I recently ventured to the always entertaining Playhouse of West Hollywood. The night would be host to Jermaine Dupri’s 2nd annual Grammy Pre Party, and Janelle Monae’s after party from an LA Tour stop. To kick the night off, Behind the Hype was in on a well received debut show of Los Angeles rapper Sozay.
Sozay just released his debut EP Who is Sozay? Which takes us through the trials and tribulations of making his way through a magnet school as one of the few minorities (Sozay is white with a Spanish last name) at his school.
Like many great up and coming artists, he is a child of two worlds, regularly listening to Metallica and the NWA in the same day for inspiration; to make it through the every day. After drug use and a stint in the tank, he turned his life around to dedicate his life to music.
When Sozay was on stage, I saw that he wore his heart on his sleeve, truly wanting to draw you in to his story. I believe it is very easy to be a fake (me and a million other music fans) storyteller, talking about issues that have no bearing. Sozay breaks away and tells you his story, that hasn’t really been seen in this area by people in similar situations. Sure, there’ve been white rappers from LA before, but there was some other aspect lacking in them, that Sozay possess, and conquers with.
Musically, the beats he rhymed over were a comfortable blend of heavy, bass-laden songs, while staying true to some old school samples. In the rap game, and specifically for a rap album that I listen to, the production aspect is more of a building block than the lyrics themselves. Fortunately he has choosen a great vessel to sail his story’s ocean with.
Sozay’s debut LP, Black September comes out this year. Guess what month?Is he the West Coast Eminem? Time will tell. Make sure to check out what he's up to on his website!
Until next time my friends,