Tucked within the city limits of West Los Angeles exists hip-hop collective Villain Park, comprised of members Smokey V, Bunge, and DJ Coly Cole. Their presence is truly one of Los Angeles’ best-kept secrets and their latest project, The Recipe, is a breath of fresh air amongst the typical West Coast sound of today.
Villain Park recently stopped by Uproxx, which happens to be in their neck of the woods, to speak about their journey as a group, as well as everything that went into creating The Recipe. Unlike most records put out by 20-something rappers, there’s no auto-tune on The Recipe — just straight bars brimming with youthful angst about life in West LA. Because of this, Villain Park often gets compared to the early ’90s rap scene, but they maintain that they’re just doing them.
Inspired by the likes of Ice Cube and N.W.A., Villain Park wants listeners to see them as more than just a ’90s rap emulation. They want to be seen as a true global force, and it sounds like they just might have what it takes.
Read an edited and condensed version of our conversation below.
Who is Villain Park?
Smokey: Villain Park is a brotherhood. We some villains. We really don’t care about the way everyone else does things. We don’t follow no trends. We watch it and we see it. We the watchers, that’s what Cole like to say. We just three brothers who linked up, met each other at Robertson Park in West LA and knew each other through different things, doing different things and we are now just making music.
How long have you guys known each other?
Bunge: Pretty much all of our life. I met Smokey at Robertson Park and I was bothering him at that time. I met Cole at Hamilton High.
Where did you guys come up with the name Villain Park and why?
Smokey: The name came from just being Villains. At first, it was just a click of Villains, just the all the homies come together and we would just call them Villains and then I just knew Villains wasn’t going to be the one so I had to come up with something real smooth. They got Cypress Hill but…
DJ Coly Cole: Can’t just be Cypress.
Smokey: Cypress… they needed a Hill. So I just shortened it to Villain then added Park. It’s a collective as well. It’s not just one villain or just villains. We are a collective which sets us apart. There are many things we can do within this circle. There’s a lot of different things that you can do at a park. Villain Park just comes from not giving a f*ck. We gon’ be us and do us.
What made you guys name the album The Recipe?
DJ Coly Cole: It’s just some shit that we created. This is what we got and what it took to make it.
What exactly is “the recipe”?
DJ Coly Cole: It’s a mystery. You can’t really put a finger on it. It’s us, it’s what we got, it’s our touch. Our touch is “the recipe.” It’s like an unbroken code that you can’t read unless we decode it for you.