The WCO is a football offense that emphasizes the pass and these ten albums from the west coast are not to be passed up. We’re going to line each of them up in positions on the board and then hit the field and run up the score. The west coast raps, parties and plays ball and this team of rappers is bringing their A-game in the form of an album each to the gridiron.
- C: Ice Cube – Death Certificate. The center is usually represented by a square on the coaches chalkboard but we’re going to take it 3D with Cube. His album Death Certificate has a Death side and a Life side which proves to us his understandings of the yen and the yang’s of the world. Just like the movies and music we get today from this artist, Ice Cube does multiple dimensions and does them well making him the perfect player for our center. Loaded with hard hitting tracks and listenable from start to finish including “Steady Mobbin'”, “Man’s Best Friend” and “Doing Dumb Shit”. Also contained “No Vaseline”, the most vicious diss track available on a commercial release to date until 2Pac released “Hit ‘Em Up”.
- LG: Too $hort – Shorty the Pimp. You want a pimp as a guard, they know everything about playing the field. “Step Daddy” alone is worth the price of the album, but listening to the whole thing from the opening riffs on “Intro: Shorty the Pimp” to the “Extra Dangerous Thanks” is the way to go. From kickoff to the final horn a veteran like Short Dog is what we need on the O line.
- RG: King Tee – Tha Triflin’ Album. Our other guard is the boozer of the crew, the guy who parties all night before the big game but still performs. Featuring Tha Alkaholiks Tha Triflin’ Album grinds it out every song and gets you through the day until you can take a visit to “King Tee’s Beer Stand” and work on your “Drunk Tekneek”.
- LT: The Game – The Documentary. This album is playing tackle because it tackles the entire industry. This is the fan as a rapper, and a talented rapper at that. Lot’s of name checking but it never sells out because Game isn’t just rattling off names for the hell of it, he’s educating the rest of us of how it all fits together. “Hate It or Love It” is a modern day “What’s Going On?” by the legendary Marvin Gaye and the title track rips. The Game’s game is best illustrated by the chorus from “The Documentary”:
I’m Ready to Die
Without a Reasonable Doubt
Smoke Chronic and hit it
Doggy Style before I go out
Until they sign my Death Certificate
All Eyez on Me
I’m still at it, Illmatic
And that’s The Documentary
- RT: Total Devastation – Legalize It. Could Total Devastation be part of the reason California is so weed friendly today? Possibly. These guy’s tackled marijuana reform on this 1993 album and then disappeared to “Cloud Nine”. If you smoke you should own this album. And parents if your kids have this album break out the good shit, they’re ready to get “Zooted”. These lyrics will stay in your head and you can easily tweak them to fit your own world as you rap along.
- TE: Tha Dogg Pound – Dogg Food. Tight End is a difficult position. Lots of blocking but you also have to be ready to catch a pass, likely in a 3rd down situation. Daz and Korupt are probably better known for their guest appearances on other Death Row albums but when the time came for Dogg Food they were ready and released a winner. “Let’s Play House” is rough and smooth at the same time. And that takes skill.
- WR: Celly Cel – Killa Kali. Some of what you can hear in this album from 1996 you can still catch in artists like Little Wayne today. That sound. Ahead of his time? Maybe. Perfect for wide receiver, give “4 tha Scrilla” a listen and tell me that track can’t break a few tackles in the open field.
- WR: Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggystyle. Chronic came out and a rapper named Snoop busted a bunch of verses on it that caught a lot of peoples attention. Then Doggystyle came out and the world was hizooked on the Snizoop. This is “Tha Shiznit” and Snoop and his Doggystyle is going deep for 6.
- WR: Warren G – Regulate…G Funk Era. At the slot wide receiver on the left side of the field is Snoop’s friend from the 213 Warren G. He’s gotta be open if the other two wide receivers are covered. Warren brought G Funk to us all. Did he invent it? Not sure, but who had heard of G Funk before “Regulators”? Don’t miss “This is the Shack” and “This D.J.” And that’s free advice.
- QB: Dr. Dre – The Chronic. If you haven’t caught on yet that it’s ALL been influenced by this guy since the release of The Chronic you probably won’t. Pay better attention next time. He’s the QB passing, handing it off, calling the plays, whatever it takes to get into the end zone. A single nut can produce an entire tree, and a guy with a ear for music can do the same for an entire genre. Dre’s at the controls in the studio and he’s also at the controls here in our West Coast O.
- RB: 2Pac – All Eyez on Me. All eyes are on the running back after the quarterback takes the snap to see if he gets the ball. But if he doesn’t the running backs job is far from done, there’s blocking to do as well as the possibility of catching the pass out of the backfield. That’s why our running back is the guy who recorded one of raps first double albums, released in the form of two books. That’s a lot of plays. Loaded with big hits like “How Do You Want It?” and “California Love” as well as a track called “Got My Mind Made Up” that features the introspective of four talented rappers; Daz, Korupt, Redman and Method Man. Heard of any of those guys?
That’s our game plan and would you look at that, it got you here to the end zone. Super bowl homeboy! Hopefully you have tracks from all of these albums as part of your playbook, err playlist. If not all are available from Amazon.com and are also on the west coast widget you hurdled halfway through this article. Thanks for reading.