The Bay Area is most commonly known for the Hyphy Movement in the mid-200s, a time when hyperactive activity matched the beats and rhymes of its rising artists. Today mainstream Hip Hop is most represented by the new era of mumble rappers, where trap beats are paired with unintelligible lyricism. Right now there’s an OG Bay Area rapper who hops on a trap beat, but is antonymous to anything mentioned above.
Story | Nico Blitz
Locksmith. You may recognize the lyrical mastermind from his battle rapping days, or from his former partnership with Left – the two created The Frontline rap group based out of Richmond, California. The Richmond rap fanatic is back with his single “Grime” in preparation for his upcoming album Olive Branch.
“Grime” originated as a freestyle video from Lock’s Lock Sessions on YouTube. The message targets rappers who claim to be the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) without having the knowledge, lyricism, and persistence to holding the title. Additionally, he calls out that majority of Hip Hop cats nowadays promote unexceptional topics – sex, drugs, and senseless beef to name a few.
Despite Lock’s mastery of words and cleverness to utilize a trap beat to reach a wider audience, his numbers show the power that mainstream music has over lyrical geniuses like himself.
There used to be a time where the most popular songs came with messages in the beginning, middle, and end. Today we’re surrounded by senseless music that doesn’t have much of a lesson to teach. There are times when club bangers are appropriate, but the industry doesn’t see how beneficial conscious rap can be for the world when the club is over.
Partially it’s the people’s fault for not wanting a more conscious take with rappers’ messages, but at times its too chill to ignore the social issues and lack of knowledge you obtain from artists you listen to on a daily basis. The moment we stop learning is when we’ll dismantle even further as a society.
Lock has always been in the direction of social awareness and consciousness. As a highly underappreciated rapper from the Bay Area, he’s looking to make some noise on his project Olive Branch, which will be dropping in the near future. Stay tuned.