Undeniably, West Coast hip hop has a bad reputation. Throughout hip hop history, rappers from the area have played the role of the bully, the extortionist, the kingpin, and all-around antagonist, which has made it extremely hard for emerging talent from the West Coast to shake the assumptions that the music industry has placed on them since the days of ?Fuck the Police? and ?Colors.? And because of this, talent from the region has collectively created the ?New West Movement,” one that calls diversification and disassociation from the stereotypes that have come to define their hometowns. One of these artists is Blu Sky, a 22 year old rapper from South Central Los Angeles, one of the most infamous areas in Southern California.
Blu Sky received his nickname from neighborhood pals, given to him because they felt he always dreamt big and had his head in the clouds. But it?s not always easy to dream big in an area like South Central LA, where the streets take life much more often than they give it. Despite this, Blu Sky learned to balance the reality of poverty and street life without allowing it to alter who he was as an artist. Blu Sky began rapping at age 12, and remembers a time when he wrote diss records aimed at his older brother who wouldn?t let him be a part of his rap group. Not easily discouraged, Blu Sky continued writing his lyrics and soon became known throughout Crenshaw High School as one of the best rappers on campus. Picking up the mic came natural to Blu Sky, who believes ?some people are born to play basketball or football; I felt I was born to do music.?
Blu Sky, though raised on West Coast hip hop, is influenced greatly by artists all across the map: Jay-Z for maintaining longevity and a strong presence in hip hop for over a decade, Ice Cube?s gangsta appeal, Lil Wayne?s ever-evolving swagger, and Outkast?s individuality and stand-out style. But most of all, Blu Sky has been encouraged and inspired by Tupac?s heart, something he can relate greatly to in pursuing success in his own career.
Ultimately, Blu Sky hopes to reach a universal audience with his music, and to allow people far beyond the West Coast to relate to his message. He feels strongly that today?s dismal landscape in hip hop is due to singles-driven albums that have little to offer beyond a few radio-friendly hits, and with his projects, aspires towards album-quality and cohesion from beginning to end, be it a mixtape or a formal release. His upcoming mixtape, ?Sky?s The Limit,? showcases his lyrical ability as well as his commitment to the culture that has birthed his passion for music.
You can check out some of Blu Sky?s music on ITunes Music Store