These days music is applauded for its eclecticism. All different genres are seeing a departure from more traditional sounds, and a steady progression towards the experimental. Within hip-hop, this new genre of Internet rap has emerged, giving rise to a more colorful, fun-loving domain of melodies and messages. While the expanse of this new music is amusing and without a doubt entertaining, it is undeniably refreshing when an artist like YG chooses to remain true to rooted sounds and looks to address real world issues.
YG's new album, Still Brazy, presents a sound that we've come to expect from the 26-year-old artist – one that effortlessly transports you to the streets of Los Angeles. The synth lead-laden tracks bring about a distinct sense of nostalgia, to a time when West Coast rappers reigned supreme. But while the tunes take you back, the contents of the tracks keep you grounded to present day.
Similar to his first album, My Krazy Life, this sophomore effort once again brings us into YG's world. This 18-track LP, however, has a discernable difference in overall tone. The messages within the album are stronger and much more personal. Track by track, the Compton-based rapper shares his experiences from the last year-and-a-half – since his breakout debut album – painting a vivid picture of his life as well as the world around him. "I started going through certain things. You know I was having a little success. I saw what the success brings," he explains in reference to unfavorable events that occurred as a result of his rise to fame. Personal life aside, YG also dedicates several tracks to addressing the social and political animosity he's seen and felt around the nation, giving his stance on the nation’s issues.
"Don’t Come to LA" - Who are you referring to? Why the warning?
The message itself, you feel me, it’s basically talking about out-of-towners. They come in here and try to claim the culture and all that type of shit. And they aint even from out here. It's just LA. They just, they just, you know, they come out here. Everybody move out of here and all that type of shit. There’s a lot of shit going on in every different way.
"Who Shot Me" - New thoughts since the incident? Any idea who did it?
It’s the same thing man. Still in the same place; still clueless out here G.
"Twist My Fingaz" - You rep the West Coast, specifically Compton, Bompton. What does Bompton represent to you?
Oh man, it's the lifestyle, it’s the culture that’s supported me. You know, that's it. I mean that's where we from. That's my everyday life for me, that's the homies. I got a car wash on Rose Queens Boulevard; the address is 400 West Rosecrans, right there in the hood. All my family still staying in Bompton so I'm always out there.
"Why You Always Hatin?" - Who is hating on YG, and why?
I'm talking about a lot of people, I hear a lot of stuff. You know just like different sh*t from every which way, like streets, homies, like industry motherf*ckas like I hear a lot of shit so, you know that song was just for all them people. I’m doing my thing. I'm young, successful, black, entrepreneur. I got sh*t going on, you feel me. I'm doing my shit, so why the f*ck is you hatin'? That’s just like a general message everybody can relate to. The majority of the reason why is because I’m just famous and it’s like, you feel me, that’s how it be on my side of town. Like I’m one of the topics of discussion because I’m successful.
"Still Brazy" - Why make this the album title? Will you ever live the calm life, the chill life, or you think that you’ll always life the fast life?
Yeah, nah, I’ve been living the fast life before this music shit. Now it’s just a lot faster.
The album title was Still Krazy as first. But, my first album was going to be called Bompton, and my team was like you don’t need to do that because, certain people won't buy your album, and this is your first album, you got to come out with some sh*t everyone can f*ck with. So I changed it to My Krazy Life with a 'K'. On this album that sh*t was just basically me being on my YG tip, not trying to listen to what mothaf*ckas trying to tell me what to do because of some bullshit reasons. Yeah like fuck that. This how I talk. It’s a part of me so, f*ck em’.
"FDT" - Have you always been into politics? Do you think the government will change, wise up, get better?
That’s a question we all ask, dawg. We just got to keep fighting and hopefully this shit we do, our messages, the line we press, hopefully, this shit’s start changing things but you know, the more motherf*kas speak up and the more mother*kas coming together, the more chances we have for shit to change. And that’s just what it is. I ain’t never been at with all the politics, I don't really know so much about politics and all that sh*t. But like there’s just been too much going on lately and it just got everybody like hold on, like y'all really got it f*cked up. You ain’t just about to be killing us and doing all this wild shit, and think these motherf*kas just gonna sit here and be quiet and scared, don't say nothing, don't react. You feel me, it ain’t what it is, not at all.
"This album is just basically me being on my YG tip, not trying to listen to what people trying to tell me what to do because of some whatever reasons."
"Blacks and Browns" - What was is this song all about?
“Black and Browns” is about bridging the gap; the perceptions about the relationships of Hispanics and Blacks. What’s been put out to the world is, I feel like, it is that Blacks and Hispanics don't get along, and in certain situation, that’s true and in like prison, motherf*kas will be beefing with each other, and on the streets because its gang infested out here. Black and Hispanics, we are at war with each other, but there’s Black and Hispanic hoods that are cool with each other too at the same time, but don’t nobody talk about that, don’t put that out there. So I wanted to put the light on that. Let them know about the good relationship we got with Hispanics because out here, we share a lot of the same parts of culture. We share a lot of shit and we go through a lot of the same things. We grow up with each other, we next door neighbors with each other, we go to the same school with each other, we f*ck with they sisters, they f*ck with our sisters. You feeling me like, all that’s going on ain’t nobody ever really got it out there, and really press the line. Like nah bro, we really together, feel me? I think Pac was on that, he was doing some shit a long time ago. But I don't know how hard he went with that, and then on top of that it’s a new generation, so yeah, that was everything behind that song.
"Police Get Away With Murder" - Why do you feel the need to comment on social issues like these? Do you think your album will educate people? Enact change?
It was just a lot, you know, just a lot. Everything kept happening, and I was just like damn hold on. That’s too much. Yeah, I was just really telling my story for the majority of the album. And at the end I was just opening them mothaf*ckas eyes up, and trying to get mf attention, trying to get young mothaf*ckas involved into what’s going on today. Being proactive not reactive about this shit. That’s the goal for the last three records of the album.