Los Angeles. Home to Hollywood, beautiful weather, and a mecca of some of the most creative musical talents in the world. Artist like the N.W.A., Red Hot Chili Peppers and Snoop Dogg originated in this wonderful city, and it has continued to generate artist that represent LA's unique stye and culture. Los Angeles being at the forefront of music, it only makes sense that rappers, singers, songwriters, and producers would come from here. Here are 10 influential musical artist from LA, in no particular order, that perfectly represent the City of Angels.
Tokimonsta is a DJ, producer, and songwriter with a sound that is almost indescribable. A mixture of R&B, electronic, and dance, Tokimonsta takes her fans on a journey of sound. This, among other reasons, is why she performs at some of today's top music festivals including South by Southwest, Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), and this year's Coachella (which will be her second year performing). In 2010, she was ranked the #1 female DJ in Los Angeles by LA Weekly, and was the first female artist to join Flying Lotus' crew/label Brainfeeder, an independent label of producers and artist based in LA. She has since continued her success touring the world alongside some of the biggest acts in electronic dance music (EDM) including Diplo, Grimes, and Skrillex.
Songs to listen to: "Darkest (Dim)" and "Grace"
It's hard to think about where west coast rap would be without hip-hop collective Black Hippy. Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, and Schoolboy Q have redefined what it means to be a rapper from LA, branching off from stereotypical gangster rap, and creating a soulful sound with exceptional lyricism. Though they have yet to put an album out together, individually they have had much commercial success with notable projects such as Kendrick's "To Pimp A Butterfly", Schoolboy Q's "Oxymoron", Ab-Soul's "These Days", and Jay Rock's "90059".What makes Black Hippy so remarkable is their ability to jump on a song together, bringing their own unique style, while remaining in harmony with each other.
Songs to listen to: "Vice City" and "Say Wassup"
3.Flying Lotus/Captain Murphy
Flying Lotus, or "Fly Lo" as some fans like to call him, is an experimental electronic/hip-hop DJ, producer, and rapper from Los Angeles. He has worked with a number of artist including Erykah Badu, Mac Miller, and Kendrick Lamar even contributing much of the bumper music in between commercial breaks on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. He is also the founder of independent label Brainfeeder based in LA , which features producers and artists including Teebs, The Underachievers, and the aforementioned Tokimonsta. In 2012, Flying Lotus debuted his animated eccentric rap alter ego Captain Murphy with album "Duality". Captain Murphy's appeal comes from his distinct low-pitched voice, unconventional lyrics, and one of a kind beat selection. Fly Lo initially kept his identity as Captain Murphy a secret until a performance at Low End Theory in Los Angeles where he revealed himself to be Captain Murphy.
Songs to listen out: "Never Catch Me" and "Between Friends"
Skrillex is an electronic DJ, producer, and EDM titan. He arrived on scene in 2002 and has since grown into one of the highest paid EDM DJs, competing with to earners Tiesto and Calvin Harris. In 2015, Skrillex collaborated with fellow record producer and DJ Diplo for their album "Jack U". The album featured the song "Where Are U Now" featuring Justin Bieber, which went double platinum in three countries and earned them two Grammy awards in 2016 for Best Dance/Electronic Album and Best Dance Record. Skrillex's ubiquitous influence can be seen across different genres of music, even collaborating with rappers The Game, A$AP Rocky, and Vic Mensa.
Songs to listen to: "Where Are U Now" and "Working For It"
The Internet is a contemporary soul band started by Odd Future members Syd the Kyd and Matt Martians.Their use of live instruments and eclectic jazz sounds is what makes them unlike anything we've heard from Odd Future before. Initially a two man band, the group has evolved into full band of seven members who have worked with such talent as Mac Miller and Tyler, the Creator.They are also know for their remixes of songs such as Lana Del Rey's "Blue Jeans" and Raleigh Ritchie's "Free Fall". Since their start, The Internet have truly come into their own with their last album "Ego Death" being nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 2016 Grammy Awards.
Songs to listen to: "Web of Me" and "Special Affair"
No artist paints a picture of Los Angeles quite like Dom Kennedy does with his music. Everything from the way he raps to his beat selection, Dom Kennedy is quintessentially LA. His chill demeanor and smoothness is representative of the LA's laid-back vibe and he as worked with many of LA's top rappers including Nipsey Hussle, Kendrick Lamar, and Schoolboy Q. Though he has made it to the mainstream, Dom Kennedy still remains as one of the most underrated west coast rappers.
Songs to listen to: "When I Come Around" and "Platinum Chanel"
7. Jhene Aiko
The beautifully talented Jhene Aiko is a R&B singer/songwriter known for her unmistakable voice and powerful songwriting. She has worked alongside some of the greatest music act of our generation including Drake, Childish Gambino, and Black Hippy who have all described her as a strong, independent women. Her approachable style and authentic ora illuminate through her music. Since her album "Souled Out", one of the most anticipated albums of 2014, Aiko has been traveling all over North America on some of the top hip-hop and R&B tours supporting The Weeknd, Drake, and J.Cole.
Song to listen to: "The Worst" and "Bed Piece"
Though we are unsure if Odd Future still exist as a collective, individually Tyler, the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, Domo Genesis, Hodgy Beats, and Left Brain solo projects have transcended the hip hop genre. Their creative beats and intense lyrics is what keep fans intrigued and have propelled them into international success. Their albums have all been well received by critics, including their collaborative album "The OF Tape Vol. 2", and they continue to be sought after by legends including Pharrell Williams and Kanye West. Aside from their music Odd Future is also known for their obnoxious antics on Adult Swim's "Loiter Squad", and their annual Odd Future Carnival thrown at the Los Angeles Coliseum where headliners Frank Ocean, A$AP Rocky, and Snoop Dogg have performed in the past.
Songs to listen to: "Oldie" and "Whoa"
With his signature "Mustard on the beat" sound, DJ Mustard has created a new style of LA music . Since DJ Mustard's debut album "10 Summers", which featured an array of Los Angeles talent including YG, Ty Dolla Sign, Dom Kennedy,TeeCee 4800, and Nipsey Hussle, Mustard has solidified himself as the go-to producer for west coast rap. Signed under Jay-Z's Roc Nation record label, Mustard has infiltrated mainstream music with chart topping songs, producing for Rihanna, Big Sean, and Wiz Khalifa.
Songs to listen to: "In My Room" and "Needed Me"
Miguel is a new age R&B singer and songwriter with an unmatched sound and talent. His neo-soul, rock infused sounds have sky rocketed him to fame and have landed him features with musicians from all genres including Disclosure, Mariah Carey, and Wale. Though he may not be able to successfully jump over a pit of people during a performance (a reference to his 2013 Billboard Music Awards fail), he certainly knows how to create beautiful music that will define this generation's rhythm and blues.
Songs to listen to: "Good Intentions" and "Coffee"