Seafood Sam’s “Meant To Be King” on “Pearly Gates Playlist” + New LP Out April 19 via drink sum wtr

Photo by Jack McKain
March 20 2024

PRAISE FOR Seafood Sam

“Combining organic, nostalgic beats with a future-facing flavor, Long Beach rapper Seafood Sam will bring to mind images of Chevy low riders, expertly skating at the roller rink, barbecues in the summertime… all of the good shit.”


“Smooth and unhurried cadences and understated lyricism…that sounds like nothing else in Long Beach.”


“One of the most promising new names in the genre...effortless charm and vivid lyricism.”


“When I listen to Seafood Sam, I hear the rugged wisdom of my older cousins and uncles...Hidden in his bars is the kind of game you can only get from a long-time player, but Seafood Sam doesn’t have time to break it down for everyone.”


Can’t Take the Hood to Heaven
Attack Of The Dreadlocks (ft. Rae Khalil)
Lynn’s Lullaby (Interlude)
Brownskin Cinnamon
Grey Seas (ft. Reaper Mook)
Cowboy Leather (ft. Pink Siifu)
Overseas Sam
Bullets From A Butterfly
Pearly Gates Playlist
Grandma Once Said
Lagonda (ft. Goya Gumbani)
The Card Players (ft. Jayellz)
When I Met Rose

“Pearly Gates Playlist” is out now, buy/stream it here.

Standing on Giant Shoulders is out April 19, preorder it here.

Today, Long Beach rapper Seafood Sam shares “Pearly Gates Playlist” from his forthcoming album Standing on Giant Shoulders, via drink sum wtr, due out on April 19. Seafood Sam is already a local Long Beach County hero — known not only for “combining organic, nostalgic beats with a future-facing flavor” (GQ) but for throwing wild bowling nights, roller-skating with the utmost swagger, and treating his dog to the most OD at-home spa treatments possible — but Standing on Giant Shoulders heralds his ascent to an entirely new musical level. Listen to “Pearly Gates Playlist” HERE and preorder Standing on Giant Shoulders HERE.

Following his recent “Can’t Take the Hood to Heaven” and “Saylo,” “Pearly Gates Playlist” follows suite with luxurious production – according to arrangements cooked up by Sam alongside collaborator Tom Kendall – that calls to mind smoky supper club rooms and lavishly tailored velvet suits. Sam’s lyrics, performed organically in the studio,  often offer intriguing contrast to that imagery:

Bonnie by my side she gone stash the tool
Might Disturb peace how he act a fool
So Outta pocket like I made enough
Shit shaking Chris Tucker off the angel dust
You, Gotta be Careful to what you telling him
Cause sometimes thoughts get darker than my melanin

Watch “Pearly Gates Playlist” here.

On Standing on Giant Shoulders, his full-length album debut for drink sum wtr, Seafood Sam unveils a forward-thinking sensibility rooted in ancestral soul. He’s a virtuosic rapper, a stop-you-in-your-tracks singer, and a symphonic producer. The giant shoulders in the album’s title refer to James Brown, Bobby Brown, and Miles Davis — the holy trinity who inspired Sam’s process. From the Godfather of Soul, Sam took a perfectionist’s rigor and focus. The example of Bobby Brown lent an unshakeable confidence and self-belief. While the constant artistic left turns of the trumpeter that birthed Cool offered an aspirational archetype.

Welcome to the lavish life of a laid-back transcontinental man of mystery, rolling in old school Cadillacs throughout Long Beach — the culturally diverse mecca of skate parks and gang life, street fashion and tricky dance moves. A blaxploitation icon for the Instagram age, blessed with the bars of a ‘90s legend and 23rd century swagger. Seafood Sam is a true hero of modernity.

He has the unique ability to conjure lucid scenes with an economy of language: Whether it’s a sun-dappled Sunday drive amid the palm trees of his hometown, a G-funk gospel choir where Warren G guests on an Isley Brothers tune, or a Blaxploitation protagonist decked out in vintage Pelle Pelle, eating caviar with a blade in his pocket, there’s an almost cinematic quality to his music — every track summons a fantasia of West Coast cool.

It’s the evidence of a master, a young sensei in the model of Quincy Jones. All rhymes, singing, production, and arrangements were handled by Sam — with an assist from Tom Kendall of the Long Beach group Soular System. It’s the rare modern hip-hop album that demands to be heard on vinyl, an arsenal of sample-free soul-funk without skips. It’s hard-edged and lyrical enough for disciples of Larry June and Roc Marciano, but orchestral and melodic enough for fans of Anderson .Paak and H.E.R.

In recording Standing on Giant Shoulders, Seafood Sam sought to elevate his game and deliver a record that not only stood the test of time but could provide an example for his son — a future classic that bridges the generational divide between his titanic musical idols and what’s coming up next. While such lofty ambitions can only be realized through time’s passage, there’s no denying that, in an era awash with retreads, Seafood Sam has staked his claim as a true original; A rebirth of cool from someone secure in their own skin. A student of the classics ready to stand shoulder-to-shoulder alongside giants. This is Seafood Sam’s time. We’re just living in it.

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