How could you not see the ties between The World's Most Dangerous Group and Black Hippy? They've got Cali-based raps rooted in street knowledge; potent production; socio-political commentary; hood narratives and a remarkable chemistry in their work.
Plus, there's Kendrick Lamar's ties to Dr. Dre and his recent insightful interview with the remaining members of N.W.A. In their talk, K. Dot called himself a "student" and "offspring" of the legendary quintet. "Anything I do always comes from what y'all have done," he explained. Lamar even appears in "Straight Outta Compton's" closing credits.
Others - including Tech N9ne and A$AP Rocky - have also made the comparison. Oh, and there's the official "World's Most Dangerous" Black Hippy tee inspired by the iconic crew. I mean, the connections are pretty much all over.
But the label's 10-year history - highlighted most recently by their Saturday (Aug. 15) showcase - has proven why they're setting themselves apart from the past even as they carry a tradition-fueled torch.
Just ask these seven fans who we met at the concert. This is their take on how Kendrick, Jay Rock, ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, SZA and Isaiah Rashad are building on a foundation set by those who came before them in order to make something new and something influential in their own way.
David Salas, 21Andres Tardio/MTV News
"They innovated with what was there before and are making it their own. They've made a new hip-hop and are structuring a complete different way of how hip-hop should be looked at.
The thing I see Kendrick does a lot is he implements old school beats. In the show right now, he [played] 2Pac's 'Hail Mary' beat. That sh-t was sick. He does that a lot. Like 'King Kunta' is a West Coast beat from the moment it hits."
Tanya Hernandez, 22Andres Tardio/MTV News
"They're just really raw. I feel like they talk about real issues. They really talk about what's going on. Ab-Soul wants to throw that sh-t out there. Kendrick is really talking about things that are going on, trying to make that public, because we need a voice, too.
"For example, Kendrick's homegirl gets killed. It's talking about how she went into prostitution, sold her body and how he went and told his sister that so that she wouldn't go and do that sh-t herself. Homegirl got murdered. That's real sh-t. It's like, this is what's going on."
Steven Cordova, 25Andres Tardio/MTV News
"They're basically doing the same sh-t [as N.W.A] just in a new version. People like myself, dude, they're pretty much just helping us keep our minds set on the real sh-t that's going on. I live in Arizona right now. I might not live out here, in L.A. or in Compton, but it's the same issues with the cops."
Kassandra Romero, 22Andres Tardio/MTV News
"I feel like TDE is bringing back something new, something theirs, but they're still bringing music where we're reminded of the history that was made.
"They're bringing back beats that are old school, but their lyrics are theirs. They grew up in the hood, too, you know? They're putting out their stories. Just how N.W.A put out theirs, they're explaining what they've seen.
"And Kendrick is deep, though. He gets down. He has everything. You could dance to his sh-t. You can smoke to his sh-t. You can cry to it. It's deep."
Cody Miracle, 22Andres Tardio/MTV News
"It's a group of guys, obviously, who are from the L.A. area, but they each have their own individual style. They also come together real well as a group. They're really influential, up in the grand spectrum. People know who they are.
"Kendrick's like a priest of the streets. ScHoolboy is more party type of stuff. Jay Rock's more hood. And Ab-Soul's a little trippy, I guess. Each one has their own sound."
Boo Johnson, 22Andres Tardio/MTV News
"I like Black Hippy. There's just a rawness they bring to the table. ScHoolboy, Kendrick. They come raw and straight forward. They say what they want."
Joey Cordova, 22Andres Tardio/MTV News
"They're doing it big right now. Way big. I feel like they're doing it bigger than [N.W.A] was doing it...Just in this time right now. You know what I'm saying?
"Everything Kendrick says is L.A. West Coast. T.D.E. and N.W.A. All their different styles, too. Kendrick, ScHoolboy, Soul, Isaiah, SZA...They all have different styles."
Marco Guerrero, 19Andres Tardio/MTV News
"They're just speaking about true things in the world. They're speaking the news, from their perspective. I find that interesting."
Jessie Gomez, 24Andres Tardio/MTV News
"They're reviving the west coast scene. They're representing it well. All four of [the Black Hippy members] are bringing something different to the table. Ab-Soul is psychedelic. ScHoolboy is just groovy. He's just poetic. And Jay Rock's gangster.
"They're all bringing something special. That's why they're the best group right now from the best record label out. Lyrically, they all bring something different."
All of this is being said without a Black Hippy LP, too. Could you imagine if they ever actually drop one? Who knows? We might be seeing a TDE or BH-based motion picture in 20-30 years.
For now, though, we'll continue to appreciate the Top Dawg Ent. fam both for what they remind us of and, more importantly, for what they stand for on their own.