This is a guest review by Michael Oates. He writes way better than I do, so enjoy.
After a summer which saw pre-teen rioters rip cities to shreds and Will.I.Am sampling Dirty Dancing, I thought I’d seen it all. I hadn’t. G-Step has arrived and it’s not going away.
‘C’mon Now’ is the lead track off MistaJam (Radio 1xtra) and Snoop’s forthcoming ‘Throw Ya Dubs Up: Dubstep LA Volume 2’ mixtape. The tape’s predecessor, ‘Dubstep LA: Embrace the Renaissance’, featured some huge highlights like Chae Hawk’s rolling, woozy rant ‘Malt Liquor’ and U-N-I’s relentless ‘Drive By’. However, the album itself was laboured and, in parts, a lazy commercial exercise (yes, I’m talking about ‘Snoop Dogg Millionaire’); listening to it felt like being a fly on the wall at an awful, awkward blind date.
The personnel are nothing if not legit: Goldie Loc, a former Eastsida and veteran of the West Coast game weighs in over this grimey, kicking dub by rising British stars Roksonix (Circus Records). Anyone’s who’s heard the duo’s remix of Imogen Heap’s ‘Hide and Seek’ will instantly recognize their fingerprints all over this beat; heavy, kicking bass underpins grinding, dissonant wobble to produce an uptempo, thugged out track which suits Goldie Loc’s tales of LBC life and curbside justice to a t.
The accompanying video looks like the bastard offspring of Pill’s phenomenal ‘Trap go ham’ clip and ‘Training Day’. Everyone has a gun, everyone’s swagged out and there’s even a disabled drug dealer - a tribute to Snoop’s character in Training Day? If you asked a 50 year-old from Kentucky to write a list of things and people he'd expect to see 'in the hood', he'd probably write the plot for this ludicrous video.
The whole experience feels like it was put together by a record label consultant: Credible rapper? Check. Solid production? Check. Thugged out video? Check. It would be perfect if consultants made bangers. They don’t. The few triumphs of the 1st mixtape were based on a pairing the tempo of the rappers’ flow perfectly with producers’ rolling bass and synth toplines. Here, Goldie Loc’s flow stumbles over choppy beats and his attempt to go into double time is almost cringe-inducingly poor. The video is such O.G overkill that it diminishes, rather than enhances, the track’s credibility.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate hip-hop/dubstep as a sub-genre (the Kickdrums’ ‘Trap or Dub’ tape was consistently brilliant) and I’m looking forward with curiosity to getting my hands on Dubstep LA: Volume 2 in October. However, this latest offering is doing little to calm my fears that this is all an exercise to line Snoop’s pockets with Frat Boys’ cash.