From: Los Angeles, CA
Recent bangers: Young Jeezy f/ 2 Chainz "R.I.P." (2012), 2 Chainz "I'm Different" (2012), FiNaTTicZ "Don't Drop That Thun Thun!"
TDE notwithstanding, ratchet is the new sound of the West Coast, and DJ Mustard is both its chief architect and ambassador. Like others in his profession, Mustard (real name Dijon, no lie!) started out as a DJ, where he developed an ear for the sounds that move a crowd. Mustard eventually took to making beats (though he never gave up DJing) and linked up with Compton rapper YG on a series of mixtapes informed by the high BPM Cali dance music favored by the jerk and hyphy scenes of the mid-to late-2000s.
YG and Mustard's series of collaborative mixtapes led SoCal MC and new Young Money signee Tyga come calling in 2011. The duo linked up on Tyga's YMCMB debut Careless World: Rise of the Last King and came out with "Rack City," the inescapable Hot 100 success that brought Mustard's sound to the nation. (Tyga's labelmate Drake liked what he heard and scored a bigger hit with the YOLO anthem "The Motto", though he went with T-Minus for the beat instead.) The success of "Rack City" put DJ Mustard in high demand in mainstream rap circles, and he recouped on the interest with a string of burners from 2 Chainz' "I'm Different" to Jeezy's "R.I.P." to B.o.B's "HeadBand" and a left-field Top 40 showing for FiNNaTicZ's three year old "Don't Drop That Thun Thun."
DJ Mustard's army of spindly synth hooks, cavernous basslines, fast-paced 808s and handclaps are poised to continue their domination of rap radio if the last year has been any indication, and Mustard's ascendance has also garnered attention for other talented Cali artists. With Ty Dolla $ign, Problem, and IAMSU! and his Heartbreak Gang gaining a measure of success in Mustard's wake, it's starting to look like another West Coast commercial renaissance is underway.