posted May 01, 2008 12:00:00 AM CDT | 16 comments

What comes to mind when you think of the west coast? Dr. Dre bass? Snoop Dogg features? Detox? In todayís day and age, the west coast is comprised of more than funky basslines and thumping beats. There's a new age of Hip Hop that is bubbling under, like that pot waiting to boil over. The "leftside" has always been stereotyped to be Hyphy or G-Funk, but in 2008 it features more than the usual. It showcases lyrics and wordplay - with the occasional help of a live band.

Welcome to Fresno. The biggest city located between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The city that boasted the number one car theft rate in the nation a few years back. Located in the San Joaquin Valley amongst rural towns in which agriculture drives the community. The city, home of the ever so controversial Fresno State Bulldogs sports programs. The place where Planet Asia birthed out of. Where respect as far as music goes, not only has to be earned but the door has to be bulldozed off and dynamited open. Welcome to the Grizzly City, Blackstone Avenue and this guy they like to call Fashawn. With his recent Phenom mixtapes making noise [click here to read], this determined and youthful emcee most certainly is DXnext.h

Hailing From: Fresno, California.

Affiliates: Hecktik Management LLC, Orisue Clothing, FTK, Section 8, Grizzly City Entertainment, Valley Boy Music.

On The Fresno Music Scene: "Thereís a lot of talent here. You got Grafik, Diego Redd, Planet Asia, The Fresh Boys, Eva Scow. The talent goes beyond just rap. Film, fashion, entertainment, we got it all."

'80s Baby Manifesto: "I was born '88. Iím more of a '90s baby, but I grew up listening to Snoop Dogg, Rakim, Ice-T, Nas, 2Pac, Planet Asia, Black Star, Big L and OutKast."

Self Summary: "My music is progressive. I donít just talk about street-oriented subjects. I give my audience suspense; they never know what Iím going to do next creatively. Itís music for the next generation of leaders."

Why "The Death Row Era" Didn't Influence All West Coast Emcees:
"I was about seven or eight when Death Row was at its peak. It really didnít influence me much, to tell you the truth. [The soundtrack to] Murder Was the Case was my shit though. [Laughs]"

The Music Business in 2008:
"A circus!"

The Future of Hip Hop:
"It could be bright, but itís up to the next generation. The new artists like Blu [click to read], Pacific Division [click to read], The Cool Kids, etc. Even myself! No disrespect to my elders, but a lot of these old rappers need to put their jerseys up in order for the next generation to take charge. Cause the next generation is the future of Hip Hop!"

What's on The Table: "I just got some beats from Exile. We might even drop an EP together. Who knows? Iíve been in the lab with Planet Asia working on his project with DJ Muggs. Iím working on my album, but who isnít nowadays? [Laughs] Anyways, I just finished The Phenom 2 which is the sequel to the first one. Iím not concerned with labels right now. Itís the fans Iím after."

Last Call: "Iím whatís now. Iím whatís next. What matters! Fashawn is the future. Peace to all my fans and check me out [click here]"

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