REVIEW: YG – ‘My Krazy Life’

Artist: YG
Album: My Krazy Life
Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap
Label: Def Jam

The difference between hip-hop artists being able to craft lasting careers and those only managing to ride their wave of popularity for a handful of singles usually boils down to how well that particular artist is able to carve out a genre niche for themselves. Whenever these rare talents come along they are immediately compared to the greats, and that is exactly what you can expect to happen to YG in the months and years to come. The Compton based rapper’s Def Jam debut, My Krazy Life, is a hybrid of The Chronic and good kid, m.A.A.d city that is both ready to party and start a riot on a moment’s notice. It’s YG proving that the sound he has crafted with DJ Mustard in recent years is capable of much more than radio play, and it’s likely to be one of your favorite urban releases of the year.

When your eyes first catch sight of YG’s fake mugshot plastered on the cover of My Krazy Life you know that the contents of the album are going to involve all sorts of law-breaking, police-hating bars, and that is most certainly true. This is, after all, the guy who recently made it to number one at numerous radio stations with a song that finds him priding himself on the fact he will likely die with his finger on the trigger of a pistol. What you may not see, however, is how this album sets up a narrative that, while visceral with its portrayal of life on crooked streets, also details how the actions of one individual impacts the lives of those around them. YG shares his shortcomings as much as he does the parts of himself that make him great, and it’s partially his unabashed embrace of humility in the face of what it may mean for his street cred that makes My Krazy Life such a fascinating listening experience.

The other component to the magic behind My Krazy Life is caused, at least in part, by DJ Mustard. He crafts pitch perfect productions that not only pair well with YG’s aggressive delivery, but also pack an inherent sense of fun – to varying degrees – that helps curve the impact of darker tracks (“Smokin N Drinkin” or “Meet The Flockers,” for example) just enough to ensure everyone has a good time. Even if you try and concentrate on what is being said, which at times can vary from descriptions of burglaries, to murder, club life, street life, and YG’s love of sex, you will be unable to prevent your body from moving to the beat. It’s simply too infectious to resist. 

There is always a drawback to working with only one producer for an entire record, and that is running the ever-present risk of tracks beginning to sound redundant. Mustard and YG can and do add a plethora of extra tweaks to individual tracks, such as slowing things down “1AM,” but the production can almost always be broken down to a few keys being struck between one and two beats apart. The rest is the kind of drum-and-bass that makes you want to snap your fingers, which may grow old to some, but if you consider the similarities between tracks a necessary component in creating a cohesive listening experience that tells the story of a single day in the life of YG it’s an understandable creative decision.

“My Nigga” proved YG and DJ Mustard could craft a radio-ready single that was based on honest observations and gritty real life experiences as long as they remembered to include production that made you want to dance. My Krazy Life expands on that idea, offering more than a dozen memorable bangers that, more often than not, are as emotionally deep as the bass that backs YG’s ferocious delivery. It’s the perfect album for a night spent cruising the city with your girl by your side, or a party with several dozen of your closest friends, but more importantly it’s the perfect album to launch YG (and DJ Mustard) into the hip-hop stratosphere.

Score: 9/10

Review written by: James Shotwell

James Shotwell
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2 Responses to “REVIEW: YG – ‘My Krazy Life’”

  1. Brian Lion says:

    Not enough “niggas” in this review, therefore it’s irrelevant.

  2. FreezeGame says:

    Downloaded a crispy 320kbps deluxe version off piratebay yesterday, and all I can say is that I’m glad I didn’t buy it. This nigga YG is corny as fuck. Outside of the production, the shit is trash. It’s not thought provoking, deep, or lyrical. It’s just one mediocre song after the next. The nigga can barely rap! I should’ve known better. I’m warning niggas now, don’t spend your money on this bullshit. Download it to listen first, or you’ll be sorry!