YG
Still Brazy


4.5
superb

Review

by TobiasFunke USER (4 Reviews)
July 7th, 2016 | 83 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: YG’s Still Brazy is a monument to 90’s West Coast rap that remains significant and powerful in the world of today.

Two years ago, YG (short for Young Gangsta) released his debut album, "My Krazy Life", to rave reviews. It was a loose concept album tied together with a few skits, presented as a counterpoint of sorts to Kendrick Lamar’s "Good Kid Maad City". YG presented a look at the “street side” of Compton, replete with tales of robbery and gang-banging. There were a couple songs for the ladies as well as an emotional closer to his mom, but the rest of the album was strictly by the book. The album was almost entirely produced by DJ Mustard, who brought his usual party-oriented, up-tempo sound of “ratchet music”. Big singles (“My Nigga” and “Who Do You Love”) helped sell the album, as did the abundance of big name artists: Drake, Lil Wayne, Jeezy, Rich Homie Quan, Ty Dolla Sign, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, and Schoolboy Q all took part. In fact, the production and guests were considered the best part of that album, with YG’s contributions being mostly secondary.

"Still Brazy" could not be more different. It features many of the same tales as "My Krazy Life", but the rest of the product is original. Most significantly, there is no DJ Mustard production to be found, the result of a beef in the interim between albums. Instead, the production is handled primarily by DJ Swish, P-Lo, and 1500 or Nothin’. The whole album was overseen by musical maestro Terrace Martin, one of the main forces behind Kendrick Lamar’s acclaimed "To Pimp a Butterfly" and "Untitled.Unmastered". The result is a vastly altered sound, much more in line with the G-Funk of Daz Dillinger and Battlecat than the post-hyphy production of Mustard. Elastic bass, solemn pianos, and pounding drums abound, creating a dark atmosphere far from the gangster party sound of the previous album. The standout is “Twist My Fingaz”, produced by Martin, with a beat that worms its way inside your head and refuses to let go. While nothing on the album is really radio material, the sound is cohesive and distinctly West Coast.

The guest list is also a complete turnaround from the star-laden contributions of earlier efforts. Drake and Lil Wayne do take part, but they enhance YG rather than supplant him, and the rest of the artists fit in even better. Sad Boy’s verse on “Blacks and Browns” is one of the best on the album, and he also contributes well on the opening song “Don’t Come to LA” alongside A.D. and Bricc Baby. The features heavily skew to the West Coast, with names such as Nipsey Hussle, Slim 400, Jay 305, and Joe Moses - all well familiar to fans of modern California hip hop. They aren’t appeals to a wider audience or radio play, but instead an attempt to create a fully Los Angeles album, to paint a picture of the city and life that defines who YG is.

To that end, the production and guests help YG make this album truly his own. He was shot several times outside his studio last summer, and that paranoia dominates "Still Brazy". YG wonders who exactly went after him on “Who Shot Me?”, complains about hangers-on via “Gimmie Got Shot”, and attests to the truth of his speech on “Word is Bond”. Everyone around him is a suspect, someone who wants him dead or desires his money. YG can’t trust anyone, has nowhere to turn to. That claustrophobia creeps into his lyrics:

“Been through it all, got bullet wounds twice/ Still don’t know where it came from, yikes/
Why everybody want a piece of my pie?/ I, I, gotta keep guns with me/ *** real, I ain’t tryna be pretty”.

YG eventually turns towards societal ills as a reason for what’s going wrong in his personal life. He closes the album with three political tracks: taking aim at Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, discussing racism towards African Americans and Latinos, and looking at police brutality. After the insularity of the album, the outward glance at the rest of the world is refreshing and needed. It pulls YG’s “Bompton” into the broader scope of American society, making it relevant for people across the country.

YG still isn’t the greatest rapper. He doesn’t flow like Nas, converse like Jay, or project the emotion of Tupac. But he is a terrific storyteller, and has constructed perhaps the best rap album of 2016. The beats are fantastic, the guests mesh well, and YG paints pictures of his life and the world that he lives in. A weak track (“She Wish She Was”, which is overly misogynistic and doesn’t contribute much) keeps this album from perfection, but it is pretty damn close.


user ratings (230)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Sinternet
July 7th 2016


23948 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

decent review



hip hop aoty for me so far, been jamming this a lot

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furyroad97
July 7th 2016


552 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Considering I was pretty cold on My Krazy Life, this surprised the hell out of me. Cool review btw!

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treeqt.
July 7th 2016


16970 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

turns out 90s west coast rap is terrible

guitarded_chuck
July 7th 2016


18068 Comments


i know im gonna despise this but ill put in on here in a min

Keyblade
July 7th 2016


29950 Comments


tree imma need u to go back into retirement real quick

treeqt.
July 7th 2016


16970 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

still brazy

TVC15
July 7th 2016


10720 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

WHOOO! Was worried this wasn't going to get a review

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SharkTooth
July 7th 2016


14180 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dis shit brazy

TobiasFunke
July 7th 2016


25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@guitarded: If you are basing this off of his previous album, I wouldn't worry about it. Sounds nothing like My Krazy Life in terms of production, and YG has really stepped up on this.



If you don't like Daz Dillinger and 90's West Coast.... then idk what to tell you haha

Leedleleedle
July 10th 2016


15 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

This blew me away, having never listened to YG before, good review

TobiasFunke
July 11th 2016


25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^Thanks! And yeah, I would definitely check out some of his earlier stuff. It's pretty good, but this is way better

JWT155
July 15th 2016


14728 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

YG go hard

wtferrothorn
July 26th 2016


5849 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

There are some pretty sweet tracks on here. Twist My Fingaz is funky af

TobiasFunke
July 28th 2016


25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Twist my Fingaz is definitely the best song on here. But there are only a few that I'm not huge fans of

LotusFlower
August 6th 2016


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

One track in and this slaps hard.

LotusFlower
August 6th 2016


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i like that fart synth in twist my fingaz

Keyblade
August 6th 2016


29950 Comments


that song is OG as hell

LotusFlower
August 6th 2016


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

no kidding, got some vintage analogues and killer grooves. this whole album slays pretty hard.

LotusFlower
August 6th 2016


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

also that "ahhh" vocal effect in she wish she was is heavenly.

AlexKzillion
August 6th 2016


12281 Comments


So west coast



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