A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Keep It Gangsta

In 2001, a very young Livio released his debut album My Life Vol. 1, with nearly all the beats produced by Funk Daddy. The first single from the album was released as a twelve inch record for all the DJs.

The A-side offering is “Keep It Gangsta,” and it’s about as West Coast as it gets. From the vocoder to the heavy bounce in the beat, “Keep It Gangsta” sounds like a popping Cali party. The track, produced by B. Kante, has lyrics about hitting hydraulics switches, getting in shootouts, and other details of the gangster lifestyle. Guest rapper Tray Dee from Long Beach drops a short verse, “Catch me behind the steel with a mind to kill,” goes one of his lines. After a decade of g-funk saturation in the 1990s, the genre could be seen as low hanging fruit, but Livio and crew loudly insist that they aren’t ready to quit anytime soon.

Side B has two tracks not found on the full My Life Vol. 1 album. “Say That Then” is a high energy cut showing off Livio’s fast rapping talent. “You threw your album in the oven just to say it was hot,” he mocks. “If you sitting on 20s now say that then, if you sippin on Henny now say that then,” goes the chorus. “Say That Then” makes a good call-and-response song, as the fans can shout “say that then” along with the words. The other track is “Put Your Hands High,” which coincidentally also has built-in crowd participation. Many rappers forget that they need to keep the audience involved in the show, but not Livio.

In a 2005 Seattle Times article, producer Funk Daddy talked about how much he had enjoyed working with rapper Livio over the past several years. “He’s my Snoop Dogg,” gushed Funk. Sure enough, Livio would drop a sophomore album titled Cruel Intentions that same year. Written by Novocaine132

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