YG — whose new album I Got Issues is out now on Def Jam — is no stranger to controversy. Still, one of his new album’s singles is drawing criticism that it might not have gotten in a different context. No doubt, when YG recorded “How To Rob A Rapper” and planned out its release, he couldn’t possibly have known that just weeks before his album dropped, Philadelphia rapper PnB Rock would be shot to death in a robbery in Los Angeles, just a few miles from the Compton rapper’s hometown.
That hasn’t stopped rap fans from censuring YG over the song’s awkward timing. The general consensus appears to be that “YG should have took that How To Rob A Rapper song off the album,” according to one tweet. Another wondered “if nobody in YG’s camp told him not to drop ‘How to Rob a Rapper’ right after PNB Rock’s death.” Even those who liked the song admitted that it had “terrible timing.”
YG should have took that How To Rob A Rapper song off the album. Bad timing
— Stand Up Guy (DJ Renaissance) (@Boogiebabyg) September 30, 2022
I wonder if nobody in YG's camp told him not to drop 'How to Rob a Rapper' 🤔 right after PNB Rock's death
— AB DOLLA$IGN (@TheAngelB) September 30, 2022
"How to Rob a Rapper" by YG is a great track but what terrible timing😭😭
— Kenzo A. (@thisiskenzo_) September 30, 2022
Still, there were some who defended the rapper’s decision to release the controversial track when he did. “I get why people trippin off YG’s song ‘How To Rob A Rapper,’ but ya also makin it clear ya dont really listen to his music,” wrote one fan. “He got similar songs like ‘Don’t Come To LA’ talkin about the same culture he warnin mfs to not lack when coming into. But y’all trippin off the timing.”
I get why people trippin off YG’s song “How To Rob A Rapper”, but ya also makin it clear ya dont really listen to his music. He got similar songs like “Dont Come To LA” talkin about the same culture he warnin mfs to not lack when coming into. But y’all trippin off the timing
— Marathon SC 🏁 (@SeanClancey) October 4, 2022
YG hasn’t reacted yet, but he has shown himself to be sensitive to valid critiques in the past. Last year, he updated his My Krazy Life song “Meet The Flockers” to remove lyrics perceived as “anti-Asian” after a backlash in the wake of a wave of attacks on Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can watch YG’s “How To Rob A Rapper” video above.