Daily Discovery is a daily feature that will highlight a new or recently discovered artist that we’re excited about. See the rest of our Daily Discoveries here.
Los Angeles’ Cozz isn’t a gangsta rapper. “Not at all,” he says. “I just really do my own thing and stick to the script.”
Cozz’s debut single “Dreams” is not as violent and overtly political as the music of N.W.A., Ice Cube, Ice-T, or 2Pac. It doesn’t bear much in common with the nihilistic hedonism of Cypress Hill. Its production isn’t overtly related to gangsta rap’s favorite sounds, squiggly synth lines, or densely layered drums and samples.
From the moment Cozz bursts onto the beat—”Always had dreams of being rich, huh!”—it’s hard not to hear the energy and legacy of his city channeled through new eyes.
Cozz isn’t a gangsta rapper by strict definition, but the anger—at difficult surroundings, at societal systems, even at personal habits—gives his voice and rhymes a desperate spark that makes “Dreams” feel like more than a song about the quest to make millions. Rapping for a living feels like a life or death proposition for Cozz. He captures the inspired fury of gangsta rap, the resistance to marginalization and endangerment. It’s a potent first step and a welcome addition to a Los Angeles landscape that sees Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q as the primary standard-bearers for the mind state and music that once made the city rap’s epicenter.
Watch the video for “Dreams” below and download it below that.