The complexion of the West Coast rap scene is soon to change as Kendrick Lamar prepares his final album under the Top Dawg Entertainment flag, but rumors of the label’s impending demise are greatly exaggerated. Just as Kendrick announced his departure, TDE launched the career of its next potential star: The Long Beach born-and-raised Ray Vaughn, who introduced himself in impressive fashion with both a three-song EP titled Peer Pressure and an eyebrow-raising debut freestyle for Power 106’s LA Leakers.
Today, he shares the video for “Tap,” one of his three introductory singles from Peer Pressure, a harrowing look at the travails that made him who he is today. As he details his struggles and stories of survival on the streets of East Side Long Beach, the video straight up assaults viewers with images of just what those roadblocks looked like, from drugs and violence to the stresses of having incarcerated friends and zero mental health care.
Like fellow TDE signee Reason, Ray first attracted attention from the label with his “Freestyle Fridays” series of videos on YouTube, building a following on social media that his newly announced connections are sure to supercharge. He was introduced to the crowd at Isaiah Rashad’s The House Is Burning listening in LA, where he proved he’s got the charisma, presence, and performance to justify his inclusion on the storied TDE roster. He’s working on his debut album, with the release date to be determined.
Watch Ray Vaughn’s “Tap” video above.