YG - I Got Issues Music Album Reviews

YG - I Got Issues Music Album Reviews
The veteran West Coast rapper toggles between kickback anthems and pertinent reflections on his life and growth, but he’s missing the hunger and innovation of his best work.

If you poll 100 rap fans to name the first living West Coast rapper that comes to mind, there’s a good chance that a significant number will name YG. It makes sense. The Compton-raised rapper’s ethos and image, drenched in blood-red and paisley paraphernalia while loosely adhering to the tenets of gangsta rap, have remained remarkably stable over the last decade. Since his stellar major label debut, 2014’s My Krazy Life, he’s balanced salient criticism and self-exploration with a true aptitude for hitmaking, letting crisp songwriting and infectious energy carry him onward. He’s delved into political protest (“FDT,” “Blacks and Browns”), the nihilism that accompanies a brush with death (“Who Shot Me?”), and loss of loved ones (4Real 4Real, a tribute tape to the late Nipsey Hussle).

On I Got Issues, the equilibrium is thrown off. Over the record’s 48-minute runtime, YG oscillates between kickback anthems and pertinent reflections on his career progress and emotional growth. By his own account, he created this project while “having the same approach” as he did on My Krazy Life and Still Brazy. But what’s missing is the hunger and innovation from those records; while he’s able to shoehorn in moments of legitimate lyrical quality, too often he leans on generic production decisions and vapid proclamations that ring hollow.

You can’t accuse YG of running away from himself: “Issues,” the album opener, has him confront his interpersonal conflicts, including his creative fallout with his close friend Mustard (conspicuously missing from this project) and his sustained grief over the deaths of his friends. “What’s up with your brother? Shit, I ain’t talk to Mustard/I just fell back, can’t let a nigga treat me likе a sucker,” he raps starkly, cryptically alluding to the reasons behind their frayed relationship. The curtain falls before we glimpse more than a peek, as he retreats towards more reliable subject matter: paranoia about his safety and freedom in his gangster-tinted lifestyle. On “Alone,” with its soothing flip of Delegation’s 1978 track “Oh Honey,” YG broods about the shelf life of his existence in the streets: “How many more contributions I gotta make?/How many more bullet wounds I gotta take?” he raps, a sobering acknowledgment of how confronting mortality doesn’t get any easier with age.

But it’s when he shifts away from his own emotions that the quality dips considerably. There’s not enough vocal variation or excitement to make some of his vulgar exhibitions interesting or even fun. The infusion of beautiful acoustic guitars on the DJ Swish-led production of “I Dance” aren’t enough to distract from his phoned-in Spanglish and juvenile, sex-obsessed raps; the cookie-cutter, Facebook-esque misogyny of “Baby Momma” is too on-the-nose to feel satirical or playful. When YG yells the chorus—“I hate my baby mama”—it feels as though he just had to get some things off his chest, which does not make for compelling art. Even when he tries to spice up a track’s composition, like singing the melodies himself on “Toxic,” the lyrics about gold-digging and modern-day entanglements feel empty, wasting a nice Mary J. Blige sample along the way.

A YG album should have a higher success rate, which just isn’t the case on I Got Issues. It’s frustrating because the worthwhile moments are obvious: the clock tolling and knocking bass of the Hit-Boy-produced “Maniac” is one of the few times that the rapper sounds at home, rattling off materialistic boasts with a chilling disposition over a groovy bounce beat; “How to Rob a Rapper” is a great California connection with Mozzy and Los Angeles rapper D3SZN, as each man efficiently finds the pockets amid stock rhythmic claps and hi-hats. But an attempt like the pop-leaning, Roddy Ricch and Post Malone-assisted “Sober” registers as soulless and out-of-place. The closer “Killa Cali” is a neat encapsulation of the incongruence damning I Got Issues: YG espouses a list of music legends who died in California and muses about his own guilt, as he raps, “Bullets done put my homies in wheelchairs/Got survivor’s guilt ’cause I’m still here.” He embarks upon an earnest tribute to those who have departed in his hometown—but with its sentimental and heartbreaking nature, it almost feels out of place among the numerous vapid missteps that precede it.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
YG - I Got Issues Music Album Reviews YG - I Got Issues Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on October 13, 2022 Rating: 5


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