Kendrick Lamar has been one of the West Coast’s most significant musical exports for over a decade and has been recognised as the region’s primary representative for some time now.
The East Coast has always struggled to allocate a leader, and things have been shaky since the death of Biggie Smalls. Many would consider Jay-Z the king of the East Coast. However, for about a decade, the Brooklyn emcee has been somewhat irrelevant concerning his music.
Jay-Z’s business dealings and entrepreneurial ventures have been highly successful and are what led him to become a billionaire. However, since the release of Blueprint 3, his regional relevance has waned. The same can be said for figures such as Snoop Dogg and The Game on the West Coast.
Following the G-Funk era and the death of 2Pac, Snoop Dogg was unanimously considered the king of the West Coast. While Dr Dre was producing for artists such as 50 Cent and Eminem, Snoop was representing LA in the charts with hits such as ‘Drop It Like Its Hot’ and ‘Signs’.
However, like all artists, by the 2010s, the Long Beach legend was not front and centre, and a new California rapper was taking over, that being Kendrick Lamar. Upon the release of his first album, Section.80, his peers were beginning to realise what a force he was, prompting LA MCs to rally around him.
In 2011, at The Fonda Theatre in LA, a group of West Coast icons, including The Game Snoop Dogg passed the torch to Kendrick in a memorable event that saw Kendrick cry as Snoop proclaimed, “We watchin’ you rock and we wanna pass the torch to you. It’s a beautiful thing you ain’t good at what you do, you great at what you do! So imma say this; you got the torch n*gga you better run with it!”
You can watch Snoop Dogg pass the torch to Kendrick Lamar in the video below.