The West Coast (California in particular) has always been a major epicenter for hip-hop going back as far as the N.W.A. & Death Row Records eras to the present eras of Top Dawg Entertainment & YG. And Lynwood native LC Johnson is no exception to this rule with the recent release of his mixtape 'Street Certified' which was produced entirely by Droe Johnson (of Long Beach studio Wood Works Media). 'Street Certified' is a project that brings back that Gangsta Rap/G-Funk sound which was made famous by Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Snoop Dogg (now known as Snoop Lion), Ice Cube, Warren G, Tha Dogg Pound, & others.
Cutting-edge lyrics & G-Funk beats always make for the best combination of good West Coast hip hop. It's hard (for me anyway as somebody that doesn't live in Cali) to figure out when the Jerk Movement started but the good thing about that is the fact you will not find none of that on 'Street Certified'. Matter fact, Johnson makes it his business to focus on this subject (or somewhere around it) & times changing for the worst on his track "Motivation" as well as the title track. Johnson also speaks on untalented artists making it big then letting it go to their heads on "The Natural". With so many hard-hitting tracks on 'Street Certified', I hope this project reaches the world at large because the rap game (as well as the whole world in general) needs a much needed wake-up call.
As most music listeners don't like to take the time to dissect lyrics & think for themselves this day in time, I don't see 'Street Certified' reaching the people it needs to reach. But then again, something like this should be expected as it's always easier to listen to an artist that cops a hot beat & says the same thing over & over and call it a day pretty much. And under the same breath, 'Street Certified' might not appeal to everyone as most of the subject matter on this mixtape might be a little hard on some listeners ears. But without getting to deep into it, 'Street Certified' is not a project for virgin ears.
'Street Certified' may hit close to home for some audiences. 'Street Certified' might not (if at all) hit close to home for some audiences. But all in all, 'Street Certified' is a good mixtape looking for that Gangsta Rap/G-Funk sound that helped put West Coast hip hop on the map. 'Street Certified' is available now & you can download it on HulkShare & other mixtape download sites. -Review written by DV