Will Hagle ghostwrites Vince Staples’ Yelp reviews.
Snoop Dogg endorses Jooba Loc. That could mean either everything or nothing for the young Long Beach rapper. Snoop Dogg’s co-signs tend to be as liberal as the conservative media thinks Martha Stewart is. He’ll put his name behind whatever: T-Mobile, Wonderful Pistachios, Rastafarianism, etc. Most of these endorsements are business endeavors, but all of them seem like passion projects, because Snoop is enthusiastic about everything.
A few years ago, out of some combination of both business and passion, Snoop put out a mixtape called Beach City that featured a collection of Long Beach rappers referred to as the LBC Movement. Like most Snoop projects post-Tha Last Meal, or whatever point you happened to stop paying as close attention to Calvin, the mixtape flew under the radar. Snoop has continued to rap well for his age, and almost every product he endorses is high-quality, especially Wonderful Pistachios. But since Snoop seems to be everywhere, all the time, a lot of his co-signs can slip past.
With DaSLumz, a 9-track mixtape available on SoundCloud, Jooba Loc is hoping he won’t slip past again. Jooba signed to Doggystyle Records shortly after Beach City came out, and released his debut album Only Way Out along with a film by the same name in 2016. Jooba’s still on Doggystyle, even going as far as to mention shrugging off advances from other labels on DaSLumz (“Def Jam on my ass I ain’t signing though.”). Snoop is still his mentor, and though he doesn’t appear on the mixtape, Jooba conveys a career lesson he learned and how he felt about it: “Snoop told me like nephew, we both stars / Keep grinding one day you’re gonna live large / And you gonna have n*** mommas on your dick hard / Only thing I listened to was the rich part.”
Despite Snoop’s obvious presence throughout Jooba’s career, DaSLumz represents Jooba’s shift away from protégé and into a more fully formed individual artist. He applies lessons he must have learned from his mentor—like hook creation on “Come From Nothing,” storytelling on “Going Through A Lot,” and self-explanatory subject matter on “Fucc Dat Hoe”—but he filters them through his own unique experience and perspective.
Jooba may be a Crip from Long Beach, but musically, his energetic stop-and-start verses and beat selection align him closer with YG than Vince Staples. He shared 2016’s “Hop Out” with YG, a track that even Snoop, of course, endorses. DaSLumz isn’t going to lead Jooba Loc to the large life his mentor has promised him. He’s still a step away from a hit song, a few hit songs away from a classic album, but he’s on the right path. Snoop has helped bring him this far. The next step will be seeing how much farther he can get himself.