14 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With My Krazy Life, YG throws gasoline on ratchet music with the emergent genre's best album to date, transforming the regional sound into a bona fide movement. Ratchet—the hypnotic, skeletal, trunk-rattling aesthetic pioneered by L.A. producer DJ Mustard—has its antecedent in SoCal G-funk and the Bay Area's hyphy sound, and now it finally has its The Chronic. Like Kendrick Lamar's good kid m.A.A.d. City, My Krazy Life is a brooding concept album, detailing YG's crazy days, wild nights, and regretful mornings hustling the streets of Compton, where "Daddy told me never leave the house without my tool." With guests Schoolboy Q, Kendrick, Drake, Young Jeezy, and Rich Homie Quan among others, the album doesn't hurt for star power. Yet YG never cedes the spotlight. His slippery flow bobs and weaves around Mustard and his cohorts' haymaker basslines and jabbing percussion. While "I Just Wanna Party" clearly lays out the rapper's intentions, "Really Be (Smokin N Drinkin)" finds YG contemplating his Dionysian ways, and "Sorry Momma" is the repentant confessional that brings this watershed debut full circle.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With My Krazy Life, YG throws gasoline on ratchet music with the emergent genre's best album to date, transforming the regional sound into a bona fide movement. Ratchet—the hypnotic, skeletal, trunk-rattling aesthetic pioneered by L.A. producer DJ Mustard—has its antecedent in SoCal G-funk and the Bay Area's hyphy sound, and now it finally has its The Chronic. Like Kendrick Lamar's good kid m.A.A.d. City, My Krazy Life is a brooding concept album, detailing YG's crazy days, wild nights, and regretful mornings hustling the streets of Compton, where "Daddy told me never leave the house without my tool." With guests Schoolboy Q, Kendrick, Drake, Young Jeezy, and Rich Homie Quan among others, the album doesn't hurt for star power. Yet YG never cedes the spotlight. His slippery flow bobs and weaves around Mustard and his cohorts' haymaker basslines and jabbing percussion. While "I Just Wanna Party" clearly lays out the rapper's intentions, "Really Be (Smokin N Drinkin)" finds YG contemplating his Dionysian ways, and "Sorry Momma" is the repentant confessional that brings this watershed debut full circle.

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About YG

Tough, streetwise, but exuding a distinctly Southern California chill, YG is one of the most confident voices in 21st-century rap. Born Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson in 1990, the Compton MC—alongside L.A.-area producer DJ Mustard—helped bring regional sounds to national ears, blending vintage, stripped-down G-funk with bits of Bay Area hyphy in a way that allowed him (and Mustard, who’s gone on to make crossover hits for Tyga and Rihanna) to crash the mainstream without ever seeming beholden to it. (His first two albums, 2014’s My Krazy Life and 2016’s Still Brazy, went Top 10 on both Billboard's pop and rap charts.) Modeled after gangsta touchstones like Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg, Jackson’s style is remarkably fluid. He balances street vignettes (“1AM,” “Meet the Flockers”) with party fodder (“Who Do You Love?” and his breakout collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign, “Toot It and Boot It”) in a way that feels genuine and direct, tackling the darker sides of his life with sly humor and a stark lack of sentimentality. After he was shot in his studio in 2015—which he recounts on “Who Shot Me”—he went back to work recording the next day. “Was it hard to write about the situation? No, not at all,” he told Billboard, just weeks later. “I’ve been through real s**t and I still go through real s**t, and I made it in sticky situations and turned the negative into a positive.”

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