interview HOBO - City By The Sea | Review By: Axle

TAfter dropping verses for Kelvin Anderson's V.I.P Records compilation "A Meeting With The Minds," Hobo set's the stage and steps out on his own with his album debut "City By The Sea." (On AT-LAST V.I.P Entertainment.) He contributed three tracks to Kelvin's compilation which included the title tracks "A Meeting With The Minds" which happen to also be his break through solo debut. This album is nothing but Long Beach style classic G-Funk, which is that very reminiscent of the early days. We'll explore this album track for track and uncover its musical influences that give it that Long Beach signature sound.

1. City By The Sea Prod. G-Black - This song starts out with an intro which has Hobo flipping the radio dial, "you chillin on 102.5... Hobo the ghetto bastard "finna" bring it to you live." This track's basically an "ode" to Long Beach that showcases Hobo's lyrical flow over a real smooth, gangsta style beat laced with a heavy rolling "moog" bass line. The chorus finds Hobo and a female vocalist named Simone reciting "In The City By The Sea, EAST SIDE LONG BEACH" over a synthesized melody. Simone's voice is pretty tight too. You can hear them both clowning towards the end of the track which gives this track a little bit of personality. 3.5/5

2. Party Tonight Prod. Team Mashin - This song lives up to its title and finds Hobo club hoppin and skirt pullin over a gangsta party anthem, bounce type beat. He takes this opportunity to certify his LBC affiliation by letting the world know who he's down with:

"she replied yes, and do you know Snoop? I said HELL YEA, that's my Ace Boom Coon!"

The track is tight and has a nice tempo to it. I really love the piano riff and the synth tones that accompany it. In almost every good song there's that something that makes it hot and in this case it's that Piano Riff and the tempo of the beat. You can definitely ride to this! 3.5/5

3. Definition Of Bangin Prod. K.R.Y.S (Ft. Boo, Young Hogg & Baby Tray Deee)

"Definition of a gangsta that I am. Dont play, venture in for play you play you put your money in the wrong game..."

Baby Tray Deee kills it and comes with a verse that even Big Tray Deee would be proud of. They even sample part of Big Tray Deee's verse from G'd Up "I bang with the gang that don't need no intro..." for the songs chorus. The beat is pretty hot but seems to come off a little repetitive. These MC's aint havin it and you can really hear it in their rhymes. They all trade verses with fire and aim these flames at busters who dare to sleep!!! 4/5

4. A Place Prod. Chag G - This is a somewhat positive song promoting peace, love and respect for the hood. He switches from socially conscious topics to hood pride rhymes spit over a "Timbo" style beat that ironically enough, finds Hobo's sounding a bit reminiscent of Bone Thug. I'm not the biggest fan but those who dig that "off beat, off flow" rhyme style will feel this track for sure.

He shows love for the struggling families with lines like: "all we gotta do is work in harmany and we can save our families..." And in a flash, he's letting the world know how it goes down in Long Beach: "young ridaz ride, crookz die, thats the thangz I visualize, every single day on the East Side, where true niggaz like me reside." 2.5/5

5. Streets Of Long Beach Prod. K.R.Y.S - This is definitely Hobo's version of what I'd call a Long Beach City "Souja Story." The beat is dark... the lyrics are deep. Like A Place, this track starts off socially conscious but along the way finds Hobo relying on hood pride rhymes to carry him through. The bass drum doubles up and hits pretty hard during the chorus which makes this song perfect for the car. You got your 12 Guage sound effects and other keyboard melodies that make this song the perfect Long Beach war story. "Where at? In these streets of Long Beach, where niggaz like myself pack heat!" 3/5

6. If I Could Change Prod. Chag G - "I'd remain the same, the only difference I would stack mo dollaz, buy a 64 Impala..." It's all about staying down while at the same time, coming up and Hobo's all about staying down! Hobo's "pushin product through the hood" and pledging allegiance to that which was responsible for him in the first place. LBC! He's also got a message to those who claim "The Beach" but don't never be around:

"That's why Imma represent until I'm set in the dirt, brought dubs on these niggaz who be act in like jerks... or screamin Long Beach but don't be in The Beach like me and my niggaz you'll find daily..."

As far as the beat, it knocks and at around 2 min's and 4 sec's (2:04) into it, you can really hear the guitar and keyboard effects that were hidden behind the chorus-intro and every chorus there after. The shit knocks and for the most part it's the only time that you can really hear it, which makes it hot. Check it out. 3/5

7. Verbal Driveby Prod. G. Black (Ft Big Tray Deee) - Tray Deee opens up this track and set's it off lovely! The beat is kinda smooth and mellow but it's got a nice tempo which seems to provide Tray Deee with the perfect platform to flow on. He provides two verses and seems to have no problem trading verses with Hobo. This is, no doubt one of my favorite tracks off the album. Period!

Tray Dee "dip, skip slide'N now we hoo ridin..." Hobo "you don't wanna funk wit tha Geeeee'z!!!" 4.5/5

8. Psychodelic Nigga Prod. G. Black - This beat is on some smooth, DJ Quik type shit and actually contains the same sample he used on Quiks Groove II from "Way 2 Fonky." The chorus is very catchy, and with this smooth of a beat, Hobo's lyrics come off very fluid and easily delivered. The most notable highlight is towards the end of the track at around 4 mins and 7 seconds. This guitar comes in for about 20 seconds and just kills it. It comes through so clear (in the headphones!) that you can hear the musician's hands slide across the "frets" as he plays. Shits tight, check it out! This track, along with Verbal Driveby is another one of my fav'z! 4/5

9. Tricky T (Skit) Prod. T - This is just a concert Skit of Hobo being introduced on stage at one of his live performance at The Hollywood Athletic Club on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood.

10. This Shit Is Real Prod. Chill Of Chilamp Prods (Ft. Fredue & Big Hype) - Another banger, very much another one of my fav'z. This beat is on some old school "Serial Killa," type shit. Fredue is the first to spit and drops a KILLER verse! I'd say that his verse is the nicest of em all. His flow, tone of voice and delivery are all on point. Subject matter's up for debate but 31 seconds into it he opens like this:

"one day it'll all make since but till then... Imma get this pimp and sip on some gin... chase this paper in a way that's major... 98 game sold... no moe captain save em... Fredue Capeezy... I game fa sheezy... aint stoppin even if my pockets cheezy... ka peeEssh..?"

Hobo comes in a close 2nd with a pretty tight verse of his own. Big Hype is the guy screamin "the shiiiiit is reeeaal!" Big Hype's pretty loud and no doubt brings alot of energy to his delivery so if you dig it, it's there! 3.5/5

11. Hobo Funk Prod. G-Black - This is my LEAST favorite song on the album and 80% percent of it has to do with the beat. It's very "Funktafied" and you can tell that their trying to take you back to an earlier time and place with this one. The hook is kinda cheezy and finds Hobo (along with Simone) singing:

"lounge and get high off that BOOTY TIE, makin me feel soo good to be so funkin HIGH!"

All throughout the song you can hear this old school fender bass "poppin" all over the track as if Bootsy Collins had laced it. This bass line get's old quick and at about 2 min's into the song it seems to come off as very over done and repetitive. Positive aspects of the song would include Hobo's lyrics and choice of delivery. He actually lays down somes nice lyrics to this beat and includes alot of "ad libs." He sounds as if he's enjoying the hell out of himself and it really comes through in his delivery, which never hurts. 2/5

12. I Wonder If The World Knows Prod. Chag G - Exploring the reality of Ghetto Life and letting "The World Know" that he aint fallin for the banana in the tail pipe seems to be Hobo's motivation for recording this track. It's an ok track with a decent beat that finds Hobo putting all haters on notice that he's not to be fucked with. The downfall...? His delivery and subject matter seem a little forced and both come off as being unfocused. The keyboard melody is "choppy" and doesn't really do this beat any justice. There's a female vocalist who brings up the rear and her performance is very lack luster. This isn't a bad song, but it's nothing that should've made the final cut either. You be the judge. 2.5/5

13. Bring The Ruckas Prod. K.R.Y.S - This tracks got a nice intro to it which sets everything else off hella nice. Producer, K.R.Y.S put together a beat that can be best described as a westcoast RZA track due to the chosen sample. The bass line and hi-hats are interlaced perfectly to compliment the beat. There's no doubt that this beat has some Eastcoast influences which in this case don't hurt at all. The lyrics are provided by Hobo and two other guest MC's that aren't credited on the album cover, but they definitely come through with heat. 3.5/5

14. Why ? Prod. G. Black - This shit KNOCKS and like the other's tracks that I pointed out, it's another one of my fav'z. It kinda reminds me of the original version of IV Life Ft Tray Dee - Cali Swangin. The beat is straight Long Beach and very much in possession of that signature sound. The base line is straight gangsta and Hobo sounds GREAT. The chorus is very hot too. Producer G. Black used a tight ass hand clap (with an echo) for the beats snare. Hobo opens up with the following fire:

"now R.I.P to my homies, mix dogg and demon loc, cuz they be sidin in the sky with the homie Charlie mo, who taught me very well but I considered to gang bang, mobbin thru the city full of hookers and cocaine..."

The dope part about this song is the lil electronic kid voice that over dubs Hobo when he raps. Kinda like the voice in that old school song "Jam On It" by Newcleus. Remember that hit? "Wicky... Wicky... Wicky... Wicky..." hahaha. Classic shit ya'll! Bottom line, this song's fire. 4.5/5

15. Dear Lord Prod. K.R.Y.S - Yo, I'm really starting to feel this dudes production. The guitar flat out rocks! The drum beat is very syncopated but not as much as as your average Timbo beat. Its a deep song about stayin alive in the ghetto and surviving the game. K.R.Y.S employs the use of violin strings (keyboard) during the chorus to give it a deeper feel which is super dope. I call this type of music HEART FELT because you can totally feel as the beat goes on. He's got two guest appearances by Roc-Chill And Sli-Fyi Of T.F.A who both drop bombs of their own. This song is very nice and like the others, one of my fav's. 4.5/5

16. Tha Word - Hobo Outro

Overall Album Rating: 3.5/5 Dubs!

This project has it's success's and a few failures but overall Hobo comes correct on his debut release. Support this project by purchasing it and to all outta towner'z, call V.I.P directly and order it. They're really great about getting our mail order so don't be scurd!!!


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