photo manipulation & text by nacrowe
LOS ANGELES rapper YG is everything i love about TRADITIONAL WEST COAT HIP HOP. he is unapologetically OPINIONATED lyrically with BARBED missives against both his competition and his enemies, while maintaining a WICKED sense of HUMOR. he is easily the most intellectually DEXTEROUS LYRICIST to come out of the region this side of KENDRICK LAMAR and ICE CUBE. whereas LAMAR takes full lyrical flight in IMAGINATIVE NARRATIVES with involved SCENARIOS, CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT and COMPLEX METAPHORS, i'd liken YG's style more to that of CUBE and his school of directly relating the pulse of the street in a NO BULLSHIT PRESENTATION. if anything YG ups that directness with UNRESTRAINED FLAIR, BRAVADO and SELF-AWARENESS of the inherent ABSURDITY of it all. his music videos often play up this SURREAL nature of his LYRICAL CONTENT, which involves the HORROR, KINSHIP and MORAL QUANDARIES that define GANG LIFE in south central LOS ANGELES.
i wouldnt state that he is necessarily celebrating or glamorizing GANG LIFE, but merely reporting on it in a MATTER-OF-FACT MANNER. it is what it is and such is his COMMUNITY. if outside people want to draw conclusions and judge such than they should consider their own culpability in the manufacturing of a society over generations of AMERICAN history that has limited opportunity and gutted the social fabric of minorities of every spectrum. if anything, his COMMUNITY is a source of IDENTITY, EMPOWERMENT and ART in his LYRICS, MUSIC and VISUAL PRESENTATION.
his work may be a bit CONTROVERSIAL but i feel strongly that YG is one of the most EXCITING rappers to come along in recent memory and is most definitely worth checking out.