YG broke through in 2010 with a 50 Cent remixed hit single, “Toot It & Boot It”. The song is quite easily one of the most detrimental-to-society rap songs in existence, as YG rapped so famously: “I asked her name and then I said I wanna fuck / and I’m YG and you know I fucked / and she fucked back like a little slut / and she fell in love ya / and she felt stupid cuz you know / I toot it and boot it.”
Meanwhile, his label partner, producer DJ Mustard, has making a name for himself on the side, producing hits like Tyga’s “Rack City” and Young Jeezy’s “R.I.P., cultivating the “ratchet” sound of Los Angeles. Close affiliates Ty Dolla $ign and TeeFLii have also seen success under the wing of DJ Mustard, and with My Krazy Life, YG plants his flag for the west coast, with his debut album for Jeezy’s CTE imprint.
Propelled by another ignorant single, “My N***a”, YG hasn’t really attempted to raise the bar, but no matter, the song is a huge hit. Disturbingly so, as even white people in the club feel fine singing right along when the DJ drops the fader out, “My n***a. My n***a, my n***a, my n***a!” This, coupled with “Toot It and Boot It”, is a sad statement on society.
My Krazy Life makes no apologies about what it is, a true blue, west-coast gangster rap album. Scratch that, a true blood, west coast gangster rap album. YG’s Blood background permeates every corner of this album, even going as far as replacing all of the “C’s” on the record with “B’s” or “K’s”, (because “C” stands for “Crip”, for the uninitiated.) So, for example, the album kicks off with “BPT”, an ode to his Compton hometown, and later he brags “Bicken Back Being Bool”, rather than “Kickin’ Back Being Cool”.
YG’s aim was to create a “classic” record, modelled after just about everything Dr. Dre has touched. It’s sewn together with channel-changing static like any classic Dre record, while songs like “Left and Right” or “Do It To Ya” (feat. TeeFLii) mirror past hits from 50 Cent and Tha Dogg Pound, respectively. Mustard’s phat, sticky basslines are of the classic west coast variety, and its clear that this sound is resonating with a generation of young men like YG (born in 1990), whose parents were bumping albums like The Chronic and Doggystyle when they were kids.
While the nostalgic element is good, the downfall here is that not much new ground is broken. There is one true standout moment, however, and that is “Meet The Flockers”, which is sort of a “Ten Crack Commandments” for residential robbery. His delivery here and the structure of the song is dope, however ultimately fucked up the subject matter is. A healthy guest list of popular rappers also round this album out, helping YG on songs like “Who Do You Love” (feat. Drake), “Really Be (Smokin N Drinkin)” (feat. Kendrick Lamar), and “I Just Wanna Party” (feat. Schoolboy Q and Jay Rock).
But some of this stuff is really hard to stomach. Both “Do It To Ya” and “Me & My Bitch” are syrupy R&B fueled tunes that bring back bad memories of some of the post-2Pac Death Row catalog. And “Sorry Momma”, while thoughtful, is ridiculously over-the-top, complete with oddly romantic Kenny G style saxophones.
The west coast has been badly in need of a revival over the last decade, and given the wild success of DJ Mustard’s production and YG’s nationwide buzz, it looks like it is finally here, despite relying on old formulas for success. With Ty Dolla $ign and TeeFLii sure to follow suit, the south’s reign may finally be over, as the west coast resurrection has surely arrived. Kendrick jump started it with his debut, while YG, Mustard, and company are keeping it strong in the mainstream. If anything, what history may show us about this album is that it marked a turning point for the west, creating an environment healthy enough for Dr. Dre to finally release Detox.
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