Going into 2019, West Coast Hip Hop sits on the cusp of a cultural moment. Disrupting Atlanta’s once-ubiquitous formula of dreamy Trap production and Autotuned experimentation, the classic Californian sound has carved out a radio niche thanks to off-kilter hits like YG’s “Big Bank” and Kendrick Lamar’s Black Panther-inspired “King’s Dead.” Vince Staples and four-man crew SOB X RBE both released LPs of coastal bounce to critical acclaim last year, solidifying the scene’s place in the blogosphere. Perhaps most notably, divisive upstart Blueface took social media by storm with meme-worthy punchlines and a voice-cracking cadence that draws comparisons to Courage the Cowardly Dog.
With all of this hype brewing in the Golden State, the time is right for L.A.-based foursome Shoreline Mafia to break into the mainstream. The group’s recent holiday-themed OTXmas mixtape is a lean, eight-song affair — bass-heavy and spacey enough to turn a late-night drive into a vehicular moshpit. De facto figurehead OhGeesy best embodies the group’s sound on OTXmas, spitting as if he’s just stumbled out of bed atop a menacing layer of piano jabs and sickly synths. Trading verses with Fenix Flexin, the pair set the tone for a basement party with Punk Rock nonchalance.
Though the crew’s been together since 2012, it wasn’t until late 2016 that Shoreline began to make waves with the release of “Musty,” a hypnotic banger written to a beat swiped from producer Ron Ron’s YouTube account. Its lo-fi music video (recorded before the foursome signed to Atlantic Records) is as good an introduction to the group as you’ll get — shot in front of a smoke shop, it’s laden with faux-VHS effects, slightly awkward and strangely addictive. It isn’t hard to see how they’ve attracted a cult following of restless teens along the Pacific coast.
Shoreline Mafia comes to Bogart's this Friday (Feb. 1). Click here for tickets/more show info.