Since their EP ‘Same ol Shit’ in 2015, there has been a cohort of fans waiting for the next chapter to the Villain Park anthology. What would be next for LA’s best-kept secret? August 2019, the wait was finally over and they did not disappoint.
From the offset Bunge, Smoke and DJ Coly Cole, AKA Villain Park, have been systematically decimating the mumble rap stereotype that surrounds their peer group. Their 2015 EP ‘Same Ol Shit’ demonstrated that the new wave of hip-hop artists are just as proficient in delivering high-quality bars and beats as they are making catchy songs. Stand out tracks ‘Brain Cells’ and ‘Stache Box Villain, Pt. 2 (feat. Hugh Augustine)’ exhibit their versatility as young MC’s as they flow effortlessly over the top of simple yet effective instrumental loops. With this project, they created a sound that’s distinctly their own, yet has an undertone of familiarity that feels comfortable to any hip-hop head, making it the perfect induction for new listeners.
Existing converts, however, would have to wait 4 years for the release of VP’s much-anticipated debut album ‘The Recipe’. Was the wait worth it? Most definitely. With ‘The Recipe’ there is a huge progression of an already well-rounded group making it their best project to date. Solidifying and developing the sound established on ‘Same Ol Shit’, VP has created a style somewhat reminiscent of that of the Snoop Dogg & Warren G epoch of hip-hop and G-funk. Listening to VP really feels like a throwback firmly placed in the future of hip-hop.
‘The Recipe’ drops some incredibly hard-hitting tracks like ‘Visions’, where once again VP demonstrate their lyrical prowess and ability to body any beat. Not only have they themselves aged, but their music has matured beautifully alongside them. The quality and complexity of the music production involved across the entirety of the album have undeniably levelled up. It is evident this LA hip-hop trio are some of the most disciplined at their craft right now.
When it comes to hip-hop Los Angeles is infamous. It’s no wonder such a myriad of artists have used it as the backdrop for their work. ‘The Recipe’ is no exception to this. Touching on a host social issues, tracks like ‘Cold Game’ vocalise the serious nature and the harsh realities that have shaped the minds of VP in West LA. Nonetheless, their youthful confidence radiates throughout, making the overall tone one of fearless hope. The visuals for track ‘We Out Here’ epitomise this, providing a snippet into the world of Villain Park and the community that surrounds them – not to mention some pretty dope merchandise that can be spotted.
VP is an entire movement. They have made it clear that they not here to play creating a project that is a real pleasure to be consumed – Certified Classic.