YG is a west coast rapper born rapper from the city of Compton in California. At just 26 years of age, his rise has been steady but apparent as he moved from supposed one hit wonder with smash hit banger ‘My N***a’ to someone who isn’t here for a laugh and a joke. This album drew quite a lot of attention with the lead single ‘Why You Always Hatin?’ thanks mostly to the Canadian rap King Drake’s feature on the track. There has also been a lot of hype around this album in regards to his passion towards the Black Lives Matter movement and his vivid disliking of Donald Trump, of which a photo has spiralled across the Internet which he tweeted with the words “F*** Donald Trump” posted on a screen during one of his live shows. He’s left many rap fans questioning what else he had in him and whether or not he could really stamp his authority down as a big rapper with a commercial hit album, let’s find out if ‘Still Brazy’ could be his ticket to global fame or if it’s back to the drawing board for YG.
Pops Hot Intro – N/A /10
Anyone who honestly expects me to rate a 14 second sound bite is crazy, it’s just a man talking about someone who won’t leave Los Angeles, that’s it.
Don’t Come To LA (feat. Sad Boy, AD, Bricc Baby) – 7.5/10
The distorted robotic voices overlapping each other is very strange and gives a bizarre sound. The break out into the beat is absolutely brilliant and the beat itself just gets better and better, it sounds like a real west coast classic with that funk styled gangsta rap. The features provide a great mix on the song whether it be hard rap or great melody on the chorus. The song itself is all about the dangers of modern day LA and how YG himself is a big part of the gang crime issue. The chorus hook is smooth and groovy with memorable lyrics such as “doing things my mama said I shouldn’t be” when talking about gang crime and theft. It’s a hard hitter of a track and really cements the place of YG and his motives on this album as a true thug in his home town. The gun shots at the end help fade into the next song and therefore follow the story thanks to the conveniently titled following track ‘Who Shot Me?’. It’s a solid start to the album without a doubt.
Who Shot Me? – 5.5/10
The beat on this song is fairly simplistic but has been altered to create a more hardcore version of a slow jam hook. The chorus on this song is dreadful, absolutely awful. How can you just repeat “who shot me” and expect it to click into a decent chorus? It’s just baffling how he decided it would be a good idea. The verses are better but still aren’t the best I’ve heard and could do with a bit more punch to them considering the clearly frustrated attitude of YG for this song. The bridge part is the highlight of the song as this harmony is added in and gives a soft tone to this otherwise frustrating song to listen to. The monologue at the end seems a bit forced but at the same time it is quite moving and a bit of a deeper insight to his struggle. Much like the last song, it also helps flow into the next track much more smoothly.
Word Is Bond (feat. Slim 400) – 7/10
A really slick beat on this one and fantastic bars, what isn’t there to love? Oh I know, the fact that YG is once again incapable of doing a chorus that doesn’t just consist of him repeating the song’s title over and over again, it’s an awful habit which makes me want to give up on this review. It’s also a crying shame because every other aspect of this song is great and it goes in really hard, especially the feature verse of Slim 400 who absolutely owns it. I really like the meaning of the song as he raps about being recognised and used for his money, stating that “I know I’m rich” and how he doesn’t need reminding of the fact. Cool little song this one and would be ranked so much higher if YG knew how to write a chorus.
Twist My Fingaz – 8.5/10
Another west coast classic jam beat with YG rapping over it about violence and shooting people, glorious. With that in mind, I absolutely love this first verse and it provides one of the best lines I’ve heard this year. “Why all of these rap n****s wanna be thugs, never seen them in the hood only see them in the club” is absolutely iconic and comes from the perspective of someone who has clearly seen it all in terms of gang violence. YG goes off on this beat, he’s on fire here and it’s probably his best performance on the album. The beat has that electronic wobble on it in the chorus which reminds me of an old school Snoop Dogg song who is clearly an inspiration to YG. That said, he doesn’t hold back firing shots at those who use Dr Dre for success. “The only guy to make it out the West without Dre” is just savagery and calls out some of the biggest rappers going such as Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar. He clearly doesn’t have a care in the world and has the talent to back up what he says, great track this.
Good Times Interlude – N/A /10
Once again you can’t give snippets like this a rating but they will help to contribute towards the end score because it’s apparent they are there for the aid of the listener to hear the unraveling of the story YG is telling.
Gimmie Got Shot – 7.5/10
This is another song where it leaves you questioning how YG hasn’t been noticed by the mainstream fanbase more often, it’s borderline genius with his lyricism as he raps with expert flow about how so many people ask for things without doing any work for them, using the term “Gimmie” to highlight it. The verses are, once again, as hard as anything I’ve heard from a rapper this year and the beat is west coast influenced but with his modern twist on it and it’s seriously hot. Even the chorus is cool and catchy and I really like the way he changes the style up for it by introducing almost a chanting style to the chorus as if he wants you to sing along to it it’s a very subtle but effective technique. My only qualm with this song is how it appears to fade away without trace, I was expecting a big finish and it kind of just disappears into the next song without an explanation. Despite that it’s still a very good song and keeps the ball rolling on what is starting to look like an extremely solid project from the LA rapper.
I Got A Question (feat. Lil Wayne) – 7/10
Getting Wayne on the album is a big coup in itself so this will leave anticipation levels very high for what direction he chooses to go in on this track. The beat is electronic but it’s not in your face, it’s smooth and has that sway style to it, in my opinion it’s a decent little beat. As for the lyrics and the rapping, his arrogance comes into play but also his stress about being famous is evident as he talks about arguing with friends, police and women. His verses are very good and bounce off Wayne very well who arrives on this song in his typical fashion of walking onto the beat with confidence. He has a great verse also and wraps up the song effectively, it’s a good song but not a fantastic one.
Why You Always Hatin? (feat. Drake, Kamaiyah) – 10/10
The flames that come from this song are unnatural, one of the true bangers of the year without a doubt. Drake is the man who seems untouchable at the moment, everything he’s involved with seems to go down a treat and this is no different. His verse is fantastic and talks all about his fame, all about him ruling his city and how he’s a global star. The chorus is hot and the snares on the beat are fantastic, the whole hook is just amazing to be honest. YG’s verse is great, it’s a bit slower paced than he usually goes with but has a brilliant rhythm to it and keeps the track flowing masterfully. Not much more I can say about this one other than calling it an absolute banger and undoubtedly the highlight of the album but that’s no disservice to the album, this song would be a highlight on anyone’s album.
My Perception (feat. Slim 400) – N/A /10
14 seconds long, interlude, no point reviewing it because what is there to review? It’s a small snippet of a conversation which helps the balance of the album and moving it from track to track, that’s about it really.
Bool, Balm & Bollective – 4/10
It’s a very odd song title and the song’s outlandish style follows suit. It’s a bizarre beat with bizarre lyrics and that’s all there is to it. It’s a real head scratcher and I find myself distracted from the lyrics because I’m just wondering what’s fully going on with the hook. I’m not a big fan of the overlapping vocals which happens way too often for my liking and puts you off from what is otherwise a decent flow from YG. If I’m being honest, any song with a title as ludicrous as this was never going to be hugely successful and this is the example, poor really.
She Wish She Was (feat. Jay 305, Joe Moses) – 4/10
This beat seems quite electronic again and like he’s trying too hard to be experimental and daring and it’s just not worked out for him. I do, however, like the deep toned piano tune which adds a nice twist to an otherwise questionable beat. A forgettable verse from YG and his features here so really this song doesn’t have that much going for it. The sooner he snaps out of this wannabe experimental and electro vibe attitude and he sticks to what he’s good at the better. Although he does have a usual habit on this song, a god awful chorus with no invention and constant repetition. So he’s taken the worst part of his usually traits and put it on a poor piece of experimentation, yikes.
YG Be Safe (feat. The Homegirl) – N/A /10
FOUR SECONDS LONG LIKE WHAT EVEN IS THAT. A tiny voicemail message of “the Homegirl” telling YG to stay safe and then bang, next song. No context, no explanation, nothing.
Still Brazy – 8/10
The title track of the album and you can see why, it seems to be the quintessential YG song, with that snare heavy west side beat and satirical yet hood strong lyrics. What I like most about this song is that he has allowed the hook to be more subtle and quiet to make way for his talented rapping ability and he doesn’t disappoint. He puts in some great bars and about 2 minutes in he goes absolutely off with some supremely quick rapping and holds it down for all to hear. A key part of this song is that although there is a chorus, you can’t tell that and he keeps the song flowing brilliantly and makes it sound like one huge verse. It’s a great track which has placed a lot of focus on the flow and bars of YG and he delivers with authority on it, very well done.
FDT (feat. Nipsey Hussle) – 10/10
It’s one of the worst songs ever if you think of actual quality, but the message of it, oh my the message is heroic. Sorry if I come across as biased on this one but I’m really not Donald Trump’s biggest fan so hearing this has made my life. A chorus which consists of “F*** Donald Trump” will do well in my eyes. It’s a diss track for the ages in my opinion and it’s a song which has been needed. I have no doubt it’s a song that will hold a big standing with a lot of people because yes it’s all funny to mock Donald Trump but it’s clear that YG is genuinely concerned and in his verses he speaks on Mexico, children, black people and all other groups of people who are sure to be affected by his ways. A public service announcement demanding that people don’t vote for Donald Trump, I LOVE IT.
Blacks & Browns (feat. Sad Boy) – 8/10
This song is another huge message, YG is clearly ending this album with a bang and putting that gangsta attitude to one side by pleading for people to come together against racism, whether it be in the streets, in the police force or in the White House. This song is such a huge political message and I can only hope that it got out to the right people. What makes this even better? Sad Boy’s feature. Speaking on “his people” as a proud Mexican man it’s a passionate verse full of anger and emotion. Who knew that YG had this side to him when listening to some of the earlier songs on this album? Messages aside it is also a very good song with a cool beat with great flow on the lyrics. The ending to the song is harrowing and chilling as a clip is played of an innocent man pleading not to be shot before being shot by police, fading into the next song.
Police Get Away Wit Murder – 8/10
Hard beat is an understatement, this hook is here to show a huge middle finger to the police force. The title of this song is enough to understand what’s going on here, it’s absolute fury of the American situation with innocent black people being killed by police officers. It’s a song which will, once again, scream out to millions and be incredibly relatable given the severity of the situation and the widespread popularity of the Black Lives Matter movement. “I really got a story this ain’t a spoof” is a hugely moving line suggesting YG has personal experiences of the police brutality and so is trying to get his message out and raise as much awareness as he can. The way he has ended this album is commendable and it will stick long in the memories of those listening.
Overall – 7.5/10
An album full of controversy, attitude and agenda, it’s sure to have the people speaking, particularly the last three songs on the album which all address hugely relevant and important issues in America at the moment. Not to mention that ‘Why You Always Hatin?’ is one of the bangers of the year and also features on this jam packed album. There are, however, a few dud hits on this album and they bring the overall rating down on an otherwise very solid album which had all you could hope for from a West coast black rapper who feels strongly about his morals and rights.