The follow up to YG’s My Krazy Life is here, so without further ado, let’s dive right into it. Let’s start off with giving credit where it’s due. Props to YG for producing Still Brazy, alongside Hit Boy and Terrace Martin (Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, and Kendrick Lamar). Also have to say that the lyrics and essence of this album are equally impressive—the album has definite political undertones with the tracks “FDT,” “Police Get Away Wit Murder” and “Blacks & Browns.” The inclusion of Kamaiyah, an up and coming female rapper from Oakland and Sad Boy, a chicano rapper, display YG’s urge to branch out and be more inclusive. The album is less misogynist than My Krazy Life and we’re not forced to listen to his sexual escapades and blatant disrespect toward women. Don’t get me wrong, the misogyny is still there, but it is remarkably less prevalent. Instead of a day in the life of YG, we’re presented with a much wider scope of activities, ideas and politics. For that, YG should be commended. His growth as a rapper and person are present in this new LP.
Still Brazy includes some commentary and snippets of storytelling similar to MKL, with his “dad” on the intro explaining that all the drama (and presumably the focus of this album) is his mother’s fault as she never wanted to leave Los Angeles. “Don’t Come to LA,” is one of the best produced tracks on the album (IMO) and features Sad Boy, AD and Bricc Baby; with this track we’re given old-school west-coast flavor (did we expect anything different?) paying homage to the likes of NWA, Snoop Dogg and YG’s earlier works.
The majority of the album has a genuine west-coast feel to it that we’ve come to know the artist for. His storytelling about his city, and what he and his peers experience on the day to day are told with a boldness that only YG can pull off, and that’s because this IS his life, and what he knows. When you write what you know, you can’t fail. Production on the other hand, is a different beast altogether, and when you step into unfamiliar territory there, you run the risk of ruining the story you’re trying to tell with underwhelming beats and a lack of harmony.
With the exceptions of “Why You Always Hatin” and “Don’t Come to LA,” the album suffers from a general lack of cohesion. While the lyrics are fantastic and provide much needed social commentary, the conservative approach to the beats leaves everything feeling a little uneven. It’s always great to see an artist branch out in terms of production and try their hand at something new, but DJ Mustard was sincerely missed on this album. Perhaps YG felt that Mustard’s “ratchet” beats weren’t appropriate or ill-fitting for the content of Still Brazy, but it’s a pairing that works irrefutably well. Here’s to hoping for a reunion in the future!
Overall, the LP has some hits and some misses. The content and overall approach to this album outweighs the final product, but you can see where he was going and enjoy the ride too. Just wish the ride was less bumpy. Then again, we are riding through the streets of LA and these roads are poorly paved.