Pros: He can make both upbeat club bangers and make straight hip-hop tracks
Cons: Seems to be better at guest verses than full songs
Essential Listening: Pistols and Palm Trees
Skeme is a testament to diversity in L.A.’s sound. With his raspy voice, marked by a slight southern drawl hidden under a distinctly West Coast dialect, the Inglewood rapper spits with the passion of 2Pac and the wit of Lil Wayne over relentlessly hard-hitting beats. However, he’s not one to pander to expectations or fit cleanly into categories. So don’t be confused when his club bangers give way to introspective street anthems. For an artist aiming to make the kind of music that the hood can relate to, they’re one in the same.
Pistols and Palm Trees, his 2010 mixtape, was the first to really put him on the radar. As the title suggests, the 14-track project takes you into the deceivingly picturesque streets of L.A. and includes singles like “Til I’m Gone” featuring Kendrick Lamar, “L.A. Nights” featuring Dom Kennedy, the Ty$-assisted “Bad,” and the Hit Boy-produced “What I Deserve.” His latest, Before My Next Statement continues on familiar themes but does so in a more evolved way. He’ll follow up with Alive and Living this summer.