Remember the whole East Coast vs. West Coast thing? Remember the West Coast “vibe?” Remember the boom-bap sound that came out of New York? Things like this don’t exist in the world of hip-hop anymore. Well, except in one part...the Beast Coast. The Beast Coast is essentially a rebirth movement of conscious hip hop music coming out of New York. It is a hip hop supergroup that consists of Pro Era, The Underachievers, Flatbush Zombies and Tanboys. These rappers formed as a supergroup in about 2012 and have only found success since then. Flatbush Zombies actually sold out Rihanna in physical album sales with their debut album 3001: A Laced Odyssey. But not many think this is credible because “nobody buys CDs anymore,” but real music fans do. Joey Bada$$ of Pro Era has had a very big year, landing a radio single and appearing on the hit TV show "Mr. Robot." The Underachievers just released another mixtape and just finished a tour.
But what makes them stand out? Why should we care? We should care because Beast Coast rappers bring an uncommon subgenre of rap called “conscious rap” to the table. Conscious rap does not contain the typical rap themes of money, sex, alcohol, cars, etc. Rather, it brings themes of self motivation as well as political and social awareness. A great example of the latter is the Flatbush Zombies' song "Amerikkkan Pie," which discusses the corruption of our nation. The Underachievers track "Shine All Gold" is a great example of finding inner strength as Issa Gold discusses his overcoming of drug addition in his verse. Another theme of this group is that of being an Indigo, which is more a lifestyle than a religion. This lifestyle is about chakra alignment and having your “third eye” open. The majority of members in the supergroup practice this lifestyle. Now I am not saying Beast Coast rappers only have conscious rap songs, as they have songs about typical rap subjects as well, but there is a balance of both. The Underachievers did this best on their last album, which was 15 tracks -- seven were conscious rap and eight were “bangers” or songs just meant for getting hyped/excited. These hype tracks, however, still contained relevant topics weaved into them.
Another aspect that makes Beast Coast stand out from the rest is their genuineness. On Twitter, they all answer practically everyone who @s them and AK of The Underachievers and Zombie Jewice of the Flatbush Zombies are often on Periscope or Twitch, streaming and talking to fans. In interviews, members are articulate and speak what’s on their mind. They often talk to and hang out with fans after live shows with or without the formal “meet and greet” setting. Fans even bring them gifts, such as artwork or, in AK’s case, Dragonball Z paraphernalia. This is the type of relationship they have with their supporters.
In conclusion, the Beast Coast has grown since its formation. The fan base has grown and it will only grow more. The supporters have been with them since the beginning and we will continue to support them. While some people will never hear their music, the ones who do will continue to be inspired by it and do their best to share it with the world.