Photo by Porterhouse LA
“You know when you start being successful you start second guessing a lot of stuff. Then I got popped, really don’t know who popped me. I’m paranoid and I be saying some wild shit.”
YG speaks softly to a therapist for the first time in a recent VICE feature. The word paranoid pierces the ear harder than any other word he’s spoken thus far. With “Who Shot Me?” and the title track from YG’s sophomore album “Still Brazy” touching on the June 12th, 2105 shooting which left a bullet in his hip, YG has every right to take a second look at all those around him.
Mentioning his grandmothers prayers saving him from “pictures on the shirt” on “Who Shot Me?” the Compton artist paints a picture of what it’s like to walk in his shoes as of late. Fame turns to jealousy for many who watch someone from the street make a break commercially and YG outlines this in detail over synth heavy, g-funk sounding beats pieced together by the likes of DJ Swish, Terrace Martin, P-Lo, 1500 Or Nothin and Hit-Boy.
Production is zoned in and filled with lush detail as YG, Joe Moses and Jay 305 rap about the female mindset over a heavy-knocking bass line on “She Wish She Was.” DJ Swish adds a deep, dark, mysterious guitar twang to “Who Shot Me?” that will have you looking around the corner before entering the next room. Terrace Martin layers talk-box vocals with g-funk synth on the street ready “Twist My Fingaz.” Sonically “Still Brazy” is everything “My Krazy Life” is and more as it oozes West Coast flare.
Lyrically YG finds his voice as he steps into the political conversation. Forcefully stating “We the youth. We the people of this country. We got a voice too. We will be seen, and we will be heard” on “FDT.” He continues the conversation on “Blacks And Browns” as his new signee Sad Boy unleashes one of the best verses on the album. He raps, “black, brown or pale, it don’t matter to me. The only color that call shots in this world is green.” Coming together to shine the light on racial profiling the track sequencing flows right into police brutality, the perfect ending to an album riddled with social issue hot takes from a man of the streets.
Starting inward and shifting the focus to the world’s issues at the end YG hits the full spectrum of what he’s experiencing. Fun and serious but West Coast throughout “Still Brazy” may in fact redeem YG’s shot at a GRAMMY nod after “My Krazy Life” was left out of the running previously.