LA Hip-Hop Collective Villain Park Embody the West Coast w/ The Recipe
Evan Dale // Sep 4, 2019
Any fan of old-school hip-hop wallowing in their negativity that hip-hop has somehow died should listen to Villain Park’s debut album, The Recipe. When the Los Angeles collective appeared on the scene with 2015 EP, Same Ol’ Shit, listeners – particularly those in Southern California – felt as though they had stumbled through a time warp. Everything from compositional influence to the intensity of their rap delivery makes Villain Park highly reminiscent of the Gangsta Rap Era. Blaring West Coast synths, deep funk-driven basslines, classic samples, and a murderous cadence leave the trio a timeless exhibition of rap’s most necessary pillars: rhythm and poetry.
Just like Same Ol’ Shit, The Recipe is a thematic exploration of an upbringing en route to a hip-hop career in LA. In favor of friends and fellow Southern California hip-hop artists existing between the underground and the mainstream, Villain Park call the flavors of Jay 305 and Hugh Augustine into the picture. In the same circle live Dom Kennedy, Casey Veggies, and Warm Brew. And in the same scene always thrives the timelessness of the West Coast hip-hop aesthetic.
After a brisk duo of introductory tracks, Villain Park embark on the path we’ve been waiting for. It’s been almost a half-decade since their debut EP – which came out the same year as comparatively lyrical Atlanta collective, Two-9’s B4FRVR. And in that gap, few if any have stepped in to fill the throwback lane.
For more than half-an-hour, The Recipe quenches the thirst that has grown in their absence. Highlighted by leading single, Cold Game which folds into the picture the stylistic intrigue of Levii & Jay 305, The Recipe, much like Same Ol’ Shit is yet to give away its other standout singles. The project thrives as a whole and it’s clear that each included track also has the ability to thrive as a single, so it’ll be interesting to see which ones come out on top. But, there is no doubt that some will and that Villain Park will continuing bringing the old-school into modernity and that their continued growth will continue to tether hip-hop to its necessary roots.