ICECOLDBISHOP (@icecoldbishop) has a legitimate chance of being a pillar within the historic L.A. rap scene for years to come. The South Central emcee dropped his debut album last year in the form of Generational Curse, and it was met with widespread acclaim from fans and critics alike. The album was gradually generating hype as ICECOLDBISHOP had been dropping singles intermittently for six years, as well as an array of features.
Generational Curse is a lock for my top three Hip-Hop albums of last year, and I think it is only a matter of time before ICECOLDBISHOP’s work becomes more widely recognized among fans, the inner circles of the industry, and even among more of the genre’s legends. Already in his career, he has collaborated with artists such as Kenny Beats, Denzel Curry, Mick Jenkins, Reason, Boldy James and The Alchemist, Monte Booker, AG Club, and Ab-Soul. You can expect that this list is only going to expand with more time. Since the release of Generational Curse, he’s received co-signs from Denzel
Curry, Danny Brown, and DJ Quik.
Last year, he landed a feature on Denzel Curry’s “ICE COLD ZEL FREESTYLE.” A track where ICE and Zel traded bars for a short but sweet minute and 40 seconds over a beat that I could’ve totally heard someone like Lil Durk or Nardo Wick over. After I had listened to this track, all I wanted to do was learn more about this cat because he shocked me with how seamlessly he flowed with Zel. He really went pound for pound with one of the greatest rappers of this generation, and I had no prior knowledge of him. I had to change that. ICE has a very distinct sound, and once you’ve heard his voice he is very hard to miss. This man can rap over anything. Generational Curse was a very refreshing listen, and it is a bit hard to compare him to any recent LA rappers. He doesn’t have any semblance of rappers/groups like Shoreline Mafia, Drakeo The Ruler, Blue Bucks Clan, or 1takejay. Despite a general lack of similarity to the current
landscape of the scene in LA, I most commonly hear him being compared to a younger Kendrick Lamar. This is a very bold claim, but I do believe that there’s some validity to this. Thematically, Generational Curse reminds quite a bit of good kid, m.A.A.d city. Like Kendrick, ICE has a tendency to use his voice as an instrument. It’s quite insane the way ICE is able to change his flow at the drop of a dime. It’s ridiculous how often he does this too. ICE has a great storytelling ability, and Generational Curse is full of fable-like tales that engage with the listener’s five senses and place them in the same bleak conditions that many call their home in South Central LA. ICECOLDBISHOP is a huge breath of fresh air in an LA scene that has gradually become more homogeneous. He stays true to his LA roots while also infusing sounds into his music that are less heard within the scene, most notably his beat selection. I think ICECOLDBISHOP is pushing boundaries more than anyone else currently rising out of LA. It is clear that ICE has studied the greats since he already sounded like a seasoned vet on Generational Curse. This album was structured amazingly, even down to how he used skits and interludes. ICECOLDBISHOP for now is one of LA’s best-kept secrets, but it might only be a matter of time before he’s known nationally, and maybe even on a global level. Some albums I may compare to Generational Curse mostly in terms of the theme and the moods conveyed are Vince Staples’ Summertime ‘06, Denzel Curry’s Imperial, and like I previously said, Kendrick’s good kid, m.A.A.d city. All of which are classics in their own regard. I urge anyone who is reading this to stop whatever you’re doing and listen to Generational Curse. You need to take stock in what might be the future of LA’s robust scene.