We get a lot of albums since the floodgates completely open on who can try their hand at rapping. On any given Tuesday, there can be two handfuls of releases and that doesn’t begin to include the numerous mixtapes and EPs we see in a week. Some good, a lot of bad and every now and then we get a great project.
YG’s My Krazy Life leads that pack as one of those great projects for early ’14.
We’ve already ready rated the release so I don’t want to rehash any of what’s been stated. I can tell you that I hold the record in high regard since the first listen. Some music, it grabs you that way you know when it’s a monster. Even though I rarely lean on others’ opinions, I did reach out to one of my Cali homies when MKL dropped. I know he knows a lot of the same early West Coast shit as I do so I asked him his take to see how music connoisseurs on the Left were reacting.
In short, he replied – and I’m loosely paraphrasing here – that YG’s piece sounded more like what people in LA are riding to. He never mentioned Kendrick or any other artists, but that’s the first place my mind skipped to. Between MKL and GKMC, we have two tales of one city. Very similar scenes, events and characters, but decidedly different. YG’s project will remind most of Snoop and Dre’s work but it went further back than that for me. It made me think of the first time I encountered Eazy, Cube and N.W.A. Of when DJ Quik, Above The Law and Penthouse Players Clique came along and introduced the area to the masses.
As a listener, YG and Mustard dropped me off right in the middle of Compton, not on the fringes or a safe vantage point either. Right there where all of the action was occurring, highlighted as the wrong side of the tracks on tourist maps. The same as when Eazy took us to the “Hood” in the late ’80s. Unfamiliar at first, then I remembered hearing about the place some 20 years ago and things become familiar quick.
However, in this interview with Devi Dev for Houston’s 93.7 The Beat, YG doesn’t name any of those older Cali acts as direct influences so maybe everything I’ve said thus far is misleading of sorts. Like I said, that’s where the LP took me.
YG’s sources of inspiration are more modern classic. Early on in the interview, he begins to share, then reconsiders revealing how he and Mustard pulled off the magic trick. Sharp is she is, Dev goes back and asks what he was listening too after YG loosened and was talking more. He reveals five key pieces: Chronic 2001, 50’s GRODT, Biggie’s Ready… and Doggystyle before adding in “And you know I was playin’ ‘Pac, too.”
“I started listening to those albums a year before I really started working on my album,” YG added. “I was living with, we was studying it and all that.” For him, Mustard, Terrace Martin and all involved, they knew all along what puzzle pieces they held. The tricky was putting those pieces together to form the full picture for MKL.
“I been had songs and all that when I was young. The music was the problem.” YG reveals. “It was just like how we was gone do it, what we was gone do, what stories I was gone tell. The concepts and all that was the hardest part. So when you listen to these classic albums, you get an idea of how they did it.”
He also details how his relationship with Mustard extends past the studio. “When Snoop and Dre was coming up, they was homies and me and Mustard is homies, too. I go on my tour and Mustard’s the DJ,” he explains. “So, it’s just like a movement, people see that and that’s part of the reason why they saying we the new Snoop and Dre. And we got the music, too.”
The convo covers more bases regarding recording in ATL over LA, his mom’s reaction to her dedication record, what he’s doing to move the culture forward plus the record label he is starting with DJ Mustard and Ty Dolla $ign. Definitely worth the few minutes spent watching the clips.