I was surprised to find out that Livermore has a decently big rap scene in terms of the number of artists. Because outreach can be difficult for smaller musicians and especially if they are from a small city few have heard of like Livermore, exposure is everything. Windmill TV, a now-defunct Livermore-based YouTube channel, promotes Bay Area music by highlighting these lesser-known individuals such as rapper Livermore Slick.
Before 2021, I was only familiar with Livermore artists who were publicized through Windmill TV. Once I started listening to Faht Mike and Livermore Slick, I was led down a path of discovery.
Being exposed to a number of different artists, my preference for sound has become more critical over the years. That said, Livermore Slick’s music isn’t for me due to the fact that the rap sound has changed over the years, and I wasn’t really exposed to his style of rap growing up because I never listened to rap like that until high school. Given his songs were created throughout the early 2010s, the sound seems inherently dated and has naturally fallen out of style.
Additionally, a rapper by the name of FamousK landed himself on my rap radar. Like Faht Mike, he has songs on the most popular West Coast rap page “Thizzler On The Roof” with songs featuring hot West Coast artists like Lil Slugg from Hayward, a once-popular Bay Area rapper that hit over a million views on songs like “S— Changed” and ”22.” FamousK has managed to get more than 10,000 views on his songs “Broccoli” and “Pinocchio.”
Although he is based in a small city, the numbers he garners are pretty impressive. On top of that, he is one of the only Livermore artists to score features with hot artists like Lil Slugg from Hayward, former SOB x RBE group member Lul G from Vallejo and late San Francisco rapper Lil Yase.
Overall, Livermore has a completely different sound in comparison to the rest of the West Coast. Analyzing the two is like comparing apples to oranges. While some Livermore artists use mainstream beats, there is a mix of other influences from outside areas such as Los Angeles and even Detroit, Mich., where their sound is similar to the West Coast sound.
I prefer when rappers in the area use West Coast beats because I am obsessed with West Coast rap, but I also like the fact that these artists use different beats from other sounds because it expands their fanbase. and it will get them more attention.
Personally, I was surprised to find out that Livermore had a rap scene. As a suburban town, you don’t expect anything interesting coming from it. It’s hard to see anything interesting coming from the Tri-Valley music scene other than legendary Bay Area rapper E-40 living in Danville.
All personal preference aside, the local talent in the Livermore rap scene makes me proud. The small-city aspect brings a uniqueness to their sound. With improvement and consistency, it’s possible that these artists will succeed in the industry.
Joel Martinez is a staff writer for The Express. Follow him @Joel_Martinezz7.