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West Coast Rap: A Dive into My Favorite Tracks

Best Westcoast Rap Songs
Kendrick Lamar | Shutterstock

Welcome to my personal exploration of West Coast rap, a genre that has shaped the global music landscape with its unique beats, compelling narratives, and unforgettable personalities. From the Bay Area’s innovative slang maestro E-40 to Long Beach’s smooth operator Snoop Dogg and from the bounce of Hyphy to slick g-funk, this article is a tribute to the artists whose tracks have dominated my playlists and defined a generation. So, sit back, put on your headphones, and join me as we journey through the Golden State, one rap legend at a time.

E-40: The Slang Spitting Maestro of the Bay

E-40, a Bay Area legend, has been a staple in the rap game for decades. His unique style and innovative slang have made him a beloved figure in hip-hop. Here are some of my favorite tracks from E-40:

“Tell Me When to Go”

A Bay Area anthem introducing the world to the Hyphy movement. From 2006’s Ghetto Report Card.

“They Point”

An energetic track produced by Bangladesh featuring 2 Chainz and Juicy J (Three 6 Mafia albums). Want to dive into the world of Juicy J? Explore his top songs.

“Choices (Yup)”

A catchy song with a repetitive hook that will get stuck in your head for days. E-40 has plenty of great songs, and this is among them.

Too Short: The Provocative Pioneer of West Coast Rap

Too Short, another Bay Area icon, is known for his explicit lyrics and funky beats. Here are some of my top picks from Too Short:

“Blow the Whistle”

A party anthem sampled and referenced countless times in hip-hop. From his classic album Blow the Whistle. Discover the essence of Too Short’s music by exploring his top collaborations.

“Gettin’ It”

A motivational track about hustling and achieving success. From his 1996 album Gettin’ It.

“The Ghetto”

A socially conscious song that discusses the struggles of living in impoverished neighborhoods.

You can find more about Too Short’s best songs here.

ScHoolboy Q: The Gritty Storyteller of TDE

ScHoolboy Q, a member of the acclaimed T.D.E. label, is known for his gritty lyrics and versatile flow. Here are some of my favorite tracks from ScHoolboy Q:

“Collard Greens”

A psychedelic track featuring Kendrick Lamar.

“Man of the Year”

A celebratory cut where ScHoolboy Q revels in his newfound fame.


An affectionate track where Q yearns for his woman’s love while working in the studio.

“There He Go”

Snoop Dogg: The Smooth Operator of Long Beach

Snoop Dogg, a West Coast legend, is known for his smooth flow and laid-back demeanor. Here are some of my top picks from Snoop Dogg:

“Gin and Juice”

One of Snoop Dogg’s most popular and recognizable songs.

“Drop It Like It’s Hot”

One of Snoop Dogg’s most significant commercial hits.

“Nuthin’ But a G Thang” 

This track is one of the most iconic songs of the early 90s. The track features Dr. Dre and displays Snoop’s smooth flow and effortless delivery.

You can find more about Snoop Dogg’s best songs here.

Kendrick Lamar: The Thought-Provoking Genius of Compton

Kendrick Lamar, arguably one of the greatest rappers of our generation, is known for his thought-provoking lyrics and complex storytelling. Here are some of my favorite tracks from Kendrick Lamar:


A powerful anthem that became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.


A firework display of Kendrick’s technical ability as a rapper.


An earworm with a beat that shunts the song along, the lyrics taking one check-me-out shot after another.

Ice Cube

Ice Cube, a founding member of N.W.A., is known for his hard-hitting lyrics and storytelling ability. The rapper is an integral part of hip-hop’s 50-year history. Here are some of my favorite tracks from Ice Cube:

“It Was a Good Day”

A laid-back track where Ice Cube reflects on a perfect day in South Central L.A.

“Check Yo Self”

A cautionary tale about the dangers of stepping out of line, featuring Das E.F.X.

“No Vaseline”

One of the most ruthless diss tracks ever recorded, aimed at Ice Cube’s former N.W.A. groupmates.

You can find more about Ice Cube in a list of the best diss tracks ever.

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