LA To the Bay: Shoreline Mafia & SOB x RBE Link Up

The best rap group in the Bay meets their LA counterparts
By    August 13, 2018

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Will Schube do that shit.

It makes sense that the rappers updating the purest, most progressive distillation of California’s gangsta funk past are a bunch of kids that only care about history inasmuch as it’s a jumping off point into a new galaxy. The waviest new schoolers up north are SOB x RBE, a group that emerged seemingly fully-formed with their debut tape in 2017. The four piece from Vallejo are intent on pushing growling classics about life on the street, shot up with a dose melodic insistence, crafting the sort of songs that’ll have you both running for cover and wanting more.

Down south, Shoreline Mafia has emerged from the scrum that is Los Angeles’ expansive rap scene, capturing the voice of the kids in a way that recalls Odd Future’s come up back in 2010—175 years ago. Together, they push forward an interesting angle of California’s unspooling rap scene, both indebted to the craterous indent the state’s rap forefathers created, while willfully ignoring tradition to infuse their music with a hyper-modern swagger.

The two groups have linked up for “Da Move,” an uproarious posse cut that’s going to spawn 1,000 iterations of a new dance and inspire a million of those dancers to start rapping. That’s part of the draw. Kids like having fun in lieu of everything else—safety, common sense—because having fun is an act of invincibility before joints begin to ache and nights of Molly turn into week long hangovers. The dudes in Shoreline and SOB all make rapping look like incredible amounts of fun, but more importantly, they make doing cool shit with your friends look like the only thing that matters. This is pervasive throughout their music, even when the stories spiral into tales of escape and unrelenting addiction, loss and poverty. “If I make it out the hood then you know I’m blessed,” raps SOB’s Lul G towards the end of his verse.

The most striking thing about “Da Move” is how exciting such an obvious collaboration plays when the bouncy bass and tag-team bars are flowing with glossy ease. Despite the six hour (if we’re being generous) driving distance between Vallejo and LA, the groups exist in a similar stylistic realm, one that was less obvious until the two so forcefully came together. The members of both rap as if they’re bouncing off each other like loose atoms, coiling tighter and tighter into the pockets of slap-happy beats. The structure is sturdy, so the bars go hard. The kids may or may not be alright, but they’ll definitely have more fun than the rest of us.

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