Over the past decade-plus, The Game has provided hip-hop fans with a thorough West Coast perspective not only as a musician but as a public figure within the culture as well. Through a consistently top-tier musical output and community involvement, The Game has become a gatekeeper of sorts for a level of authenticity not often represented in hip-hop these days.
A co-sign from the Compton-reared rapper means more than your average emcee's endorsement. In case anyone forgot, The Game recently took to Instagram to introduce the world to his newest discovery, Osbe Chill.
With the forthcoming release of his eighth full-length album, 1992, and a tour to follow, Game is wisely drumming up buzz for his supporting artist. However, the veteran rapper was quick to remind everyone that the last few times he’s lent his approval to a West Coast up-and-comer, those names have become staples in hip-hop, as is the case with both Kendrick Lamar and Nipsey Hussle.
It’s clear that Game has some definite A&R capabilities, but is Osbe Chill actually the next big thing, or is this a case of friendly LA nepotism?
In a display of perfect planning (or great awareness), Osbe dropped a brand new track, entitled “Not Without Me,” on his SoundCloud the day after Game Instagrammed his co-sign. Upon the first few listens, the record is really dope. Kicking off with an insightful 30-second spoken word intro, the song crawls into a piano-driven instrumental, over which Osbe demonstrates effortless flow and wordplay, reminiscent of early Kendrick with some clear Pusha T influence as well.
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“Not Without Me” is a great single offering, but after running through Chill’s SoundCloud account, it stands in stark contrast to offerings from even a few months ago. It’s clear that Osbe is still finding his voice and style as an artist, and “Not Without Me” seems to be a much more comfortable and promising route for Osbe, more in tune with his impressive Science Project mixtapes than the more recent Auto-Tuned, Ty Dolla $ign-leaning tracks adorning his page.
It's almost as though after two projects of more conventional rapping, someone told Osbe he needed to switch lanes and attempt to go the club/radio route, a decision seemingly reversed - either by Osbe’s own artistic comforts or a gentle nudge from Game himself - with the release of “Not Without Me.”
Whether dropping soulful street gems on the Science Project tapes or computer-crooning through solo tracks like “Like You” or “Way Up,” Osbe showcases potential. As with any developing artist, there are moments of extreme promise peppered into a lot of unfocused, generic content. So, if the original question is whether or not Osbe Chill is dope, the answer is that he absolutely has his moments, and with the prospect of The Game offering guidance and development, the potential for another LA-bred star is definitely there for the shaping.
By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.
Photo Credit: Instagram