Opinion: YG is starting to fall off hard

Yeah, you read the title right. And before all of you YG fans get pissed at me and swear to never read my writing again, hear me out. As much as it pains me to say it, YG’s last two albums have not been up to par with what we’ve come to expect from him. He was once a rising young voice with two critically acclaimed and near-classic status albums but has shrunk down to making generic west coast bangers with no substance in less than a year. How did we get to this point?

2009-2016

As most everyone knows, YG broke out with his 2009 single “Toot It and Boot It” and signed with Def Jam Recordings. He released many mixtapes and then finally released his debut album My Krazy Life in early 2014. The album garnered critical acclaim from critics and fans alike for its narrative qualities, catchy lyrics, and tough beats. It is often called a modern west coast classic.

Following the success of My Krazy Life, YG began working on the follow-up album that would eventually be called Still Brazy. In the leadup to this album, he released “Twist My Fingaz”, “FDT”, and “Why You Always Hatin?”, which were all met with praise. Still Brazy was released in June 2016. The album was met with critical acclaim as well, giving YG two very well-received albums in a row. It seemed that he was on top of the world and could only go up from here.

2017-Present

2018 arrived with YG releasing his third studio album Stay Dangerous. The album was met with generally positive reviews from critics, but many fans considered it a drop down in quality from his previous two efforts. Reasons for dislike included meaningless lyrics and songs that didn’t really fill a purpose. 9 months after the release of Stay Dangerous, YG released his latest album 4Real 4Real. The album was supported by the singles “Stop Snitchin” and “Go Loko”.

But how is he falling off?

I honestly can’t believe that the guy who made “Meet The Flockers”, “Sorry Momma”, “Who Shot Me?”, and “FDT” is the same guy who made “Handgun” and “Stop Snitchin”. It’s such a crazy drop off in quality to me.    

If you have yet to listen to My Krazy Life and Still Brazy, please do so ASAP. They are certified classic west coast albums and some of YG’s best work yet. Once you listen to those albums, check out a few tracks from Stay Dangerous and 4Real 4Real. You will see the stark contrast between the first two and two most recent albums in his discography.

My Krazy Life and Still Brazy gave us a version of YG that was on a mission to prove that he belongs. His next two albums give off cocky vibes seem to show that YG thinks that he’s made it and there is nothing left to prove. I’m not even trying to say that Stay Dangerous and 4Real 4Real are super bad albums, because they aren’t. They just made me think that YG has become super lazy with what he deems worthy to put out.

What’s your point?

It was so cool to me listening to My Krazy Life for the first time and feeling like I was actually in the hood with YG doing the things that he did. I also loved the politically-charged nature of Still Brazy and the amount of passion that he put into that album. The problem now is that YG seems to think that he can just pump out album after album until he gets bored and decides to retire. He doesn’t seem to understand that most fans would rather wait a couple years between releases if it means something truly special is on the way.

Honestly, I can proudly say that I own both My Krazy Life and Still Brazy in physical format as well as some of his merchandise from a show I went to in the past. But I sincerely think that YG needs to reevaluate where he wants to head in the future and what kind of legacy he wants to leave behind, because his latest music isn’t doing it for me and a lot of other fans.  

K-UTE Radio/University of Utah does not own any of the images in this piece.