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Who is 03 Greedo? The Watts rapper with the wildest style in the game

03 Greedo, whose bizarre, urgent, energetic delivery has captivated rap listeners, landed in hot water last night when an interview with Billboard revealed Greedo’s rather uncomplimentary thoughts on Tupac, calling him a “bitch ass n***a.”

Greedo told Billboard he wasn’t really messing with Pac:

“Do they need a n***a who can really rap to tell you? Tupac sucks, n***a. Any type of East Coast, West Coast beef, n***a’s from the East Coast. He’s delusional. He’s a great actor. Part of his music shit was acting. But n***a, I got to go to court on Friday, I got a whole metal leg, I’m really from the projects. I really got my ‘hood on my face. My first major project is called The Wolf of Grape Street, the gang I’m from. He didn’t even say nothing wrong. Tupac was a bitch ass ni***a. I’m a gangsta n***a. What I say goes. I don’t give a fuck if I’m wrong.”

I don’t necessarily agree with Greedo, but I know I’m not about to pick a with the self-proclaimed Wolf of Grape Street… and he has a point.

It’s becoming incredibly tiring for rap blogs to keep asking the new generation of rappers what they think of Tupac.

It’s the easiest, cheapest headline possible, and Greedo’s name was all over Twitter last night, which might have actually been the point.

But I have no interest in talking about 03 Greedo’s, or anyone’s really, opinions on Tupac. We’re here because 03 Greedo is one of the most unique and just plain old intriguing artists in hip-hop right now.

After a nomadic childhood following his father’s death brought him to Texas, rural Kansas, and St. Louis, Greedo settled in the Grape Street section of Watts, home to the Grape Street Crips, one of the most infamous gangs in the country.

This is the environment that shapes Greedo’s music, a mix of violent, unapologetic, hilarious, fun bars and sounds with zero regard for form or technicality.

Greedo told Noisey that his musical skills are purely natural, he can’t read music or play an instrument and that’s why he’s such an intriguing talent:

“I would never ruin the music in my mind–I don’t know how to read music, I don’t know how to play an instrument. Structure doesn’t belong with music; people who are doing that are not musicians…This is an untamed talent. This is how a n***a can dunk at 14 [years old]. You don’t lesson me.”

Greedo, who has a cochlear implant as a result of chronic ear infections as a kid, also attributes his nasally voice to the fact that he’s half deaf.

A half-deaf dude from the Jordan Downs projects in Watts with no musical skills who doesn’t fuck with Tupac isn’t exactly the profile label executives search for, but here we are (Greedo signed to Todd Moscowitz’s Alamo Records for a reported $1 million).

Greedo’s run began in 2016, when personal loss drove him to push harder than ever with his music. After losing his friend Mafia Ray to gang violence, Greedo recorded the tribute “Mafia Business.”

The video, shot in Greedo’s native Jordan Downs projects, with friends and family holding a cutout of Mafia Ray, is downright beautiful.

In 2016, Greedo would drop a 33-track mixtape Money Changes Everything, dedicated to another fallen friend Lil Money, as well as a 37-track mixtape Purple Summer 03: Purple Hearted Soldier, and a more R&B-inflected 13-track collection First Night Out.

Greedo, who describes his sound as “emo music for gangbangers,” is one of the artists leading a West Coast renaissance, along with Drakeo The Ruler, Mozzy, OMB Peezy, and SOB X RBE, West Coast rap’s underground is as exciting a music scene as there is in the country.

But Greedo doesn’t sound like a typical LA rapper, he’s much closer to a Lil Boosie, Kevin Gates, or Gucci Mane, even the mid-2000s auto-tuned R&B rap of T-Pain.

Greedo told Billboard that his upbringing in Watts, and the geographic history of Black migrants from the South, specifically Louisiana, informed his taste and sound:

“Watts is the most spiritual place. People from Watts are people who relocated from Louisiana. I don’t listen to West Coast music. We grew up on Cash Money, No Limit and southern music. We don’t even jam to what people jam to in Cali.”

In Watts, a completely isolated neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles, Greedo grew up in a world apart from the rest of his city.

Despite this, some of Greedo’s most compelling work has come alongside LA native Drakeo The Ruler, like on the harrowing “Out The Slums” off Drakeo’s Cold Devil from last December.

The contrast between Drakeo’s unbothered, LA-accented monotone flow and Greedo’s erratic, screechy delivery makes the partnership wildly compelling and a collaboration project is reportedly in the works.

But Greedo is pretty damn good on his own, he dropped The Wolf of Grape Street last Friday, a 21-track project displaying the entire scope of Greedo’s skills.

“If I Wasn’t Rappin'” is a bopping, jumping number with Greedo flowing in a quick-fire delivery about what the hell his life would be like without his art.

Dude isn’t lying. After giving his mother headaches by getting kicked out of multiple schools and brushes with the law, she kicked him out of the house and Greedo found himself homeless. He told Noisey:

“I was straight up homeless. Like, eat out the trash can homeless, like sleep on a park bench homeless. But then I’d get to stay at my patna’s house for a while, then overstayed my welcome–I did that with seven families–or stay with my [girlfriend]. I was just drifting around. There was a few times I would try to move back in with my mom, but we would still keep getting into it–I was a gangsta and she was a woman. We only became cool once I became an adult.”

These experiences have obviously hardened Greedo, but his music still has a certain tenderness. On the drug ballad “Substance”, Greedo wails about the need for a substances of all kinds in his life.

Greedo trades bars with Yhung T.O. of SOB X RBE on “Bacc to Bacc”, it’s a wild track with both emcees rapping rapidly over nightmarish production sans hook.

Greedo’s past has shaped an artist with little regard for tradition, be it musical or geographical.

He drifted around the country as a kid, fell in with the Grape Street Crips, almost lost his leg in a shooting, and seen his friends murdered. Dude could give less of a shit about Tupac.

You may not agree with his feelings towards Tupac, or skeptical about his seeming scatterbrained style, but 03 Greedo demands your attention, and your ears.

Best new tracks of the week: Lil Yachty, Beach House, 03 Greedo & more

Every Friday, we gather the best new tracks of the week for your listening pleasure.

Some fun stuff came out this week with Lil Yachty and 03 Greedo albums, and plenty of singles to go around.

Let’s jump into it.

Lil Yachty – “66” (ft. Trippie Red)

Lil Boat dropped Lil Boat 2 and it’s fire.

I can’t lie, it’d been kind of a worrisome run with some lackluster verses for the Quality Control signee since Yachty debuted with Lil Boat, but he’s back to his best on 2.

“66” with Trippie Redd is great.

Beach House – “Dive”

Baltimore ambient dream pop duo Beach House came through with another single off their upcoming album 7 and it’s beautiful.

“Dive” starts off slow but unfolds into a driving, swirling powerhouse, like a deep dive into water.

is due in May. I know, I don’t have the time to wait either.

03 Greedo -“If I Wasn’t Rappin'”

03 Greedo is one of the wildest rappers out right now.

On his highly anticipated The Wolf of Grape Street album, Greedo shows why people can’t get enough of his bizarre screech-rapping style. Dude is nice.

Young Fathers – “Wow”

Edinburgh, Scotland 3-piece Young Fathers released their third studio album Cocoa Sugar today.

Young Fathers have a pretty interesting sound, a mix of hip-hip, indie rock, and dance music. On “Wow”, there’s some serious TV On The Radio vibes.

This record is well worth a listen.

Jeremih – “Forever I’m Ready”

Chicago R&B crooner Jeremih dropped a little 4-track EP The Chocolate Box, full of some great intimate tunes for your weekend of lovin’.

The H-Town “Knockin’ Da Boots” sample on “Forever I’m Ready” is quite exceptional.

Vince Staples – “Get The Fuck Off My Dick”

We’re still only a couple of months into the year, but Vince Staples’ “Get The Fuck Off My Dick” is far and away the best song title of 2018. “GTFOMD” came complete with a GoFundMe page.

If Vince’s haters can fill the goal of $2 million, he’ll go away forever. Amazing.

Brodinski, Lil Reek – “Rock Out”

After releasing a collaborative mixtape with HoodRich Pablo Juan a couple weeks ago, French house producer Brodinski teams up with young (like really young) ATL rapper Lil Reek for the post-apocalyptic “Rock Out.”

I would like to be brutally murdered to this song. The video, directed by French director Kim Chapiron, is insane.

Wet – “There’s a Reason”

Brooklyn trio Wet’s easygoing but emotive sound made their debut album Don’t You one of the best pop releases of 2016.

Wet has much the same formula on “There’s a Reason”, it’s just some nice ass listening.

Sango – “Khlorine” (ft. Smino)

Soulection producer Sango enlists St. Louis rapper Smino for the smooth as hell “Khlorine.”

After “Sweet Holy Honey” with Xavier Omar a couple of weeks ago, Sango may be building up to a larger project.

Sango makes bops.

Anderson .Paak – “‘Til It’s Over”

The wonderful Anderson .Paak’s new song “‘Til It’s Over” first appeared in the new Apple advertisement for their HomePod product with FKA Twigs dancing along to Paak’s song.

The production is more glitchy and out there than the funky style .Paak is known for, but it’s a pretty exciting preview of what could be to come from the Cali crooner.

As always…

California back: 4 artists leading the West Coast rap renaissance

Back in the early 90s, Dr. Dre, Ice Cub, Snoop Dogg, Eazy-E, and Nate Dogg changed hip-hop with their aggressive G-Funk sound, bringing the art form out West in earnest for the first time.

It took awhile for rap listeners to catch on, but by the mid-90s, when Tupac Shakur was one of the biggest stars in the world, West Coast hip-hop was officially a force. Then everything went relatively quiet.

As revolutionary and different as N.W.A and Snoop were in 1992, by the late 90s, West Coast hip-hop suffered a serious drought until Dr. Dre and Eminem’s new artist, The Game, came out of nowhere with The Documentary in 2005, a seminal project of modern rap.

Game proudly proclaimed on The Documentary‘s title track “I’ll take all the credit for putting the west back on the map,” and no could really argue with the facts.

Then in the late 2000s, out of the Thizz-filled haze of the Bay Area’s hyphy movement came The Pack, a quartet of rappers including Lil B that brought a whole new sound and style, much closer to dance music than the gangsta rap of their southern counterparts in LA.

The Pack were a wild combination of Bay Area hyphy rap and the emerging backpack rap of The Cool Kids and Kid Cudi. The impact of The Pack can’t really be quantified, but it’s not a stretch to watch the “Vans” video and see much of the sounds and aesthetic of modern “Soundcloud Rap.”

So during the aughts, you had The Game and The Pack, offering completely different takes on rap in every possible way, but the combination of Game bringing back LA’s gangsta rap and The Pack’s goofy, 808-filled hyphy rap has led to the current landscape of new West Coast hip-hop.

The West Coast no longer finds itself in a drought of hip-hop talent. Top Dawg Entertainment, with its star-studded roster of Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, SZA, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, et al. is probably the most powerful independent label in music. YG and Nipsey Hussle are both bonafide stars (with an apparent collab album on the way).

But those artists are all in the mainstream to various extents (not to mention Kendrick Lamar is the most important artist out right now). Let’s take a look at some of the lesser known West Coast artists on the come up leading the renaissance.


Sacramento native Mozzy has been rapping since 2011, but didn’t officially blow up until 2015 with his album Bladadah.

Since then, Mozzy has become one of the most followed rappers in the West Coast underground, his gravely voice, deadpan flow, and penchant for a good story have made Mozzy an incredibly intriguing artist.

Mozzy is also one of Kendrick Lamar’s favorite rappers, for whatever that’s worth. When Kendrick won best rap album of the year at the Grammys his first words were, ““Like my guy Mozzy say, ‘God up top all the time.'”

Mozzy also grabbed a slot on the Black Panther soundtrack with “Seasons”.

The Sacramento native is one of the most influential dudes in the underground, with young artists from thousands of miles away from California, like YBN Nahmir, naming him as a main inspiration.

Mozzy is a little rough around the edges, but listening to him reveals where rap, in California and beyond, is headed.


The Vallejo, California four-piece group SOB X RBE is one of the most exciting up-and-coming rap acts out right now.

After gaining massive momentum from their smash single “Anti” in 2016, dropping the fire self-titled album in 2017, SOB X RBE got the Black Panther placement, and dropped their most recent album Gangin last week.

There’s such a wild energy in SOB X RBE’s music. The gritty bars of Slimmy B, Lul G, and DaBoii contrast with the smoother, melodic sing-rapping of Yhung T.O. to perfection.

After linking up only a couple years ago, SOB X RBE is already well on their way to stardom. Gangin is a truly impressive project, give these kids a listen if you haven’t yet.

Drakeo The Ruler

I’ve written about Drakeo The Ruler a couple times. There’s no hiding the fact that I’m incredibly excited about this dude. His style is so bizarre, so far from normal rapping, it’s more just like stream of consciousness shit talking.

Drakeo’s unbothered, imprecise, improvisational delivery has gotten him comparisons to Gucci Mane. And while he’s had some legal problems that have made that comparison all the more appropriate, Drakeo is home and ready to take over.

For all those decreeing homogenous nature of hip-hop right now (you’re not looking hard enough) Drakeo the Ruler is for you.

03 Greedo

Greedo, a collaborator of Drakeo the Ruler’s (a rumored joint project is on the way from the duo), is an equally bizarre artist technically.

He doesn’t really sing, it’s not quite rapping, but Greedo’s delivery falls somewhere in between the two, it’s a fun and exhilarating sound that has critics labeling him LA’s most exciting rapper and the future of West Coast rap.

Greedo is raw, unbridled, and real. His music is equally aggressive and pensive, familiar and abstract at the same time. There’s something compelling about an artist who seems so self-possessed with their art, like they could care less whether you listen or not.