Turf Talk: West Coast Vaccine (The Cure)

In the Jive years, E-40’s Sick Wid It Records produced stars out of B-Legit, Celly Cel and Suga-T. That was 15 years ago, and the stars fell to bargain bin CD sales. With a renewed interest in E-40 in 2006, Sick Wid It strikes again with Turf Talk, an anticipated street rapper who can still carry a dense verse over a Hyphy beat. With a huge helping of 40’s verbal assistance, West Coast Vaccine (The Cure) (30-30/ Sick Wid It) is indeed a shot in the arm of California music, and a swan song in disguise to the golden era of rap.Unlike so many fresh faces, Turf Talk has issues. Although a bulk of the tracks feel like My Ghetto Report Card leftovers, that only certifies their quality. The issues include “Stop Snitchin’,” which makes the Intel phenomenon digestible with strong, pointed verses. In other places, like “Holla at You” or “I Got Chips,” Turf has little to say, but just like his mentor, or Lil’ Wayne, he fills the negative spaces with clever wordplay, top-shelf ad-libs, and plenty of verbal condiments that hold any listener’s attention. As the album cover alludes to, this is a throwback to timeless Bay area rap music. 40 Water’s son Droop-E comes into his own with Turf Talk. Although he’s been given major label slots, the creative freedom on West Coast Vaccine makes Droop-E much more than a rap relation. “Broke N***as” is a charged drum and vocal creation, using screwed Tupac lyrics in a distinctive Bay light. “Popo’s” is a more soulful slab, with E-40 working with the R&B hook to create something that beckons radio play. Although veterans like E-A-Ski, Rick Rock and Jake One contribute, another rising star, Traxamillion gets it in with “Groupie,” a playful interpolation of Salt-N-Pepa’s first hit, that avoids a pitfall of corniness. You can’t call this album’s music Hyphy, you can only call it hot.Not since The Coup’s Party Music has an album from the Northwest felt so complete, so creative, and still so true to the legacies of EA-Ski, Ant Banks, Too $hort, and The Click. This is a wonderful album for the car and the boom-box, as the most exciting new artist in Northern California surrounds himself with veterans and classic Hip-Hop as an inspiration to make medicating music.