When rap is at its best, it is cinematic. That’s because rap hits hardest when it is like an audio movie that takes you to the block, the club, the bedroom -- or on a journey through the highs and lows life supplies. On his major label debut album, 29-year-old underground rap sensation Glasses Malone delivers a sonic opus that features the Watts, CA lyricist offering a conceptual gem.
If it sounds like Glasses Malone’s Beach Cruiser: The Story could be the album of the year you’re on to something -- and Baby, Mack 10, Lil Wayne, Dr. Dre and The Game have been among his many legendary co-signers. Beach crusiers, the stylistic, long-standing bikes popular in Southern California, serve as a metaphor for G’s music and his album. “No matter how many bicycles come out, beach cruisers will always be there and that’s kind of what I wanted my music to represent,” Glasses says. “I want it to have the same staying power as a beach cruiser does. And, the beach cruiser represents the West Coast. It’s gangster. It’s smooth. It’s steady. It’s classic.”
Growing up, Glasses Malone (born Charles Penniman) was in line to get involved in academics, not the streets or a gang -- and certainly not the rap world. His mother owned a house in Compton and his father owned a house in Watts. He was a strong student, going through high school with a 3.5 GPA and scoring a robust 1320 on his SAT.
But the other side of his parents’ lives rubbed off on Glasses once he hit eleventh grade. They were both hustlers, and when his mother was incarcerated, G went to live with his father. “I witnessed losing everything, then getting everything again, then losing everything again kinda early,” he says. Feeling like he needed something to do, he started selling drugs and gangbanging. He earned the handle Glasses because of his poor eyesight and was given the Malone surname by a big homie who simply felt it fit.
Glasses had always listened to music with more passion than most given his mother’s infatuation with tunes. He started battle rapping when his friends started doing the same, using his admiration for Westside Connection, N.W.A, Jay-Z, Beanie Sigel as lyrical inspiration. G noticed rapping kept him from getting in as much trouble -- and that people thought that he was talented.
By 2004, his underground material had impressed Dr. Dre and The Game enough to earn him a spot with The Game, a position only strengthened with Glasses’ subsequent White Lightening mix-tape. “That’s what really built me up on the West Coast,” Glasses says. “People started latching on to it. The Game, that’s a part of my history and he influenced my music a lot at the time. Dude’s success played a big part in my success.”
Read more: http://www.myspace.com/GLASSESMALONE#ixzz0uH3687WO