorily playing Notorious B.I.G.'s "Going Back to Cali," I'll indulge a travel quirk and spend a majority of the flight listening to music made where I'm heading. And while, at least lately, L.A. is most notoriously the home of hell-raising collective Odd Future--and don't get me wrong, OFWGKTA's got jams (if you haven't yet, try out the latest Earl track to surface)--but one of L.A.'s most exciting hip-hop outfits, without a doubt, goes by the name Black Hippy.
The four-piece outfit draws from the Top Dawg Entertainment family: XXL Freshman Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Schoolboy Q, and Ab Soul (who just dropped his latest, Longterm Mentality, last week). They may not be the most-talked-about collaborative project--that honor goes to Rick Ross's Maybach Music Group and next month's Self Made and its lineup of Wale, Pill, and Meek Mill--but on a base level, Black Hippy's lyrical candor and pound-for-pound MC ability puts them on a par with any of the others.
Yesterday The Well Versed posted a straightforward interview talking on their progression without a cosign--as of late, a seemingly familiar story that continues to make me proud of the West Coast's work ethic. Or maybe it's something simpler; in Schoolboy Q's words:
Shit just happened. I still don't know what the hell is going on. I just get high and do the same shit: Wake up and rap when I have to. I'm a real hippy.