Album Review: YG-"Still Brazy"

Photo by Ryan Orange

By Edward Gutierrez/@EDWARDGEE

Being no stranger to controversy, this album dives into the psyche of YG. With tracks “Who Shot Me?”, “Word Is Bond” and “Still Brazy” he continues to express his views on the one common element all inner city youth deal with: TRUST. Yet, through the album he sheds his thoughts and views on politics and police brutality with tracks such as “FDT”,“Blacks & Browns” and “Police Get Away wit Murder”, and though his message is raw and unapologetic, YG reminds you he’s the voice of an outspoken generation.

Being a product of his environment, “Don’t Come to LA” is a warning to all things foreign to his hometown. This track is laid out with heavy piano and slow melodic base, becoming the canvas for him to paint a vivid picture of his reality such as:

"You better tuck what’s on ya neck and get the fuck from round here
Cause ya’ll paying for the lifestyle that’s watered down
Bompton! That where I’m from, shit is not allowed
Y’all out of bounds, keep that out of town shit out of town
You wasn’t banging out of town, it’s too late to holla now"

As for a feature in the song Sad Boy is the highlight of this track. Showcasing unity among Hispanics and African Americans, he says, “My flag is green, white, red, and in the center’s an eagle / Brown pride, fist tight, this is for my illegals.”

Topics of paranoia continue to become a norm throughout this album. YG takes us through his mind, and in “Who Shot Me?” he speaks on the shooting that took palace late June where he was shot leaving his studio. In the song, he names individuals he believes to be the shooter. “I can’t sleep at night / This shit uncomfortable,” he relays his thoughts, second guessing himself and the individuals he keeps around him. YG depicts the scene, understanding that death is always around the corner, thus leaving him paranoid.

"Staring out the window
Smoking on this indo
Cause I don’t know who did it but I know this
Bullets don’t just go where the wind blows
So I’m looking under my nose
And it always comes from up close"

Though the highlights of this album are “Twist My Fingaz”, “Still Brazy” and “Why You Always Hatin?”, which features Drake, they’re tracks made with the mainstream media in mind. Yet, in “Twist My Fingaz”, he depicts how he only owes his rise in West Coast Hip-Hop to himself saying,

“Hold up, I really got something to say
I’m the only one who made it out the West without Dre
I’m the only one that’s about what he say”

Rightfully so, this track is as West Coast as it can get. Fusing Funk and Hip-Hop all in one, with Funkadelic's “One Nation Under a Groove” and Ice Cube's “Bop Gun” mixed within this track, YG gives you a prolific West Coast sound that is continuously rising in today's Hip-Hop culture.

“Still Brazy” and “Why You Always Hatin?” possess similarities amongst each other. “Still Brazy” delivers the same West Coast vibes that roll throughout the project with lyrics that cultivate topics of paranoia:

"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?"

Yet, discussing the topic of his success and still having to deal with individuals trying to shoot him down in the Scoop Deville produced the track “Why You Always Hatin?”

The strongest tracks in this project are “FDT” (Anti-Trump), “Blacks & Browns” and “Police Get Away wit Murder.” To this day YG is becoming the voice of the real. You don’t have to be gang affiliated to understand the message he is getting across. In “Police Get Away wit Murder” he delivers a raw and gritty scene of police brutality delivering a chant as the hook, “We don’t give a fuck, we don’t give a fuck/Nigga we don’t give a fuck, we don’t give a fuck/The police get away with murder,” and at the end of the song he pays his respect with the names of unarmed, gunned down victims. In “Blacks & Browns” he paints a picture of what it’s like to be a minority in white America:

"We make it hard for us with all this black on black crime
In the same state we gotta pay our tax
If we get locked up it’s double rate
We get popped then retaliate, and they sell us these guns"

He continues to express his views on todays America. From gun violence, to racism and police brutality, YG understands that he is the voice for those stuck in the system, Section 8, and ones with no voice at all, thus, becoming the voice of the unheard. And though he continues to change his ‘C’s to ‘B’s he continues to be unapologetic, raw and ready to make some noise. "Still Brazy" doesn’t possess poetic entities of peace and love. It’s filled with rage and paranoia, such as today's America.

Grade: A