Los Angeles is currently hip hop’s Mecca, with more underground and mainstream talent than any other region. But the underground scene sure is strange. Pioneers collaborate with new jacks, groups are often multiracial, and tours move from back-alley clubs to high-class theaters in the matter of a day. Gangstas, college students, toys and Rastas stand side by side at shows, bobbing their heads in unison. For whatever reason, L.A. hip hop is a true melting pot in the tossed salad of America. Producer Daddy Kev’s first album Lost Angels is a perfect representation of this diversity.

Lost Angels features Freestyle Fellowship members Mikah9 and P.E.A.C.E., slow-rhyming Awol One, ShapeShifter Circus and the emerging Project Blowed-ian Busdriver. Combined with Daddy Kev’s beats, these emcees proceed to rip the mic in five distinct styles. Kev makes this release a perfect L.A. underground introduction by keeping it short and not overwhelming the listener with 20-plus tracks of oddity. I love L.A.!