Right before the pandemic, I took a trip out to The Bay* and anyone that’s been out there before, knows it’s unique from anywhere else you can travel in the US. The bounce in their music hits different, the way they move to it is different and they way they rap is you guessed it…different. Once you’ve experienced listening to hyphy* music around people in the Bay, you won’t forget it. I feel like most of us are familiar with Bay Area legends such as Too $hort, E-40 and Mac Dre but I don’t think we really take the time to appreciate the creativity coming from some of the less prominent names. That’s what led me to today’s drop. I think it’s time we talk about a man who’s taken elements of hyphy music and made it his own. I think it’s time we talk about Larry June.
You ever wanted to drive around and listen to that bag talk* but also feel like you’re at the beach? Well, look no further than the discography of San Francisco native, Larry June. He’s a rapper that embraces everything about his home city in his music. From references about the zaza* to organic Californian produce, June makes sure you know where he’s from and what he’s about. If there was one phrase to use to sum up Larry June’s artistry it’s “trapstar music for the hustla* who’s driving a fly whip to inspire people at the pier while drinking an organic smoothie”. You think I’m joking but the more you listen to his music, the more you notice the similarity in the themes of the content he delivers.
His first project of his that really caught my attention was Very Peaceful. This project made me realize that one of my only regrets from travelling was not playing “Sausalito” in Sausalito. The man has me wanting to take a shorty out there for calamari too, just because it sounds luxurious. With other songs like “Organic Watermelon Juice” and “Orange Pineapple” you deadass* feel like your hair is blowing in the wind while you’re drinking fruit juice…but you’re a hustla too so ain’t nothin sweet. Who else is giving you the healthy hustla records like this?
Out The Trunk is another serious body of work from June. I was like “ayo is this guy doing an evolution right now?! Mid battle?!” I can now confirm that yes, that is indeed what he intended on doing (I have zero insider information to verify this). On “Smoothies in 1991”, the man hopped on a hyphy beat and sang in a way that gave the song a late night 80s radio show vibe (I mean this in a complimentary way) along with some bars yo. He was saying a lot of stuff that you eventually started to really feel in your chest. The man was rapping with that “focus up and handle your bidness*” type energy for real. How can I not rate it?
I knew we were dealing with a whole nother evolution for Larry June once he got a Curren$y AND a Dom Kennedy feature on that “Sunday Morning Drive” record. It’s a song off his album titled, Keep Going which just so happens to be casually produced by Harry Fraud! I know you aren’t about to tell me that those aren’t the right collaborations at the right time. I thought he’d ease up and take a break but nope, he followed that up with an entire project with Berner that also dropped in 2020. Anyone that knows Berner’s music or his brand knows what kind of vibe he would bring to a mixtape called Cooks & Orange Juice. If you don’t know, Google him and you’ll know exactly what I mean.
With a large portion of his music coming out over the past three years, June strikes again with his latest installment, Orange Print. This man refuses to let up off they necks! He elevated yet again. This time, he’s on his “focus up” rap but he’s giving you more personal insight into the struggles he had to overcome to be where he is now. He explained on this album exactly what kind of odds he had stacked against him and how he not only manifested but took active action to make his dreams happen. He gives you all these gems throughout the album, got a big feature from Trae Tha Truth and he went back to Sausalito fool!
Like it or not, Larry June is an artist that continues to elevate himself in the rap game and he’s built himself his own cult following similar to how Curren$y cultivated his: with hard work, patience and consistency. Larry June isn’t going anywhere anytime soon so buckle up and enjoy the ride because we’re all going for a cruise to the water with a fresh fruit salad.
The Bay – The Bay Area in California
Hyphy – uptempo style of hip-hop that is unique to Northern California
Bag Talk – Money talk, discussions about funds
Zaza – exotic herbs produced from the earth that some chose to roll and smoke for consumption
Deadass – in all seriousness and/or no lie
Hustla – someone who find a way to get money, legally or illegally (illegal pharmaceuticals in this case)
Bidness – business (your own personal business in this case)