YG – “I Got Issues” review

YG is a 32 year old MC from Compton, California who came up in 2009 off his debut mixtape 4Fingaz. This was followed up with 3 more tapes prior to Jeezy discovering him in 2013 & landing him a deal with his Def Jam Recordings imprint CTE World. YG’s potential would begin to show in the form of his full-length debut My Krazy Life & came into his own on the sophomore effort Still Brazy launching his own label 400 Records around that same time period, but the next 3 albums Stay Dangerous as well as 4Real 4Real & My Life 400 all received mixed to poor responses to the point where even YG himself has publicly acknowledged I Got Issues to be his official 3rd album & that increased the optimism I already had going into it considering how much I enjoyed “Sign Language” even though it was only a loosie & even “Alone”.

“Issues” is a glossy yet bassy opener to the album with YG boasting whereas “Baby Momma” is a bitter ex-boyfriend temper tantrum with a piano instrumental. “Toxic” samples the Mary J. Blige joint “Be Happy” talking about that’s all they wants in life prior to the deranging “Maniac” produced by Hit-Boy calling out those who say he lost his mind. Meanwhile on “How to Rob a Rapper”, we have Mozzy & D3SZN coming into the picture over some g-funk production teaching y’all the titular subject leading into the reggaeton/rap fusion “I Dance” with Duki talking about dancing. J. Cole & Moneybagg Yo tag along for the mediocre trap cut “Scared Money” flexing their wealth, but then “Go Dumb” is a decent R&B durt with H.E.R..

“No Love” returns to the g-funk interpolating “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” by Bobby Bland & some fresh spoken word pieces from Suga Free while “Sober” with Post Malone & Roddy Ricch feels like an uninspired rap anthem. “Drink to This” reps the westside over a smooth beat while the song “No Weapon” with Nas finds the 2 over some horns talking about how the streets don’t love nobody. The penultimate track “Alone” was a thoughtful, ghostly-produced, conscious-laced choice for the 2nd to final single prior to the album & “Killa Cali” ends the album with a chill ode to the titular state.

As underwhelming as his material post-Still Brazy has been, I think that I Got Issues is a pretty decent listen from start to finish & a step in the right direction for him. Some of the more mainstream cuts don’t really do it for me, but the g-funk/gangsta rap joints á la [i]Still Brazy[/i] are more up my alley.

Score: 3/5

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