Today we have a guest blog from the homie Brillyancestar. For anyone else interested in submitting a guest blog, hit me up with a pitch on the SOHH Left Coast myspace page at www.myspace.com/sohhleftcoast. I'll be posting a guest blog from a reader once a month from here on out.
Make sure you tune in next week; I'll be posting part one of an interview with Juice from Black Wall Street on Tuesday. Until then, have a good weekend.
"From the big city full of fake titties and real assholes" comes a group that seems like a great marketing plan, but sounds like they came up together. Strong Arm Steady consists of three members: Phil the Agony (Likwit Crew affiliate), Krondon, and Southeast San Diego's Mitchy Slick. Phil is the old school west coast lyricist, that sounds like he spends his whole day smoking and writing lyrics, spending all day trying to come with the deepest and dopest rhymes. Krondon is the new school dude with the personality to be a star, a million flows, and the rhymes to tear your favorite mixtape rapper apart. Mitchy Slick is a reflection of the streets of SD, and for the most part all of Cali. Mitchy's gang bang and hustlin lyrics are based in reality, and when combined with the rest of the SAS, you have nearly the entire West Coast sound. Lyrics, streets, and swagger- it's the entire West Coast.
Strong Arm was originally put together by Xzibit. They were on his Open Bar label. Unfortunately, like the Golden State Warriors project, things never really popped. SAS dropped "The Collector's Edition Vol. 1" best of mixtape and dvd with Xzibit, but then ended up signed with Talib Kweli's Blacksmith imprint. Xzibit was a member of SAS, but when they changed labels he didn't follow, four became three. The group insists there's no beef, and X to the Z has done a few new songs with the crew. Since there departure from Open Bar, SAS has dropped two HUGE mixtapes. The first was Dilated Steady, a mixtape Strong Arm and Dilated Peoples dropped for Dilated's 20/20 album.
Dilated Steady was bigger than Dilated and Strong Arm. Dilated Steady was a complete mixture underground west coast music attempting to push it's way to the mainstream. It was even hosted by Long Beach's (that's what's up) own black pro skater Terry Kennedy and DJ Truly Odd. While Kweli makes two appearances, and Black Thought from the Roots makes 3, The West definitely does their thing the mixtape. Chace Infinite and Defari murder "Unmatched", Planet Asia brings it alongside Krondon and Evidence on "Nothing Like It" which borrows it's beat from one of the last tracks off Lil Wayne's The Carter 2 (they make it seem like he wasted it). While this mixtape was definitely dope, it was more compilation, less Steady; to get a true listen, you have to turn to their second and most recent Strong Arm Radio: Blacksmith Edition.
Strong Arm Radio is Steady to the fullest. Hosted once again by Terry Kennedy and Dj Truly Odd (Krondon's Dj) It starts off with Krondon and Phil The Agony spittin on "I'm a Tell You" then goes right into "Hollywood to Floss" with a beat that knocks, Krondon talking about what he likes to do on a good day, and Phil The Agony reminding people not to take Hollywood lightly, although there's the bright lights and beautiful women it's still "10 minutes from South Central, and 20 minutes from Watts". While other still make good appearances (Chace Infinite brings it as always, Dilated Peoples is on one track, Planet Asia, and Skip of UTP, worst track, and others) this mixtape is SAS every track. While Mitchy doesn't make every track (probably cuz he stays in SD, and runs his own imprint) he shows up for real on "Promise" which uses J Dilla's "one eleven" beat off Donuts. This is definitely one of the stand out tracks. Another track to check for is "Last Laff", where Phil and Kron murder and up tempo beat. Phil spits "nigga's never smoked a Newport with Pac, toured with Big Pun or seen Biggie Smalls rock, muthafucka's missed they chance, that's why they running around sounding like they tryna fit they pants." Real Talk. Also check for "Street Lights" with Krondon, Phil the Agony, Kweli, and Evidence on the beat. (where he seems to keep improving) Only track I say that EVERYONE should skip(no pun intended) is "Feinin". Krondon can switch flows whenever he feels, and on this track featuring Skip from UTP, he spits like he's had too much Sizzurp, and of course Skip of "Nolia Clap" fame is whack as he's ever been.
Strong Arm has several other mixtape- Phil the Agony has the solo effort Aromatic and Krondon has New Crack City. Mitchy Slick is the only member to drop an album; his Urban Survival Syndrome came out on Angeles records, which belongs to Muggs of Cypress Hill and Soul Assasins. I normally don't really mess with gangsta rap, but I have to admit, Mitchy's album doesn't slack. So go check for all that Strong Arm shit, the West can't come back, cuz it never left.
This is Long Beach's Brillyance, stay up and stay peaceful, I'm gone.