The key to YG's popularity is his authenticity. In the land of a million studio gangsta rappers you can count on the fact that YG is as real as they come.
Rapper YG has finally released his sophomore album and yours truly couldn't be more excited as his first album My Krazy Life was my favorite album of 2014. I love the way his albums are put together and sequenced, with the production and skits putting you into YG's head and allowing you to live a day in his life. I'm not sure I've ever heard an artist that when listening to their music you're able to visualize the songs so well and it’s like you’re watching a movie. Both of his albums bring me back to the Death Row Records heyday when their releases were just so much better than anything else that's out there.
I have to start with the sound of Still Brazy because that's where my ear goes first, if the Instrumentals are bangin than that's a great start and I can then focus on the lyrics. It has a similar feel to My Krazy Life which I was unsure was possible because the producer of that entire album was DJ Mustard and in between albums they had a falling out and YG chose to go with Swish, or DJ Swish as he's also known, to handle the bulk of the beats.
I was not disappointed. Swish has mastered the Westcoast Gangsta sound and along with Terrace Martin, P-Lo and a few others has brought the sonic palette of this album to a level of greatness few albums achieve. It's almost a Death Row of the mid nineties mixed with the uptempo Bay area sound of today, hard drums and deep bass lines, that connects with YG's lyrics perfectly. To give you an example I would say it's similar to Daz, a little Battlecat and throw in some Traximillion with the DJ Mustard drums that stood out so much on the first CD.
YG doesn't pretend to be a complex lyricist and doesn't need to be. The sound of his voice, his wordplay, ad libs and hooks are all dope.
The key to YG's popularity besides the catchy beats and hooks is his authenticity. In the land of a million gangsta rappers that are mostly just studio gangsters you can count on the fact that YG is as real as they come.
He is a 400 Block Blood from Compton and he represents that to the fullest. Just look at his song titles and words from his songs. Any word that starts with C is changed to start with a B, and that's not just in his songs, that's in his everyday vocabulary. Also, look at the title of the album, Still Brazy, and the fact that the whole worlds calling Compton Bompton now. That's YG400. He may be called YG but he's definitely an OG in the hood.
The songs that I'm bumpin the most are 'Don't Come to LA' where he talks about tourists and people in the suburbs thinking it’s ok to come to LA and specifically Compton because they hear about it in the news, and in the songs and movies they see and don't realize it's still the gang capital of the world, there's different gangs on every corner and that regardless of what they see in the media they're still gonna end up robbed or dead.
'Who Shot Me?' is YGizzle at his comedic best, but still hardcore, talking about recently getting shot and not knowing if it was a jealous friend, an enemy, someone he beat-down or hooked up with someone's woman, and on the hook offering a million bucks to anyone that can tell him who shot him.
I also love 'She Wish She Was' cause Larrance Dopson takes one of my all time favorite beats, Mack 10's Foe Life, and flips it for a sick song about women wishing they were zaggins and able to get down with as many dudes as they want and not have it affect their reputation.
The best song is 'FDT' or 'Fuck Donald Trump'. A song to let the world know where the Rap community stands on Trump and the possibility of him becoming president. Check out the accompanying video of it where they set up shop in Compton without permits and end up with the cops showing up thinking a riot was happening cause of how many people showed up and how crazy it got.
Amongst the chaos YG and Nipsey Hussle spit their verses and manage to get enough footage to finish the video. Speaking of riots, Trump better be careful with the words he's using cause the hood ain't havin it and neither is The Nation of Islam which is deeply affiliated with the streets. Trump talks about banning Muslims but I think he and many others forget that a good majority of the black population, gangs and rappers included, are Muslim and might get together and set it off like they did in 92. He's known for having security issues and my suggestion to him is 'Ya better have your vest on'.
Still Brazy is a top notch album from start to finish and I highly recommend it. YG's on the path to greatness with two incredible records and I imagine the third will be as good if not better because he's back in the studio with DJ Mustard and there's no denying their musical chemistry,