Six West Coast Rappers and the West Coast Rappers They're Listening To

By Tatiana Cirisano & Graham Corrigan

The West Coast has always been a bedrock of hip-hop. But in 2016, that extends past the historical twin pillars of Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

There's talent making waves in Portland and Sacramento, and everywhere in between—so much so that we can't keep track of it all.

So we asked the artists who already had our attention for some recommendations. Some are longtime collaborators, others are recent acquaintances. But they all call the West Coast home.

Related: Five Florida Rappers and the Florida Rappers They're Listening To


2. Domo Genesis

Hometown: Inglewood, CA

You probably heard Domo Genesis before you heard of him. The 25-year-old Inglewood rapper spent years spitting verses alongside the likes of Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt as a founding member of OFWGKTA.

But the artist born Dominique Cole continues to prove that he’s not to be underestimated. Domo stepped out solo in March with Genesis, his first full-length EP. It's stacked with top-tier guests like Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa, and Anderson .Paak.

Though he still keeps his ties with the OF gang—Genesis was released via Odd Future, and contains a feature from Tyler—Domo is shedding his reputation as the rap collective’s token stoner rapper and quickly becoming a mature, seasoned star of his own accord.

But as real fans will know, Domo’s been a star all along. With his debut mixtape, 2010’s Rolling Papers, the rapper quietly laid the groundwork for his signature rhymes and mellow mood; the string of mixtapes (Under the InfluenceNo IdolsUnder the Influence 2) that followed only sealed the deal. With the tapes, Domo made a case for his soulful vocals and smooth, jazzy production—and that’s a reputation that has taken center stage today.

3. Domo Genesis recommends: Boogie

Hometown: Compton, CA

Domo Genesis says:

Boogie is sick. I just saw him perform at SXSW and he killed it. I didn’t know much about him at first but he’s dope. I saw him perform live without hearing any of his music, and it made me go out and search.

His energy is crazy. He’s from Compton but he doesn’t sound the same as everyone else popping off there, he doesn’t sound like YG. He has his own lane. "Oh My" is great. I’m excited for whatever he’s doing with Game right now.

4. Aminé

Hometown: Portland, OR

Calling Brio, last summer’s project from Portland rapper Aminé, gets its title from the Latin word for “vigor.” The phrase is also a perfect description of the rapper’s sound: vibrant, bouncy and scattered with tribal beats, Aminé oozes energy.

Born Adam Daniel, Aminé (pronounced “uh-mean-aye") has already racked up more than 500,000 plays for his latest release, “Caroline,” a head-knocking, tongue-in-cheek jam about a crush. And it's not hard to see why. With Aminé's rhythmic, theatrical vocals, and sunny, infectious beats, the artist is quickly becoming our go-to for summer vibes.

Maybe the artist's best quality is that he’s not afraid to have a little fun: if you need proof, just watch Aminé's self-directed video for the new track, in which the rapper and friends ride around Portland, eating bananas in the backseat and dancing on sidewalks.

5. Aminé recommends: Odie & Ya'qob

Hometown: Bay Area, CA

Aminé says:

Shouts out my niggas Odie & Ya'qob. I love this song because it just connects with me personally. If you've been out here on your own then you will appreciate this. Listen to my West Coast killas right fucking now.

6. clipping.

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

As one third of clipping., William Hutson is on the forefront of rap music—anyone familiar with the Los Angeles trio knows how the group is constantly pushing their sound forward into weirder, darker, more jagged directions.

Their latest EP, Wriggle, dives further into the violent, distorted world of drugs and dancing. They've added a couple of similarly deranged voices this time too—ANTWON makes a memorable appearance on "Back Up," and Nailah Middleton adds a sultry, subtle hook on "Our Time." But the title track is classic clipping.—hectic, loud, viciously smart, funny, and abrasive.

7. clipping. recommends: Cam and China

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

William Hutson says:

The three of us [in clipping.] were in college during the height of hyphy in the Bay and jerk Music in LA, and as a result that music was formative. I think the influence of that era can be heard in a lot of contemporary West Coast rap, but many of the artists themselves have disappeared. Thankfully, Cam and China—the standout members of LA’s Pink Dollaz—are making music again.

The duo have released a handful of loosies over the past year, all of which have us excited for an album or full length mixtape in the future. They’ve definitely grown as rappers and as songwriters and I can imagine them really blowing up.

8. Boogie

Hometown: Compton, CA

It's been a year since "Oh My" was in contention for song of the summer, but Boogie didn't get stuck in his ways after that first hit. The music he's released since shows an impressive range of styles and content—The Reach was appropriately released on his young son's birthday. Fatherhood, fame, and their complex fusions are central to Boogie's stories.

He's been touring heavily since the mixtape's release, and as this list's other participants can attest, Boogie's live show is just as electric as his studio material.

9. Boogie recommends: KB Devaughn

Hometown: Inglewood, CA

Boogie says:

KB Devaughn, he's like my protégé. He reminds me so much of myself at a younger age, but better. He raps with his emotions and he's vulnerable with his music, just like me. That's the little homie.

10. The Last Artful, Dodgr

Hometown: Portland, OR via Los Angeles

The Last Artful, Dodgr is one of Portland's most exciting new voices. We mean that both ways—her style and production is a breath of fresh air, and her vocals occupy an otherworldly, almost alien space in the helium octaves.

"Squadron" was the track that got our attention, and Dodgr hasn't slowed down—she just released the Rare Treat EP with Myke Bogan, and there's more to come. For someone whose career is just beginning, Dodgr already sounds supremely confident on tracks, and she's putting Portland on the map as a result.

11. The Last Artful, Dodgr recommends: Myke Bogan

Hometown: Portland, OR

Myke Bogan's voice is as memorable as it gets. His style is so effortless and true to self that it's hard to compare him to anyone. The kid also stays releasing killer visuals, which is what made me a fan to begin with. Keep an eye out for Myke Bogan. You'll be glad you did.

13. Mozzy

Hometown: Sacramento, CA

It’s hard to keep up with Tim Patterson, A.K.A. Lil' Tim, and most recently, Mozzy. The Oak Park rapper released four full-length solo albums in 2015, including the highly-lauded Bladadah, not to mention a growing collection of collabs with the likes of YG, Nef the Pharaoh, and Philthy Rich.

Known for his dark, brutal, and vividly honest verses that often refer to violence, drugs, and his time in jail, Mozzy has been building buzz back home for some time. But as he continues to pump out new projects like the recently-dropped Mandatory Check, his name is starting to spread beyond the West Coast. There's good reason: while other rappers' violent verses may come across as glorifications of gang life, Mozzy's are instead impressive and provocative in their honesty. Couple that with his sharp, hard-hitting vocals and finger-snapping beats, and you've got a rapper poised to take it to the next level.

14. Mozzy recommends: Lil Blood

Hometown: Oakland, CA

Mozzy says:

Lil Blood is who I listen to right now and not just because he raps my life. He speaks on the struggles and activities that I see on a daily. Uncut, non-fiction.