YG Is Indeed ‘Still Brazy’ And It’s Great
The West Coast received a big-time lift in 2014. That’s when the “braziest” up-and-coming-MC YG dropped his debut album, My Krazy Life. Both a critical and commercial success, YG’s breakout debut makes his sophomore album Still Brazy one of the year’s more anticipated hip-hop releases. With Still Brazy now materialized, is it worth the hype? Yep, pretty much!
Following a brief intro, “Don’t Come to LA” sets the tone for Still Brazy, exemplifying the West coast vibe early on. Additionally, besides being idiomatic musically of the West Coast style, YG and SadBoy are aggressive early on:
“So don’t come to LA, nobody f*cking with me / I go broke rob fools for their jewelry.”
While the full-length opener predictably speaks of the rough and tumble nature of Compton, YG and company’s narrative remains as alluring as ever:
“So when y’all n*ggas hop off the jet / you better tuck what’s on ya neck and get the f*ck from round here.”
Yep – definitely still brazy.
“Who Shot Me?” continues Compton’s harsh narrative, even if the hook frames the dangerousness as mere child’s play or any other day in the city.
“Who shot me? / Motherf*cker who shot me? / I don’t know, who shot me? / Motherf*cker who shot me?”
Throughout the course of the song, YG questions what happened, discusses the feelings of his family, and tries to figure out why it happened. Despite being shot, YG shows relentlessness in the outro – he’s good.
If he says it, he’s going to do it – that’s YG’s assertion on “Word Is Bond” (featuring Slim 400), another idiomatic West Coast joint. The braggadocios “Twist My Fingaz” trumps it, brilliantly sampling Funkadelic’s “One Nation Under a Groove.” YG makes it clear that “he’s the man” throughout the song’s course, going for the kill when he spits,
“I’m the only one who made it out the West without Dre / I’m the only one that’s about what he say.”
What’s he gonna do? Flex, ball, and represent:
“I just do my dance and cuff my pants / and twist my fingaz with my hands / just do my dance and cuff my pants.”
Questions dominate Still Brazy. Later on “I Got a Question,” YG asks,
“When the police gon’ stop pressing me? / when my b*tch gon’ stop stressing me, second guessing me? / will the truth really set you free?”
The more notable question comes by way of standout “Why You Always Hatin?” which features Kamaiyah (hook) and Drake. YG drops the bomb early on, spitting,
“All up in my face, you not from the clique / give me space, we might rob the shit.”
Drake joins the bragging, referencing the ever-popular DM craze:
“Got a couple of DMs I done slid in already / gotta ask YG if he hit it already.”
Does the cockiness get old? No, surprisingly.
Worth mentioning – even in passing – is “Bool, Balm & Bollective,” which emphasizes Bloods replacement of the letter C with the letter B on its hook and select moments. YG takes this approach throughout Still Brazy and continues this practice from My Krazy Life. Is YG indeed “Still Brazy”? Yes of course: “This shit brazy.” The title track isn’t even the album’s best, but again, fits the vibe and what YG has assembled as a whole.
Two more songs are truly notable on Still Brazy: “FDT” and “Police Get Away Wit Murder.” “FDT” is politically charged and not the least bit subtle in its message. What does it stand for? “F*ck Donald Trump.” Yep. No need to expound any further. The same could be said about “Police Get Away Wit Murder,” which features the blunt lyrics,
“Black males in a hoodie that’s a target to them / they say he oversized and choked him out that was harmless to him.”
While both tracks are steeped in controversy, both also raise a discussion about important issues within society.
All in all, Still Brazy is a terrific rap album. It definitely shows a dark, gritty portrait of life in Compton and embodies old-school West Coast rap without a question. Even when YG is more simple-minded or repetitive, he still manages to highlight cultural and societal characteristics and issues, which is noteworthy. One of the best rap albums of 2016? You bet!
The Gems: “Don’t Come to LA,” “Who Shot Me?”, “Twist My Fingaz,” “Why You Always “FDT” & “Police Get Away Wit Murder”