February 9, 2015

problem compton

Torii MacAdams is four five seconds from getting an iced coffee

It’s February 9 and it’s 75 degrees. It’s not quite hot enough in L.A. for the mid-summer tradition of shootouts on the freeway, but it’s gang banging weather nonetheless. It’s a windows-down day, and to celebrate, Salva’s officially released his latest collaboration with Problem, the aptly-titled “Compton.” Freddie Gibbs’ favorite sidekick/man crush and the polymath producer are frequent co-conspirators; “Compton”’s the fourth Salva-produced song Problem’s appeared on, and their strongest work to date.

Salva’s forays into contemporary g-funk have been enjoyable, if a bit sugary. He’s a talented producer and learned listener, but his work lacks the sample-imparted soulful nous of the sub-genre’s golden age. That’s an admittedly nitpicking critique; his instrumentals are  reasonably progressive*, and importantly, knock pretty hard. “Compton,” built around the infamous “Real Muthaphukkin G’s” vocal sample, is an appropriately grimy vitrine for Problem.

Were Problem vying for once-meaningful Power 106 airplay 10 years ago, he’d likely have received more attention, but, in a suddenly crowded field, he’s probably been appraised properly. There’s worse places to settle in the rap hierarchy than “Daz.” Problem’s neither an enlightening nor immediately quotable lyricist, but he sports a good flow, and on “Compton” makes enough Menace II Society references to reinforce the gangsta rap atmosphere. If you’re looking for “Compton,” it’s on Soundcloud, but if you’re looking for Problem, he’s in Compton.


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