Villain Park - L.A’s Most Authentic Upcoming Trio
Villain Park is DJ Coly Cole MC/Producer Smokey, and MC Bunge. The West Los Angeles Rap Group is one of the most interesting things to come out of L.A in recent years. Defined by their old school vibe - Villain Park is set to bring back to life the city of angels’ authentic classic sounds.
By Ilai Dgani
Villain Park - “The Recipe” Album Cover Art
Inspired by legendary West Coast rappers such as the N.W.A super group, Villain Park are successfully creating the impression & atmosphere of the 90’s rap golden age. Bouncy beats produced by Smoke Dawg, very lyrical writing, and sharp flow are a few of the signs to that. West Coast Hip Hop has always been defined by its funky sounds and honest, yet very harsh lyrics - Villain Park has it all. The artists' age ratio is 21-23 years old, but despite their young age, they are showing maturity and great storytelling skills.
The formerly quartet group are an independent and self-produced rap group. They met while playing in different bands that played in the Robertson Park neighborhood just outside of Inglewood, CA and formed Villain Park shortly after. In an interview to Cherise Johnson for Uproxx in 2019, Skmokey spoke about who Villain Park is, and the character elements that define them as a group: “Villain Park is a brotherhood. We some villains. We really don’t care about the way everyone else does things. We don’t follow no trends. We watch it and we see it. We the watchers, that’s what (Dj Coly) Cole like to say. We just three brothers who linked up, met each other at Robertson Park in West LA and knew each other through different things, doing different things and we are now just making music.
As mentioned earlier, one of the things that define Villain Park as L.A’s Hip Hop golden age revivers is their storytelling abilities. Songs like “Brain Cells” (“Same Ol Shit” - 2015) show the rappers’ direct and honest attitude, even though they wrote those bars at a very young age (16-18). Bars such as “I couldn’t care less about the top 10 category that’s all in, if you’re talking money i’m all in” and “my generation lacks of common sense” or “You ni**** believe in the hype that’s why I stick to my roots, brain cells corrupted that’s why I’m speaking the truth” are showing those aspects better than anything else that could be added. Another cool thing about “Brain Cells”, is the homage to Kendrick Lamar - another L.A rapper who is considered by many to be the greatest rapper of all time, and doesn’t really need an introduction. The skit that comes in just before the beatswitch in “Brain Cells” features a reference to Kendrick’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” iconic album - which also shows Villain Parks’ deep connection to the West Coast roots.
A great example for Villain Park’s depth, verity, and complexity in terms of both production and message is “Smoke Break”. Not a single rapper from the trio is singing in the song, but it does feature Pookie Blow. The female rapper speaks in a way that might express the message in a different approach than Villain Park’s. Not singing on your own songs, shows great maturity from the L.A youngsters, and it shows that sometimes the message and vibe of an artist’s music doesn’t even have to include the artists themselves in order to be passed to the listeners. The first half of the song resembles another song - “Everybody Loves The Sunshine” by Roy Ayers, which might also resembles their connection to the roots of West Coast Hip Hop as it is a song which is one of the most iconic samples used by many West Coast legends such as Dr. Dre, Erule, and many others.
The Villain Park rappers have a quick, and very sharp flow. Their smart and direct writing style, the catchy hooks, along with Smoke Dawg’s great production skills, shows how much quality and potential they have. Listening to the way they rap over classic West Coast beats, influenced and defined by bouncy basslines and funky sounds, is an experience which could be fulfilling for and appreciated by the biggest & nerdiest Hip-Hop heads, but also very approachable for listeners who are still looking for their way into Hip-Hop or just occasionally enjoy it.
Villain Park are the revivers and new pioneers of West Coast Hip Hop, relevant for both old heads, and for younger listeners as their writing and context is fresh, and makes a great introduction to the past and milestones of Hip-Hop music and culture. Hopefully, and should they continue on their current track and authentic approach & hard work, they will break big and put themselves in the same category of their Idols.