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Nocando on LA Hip Hop

January 29, 2010

Now for a break from a long string of urban planning related posts – whew. I’m not the type to memorize every unknown music act and taunt those who don’t hold such sophisticated tastes, but I do enjoy occasionally seeking out artists with a unique – dare I say, “fresh” – sound. One such artist is Nocando (a.k.a. NoCanDo), a local MC who rose to prominence through freestyle battles and a weekly gig at The Airliner in Lincoln Heights. Nocando is a self avowed nerd, which may be why he brings a touch of artistry into the hip hop hard-assery of his act. Dig the Downtown settings of the youtube clip above, you have to wonder what it was like for the passengers riding in the bus when Nocan jumped in with a camera crew and started rapping. There’s a short clip of the LA subway in there too, though zealously anti-film subway officials may have shut down the operation.

He’s got a new album out, which has been making the rounds in local media. In an interview with LA Record, he has this to say about the state of LA Hip Hop:

there’s a lot of us—a lot of guys that are really, really dope. L.A. guys who don’t sound like they’re from Detroit or don’t sound like they’re from New York—they aren’t punch-line-based, they are these street characters that if you grew up in L.A. that you would see… Bottom line. It’s a great spot to be—it’s like the spot right before critical mass. Which is most exciting.

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