YG puts up a crazy-good performance in “I Got Issues.”
5. How To Rob A Rapper (Ft. Mozzy & D3szn)
Every single rapper that likes to wear jewelry needs to take notes while they listen to “How To Rob A Rapper.”
RIP to PnB Rock. As you may know by now, a few weeks ago, he was senselessly gunned down by some alleged robbers at Roscoe’s Chicken n-Waffles in South Central. So many people online had something to say about the way PnB and his girlfriend moved that day; I say the whole situation was unfortunate. With that being said, in “How To Rob A Rapper,” YG, Mozzy, and D3szn hit us with lyrics that highlight how robbers around their way think. While I feel like their lyrics are mainly theoretical, it is pretty chilling hearing them talk about that s**t.
4. I Dance (Ft. DuKi & Cuco)
Why is YG so good at hip-hop and Latin fusions?
One thing that I really like about California is how much they embrace their Mexican community. Hell, don’t be surprised if more people in Southern California root for Mexico than the US in the upcoming World Cup. An LA rapper that has done a great job of embracing Latin music is YG. Remember, his “Loco” track with Tyga was a major hit. “I Dance” is just as good as “Loko.” Matter of fact, I think “I Dance” is a little catchier, a little more romantic, and a little more authentic. I literally got jiggy listening to this s**t.
3. No Weapon
Nas’ presence provokes YG to drop one of his best verses to date.
In “No Weapon,” YG lets it be known that the streets don’t love no one. Over the song’s horn-heavy beat, the Compton rapper continuously talks about his experiences in the hood, holding zero back. Nas completes the track with a wise verse that echoes YG’s.
2. Sober (Ft. Post Malone & Roddy Ricch)
Chief Keef definitely warned us that being sober sucks.
While listening to “Sober,” I realized one thing that YG and I have in common: We are both hard to handle when we’re drunk. In the song, YG and featured guests Post Malone and Roddy Ricch sing passionately about their own experiences with their chicks when they had a little too much to drink. Throughout the song, you get lots of passion, sneaky braggadocios lyrics, and honest thoughts.
1. Scared Money (Ft. J. Cole & MoneyBagg Yo)
Damn, I wish I was rich.
Don’t you love it when your favorite rappers become unrelatable? Remember, there was once a time in which YG, MoneyBagg Yo, and J. Cole were all hungry rappers that fought for our attention; nowadays, they are self-made millionaires that talk s**t that burn unrich people’s souls. With that being said, if you are the jealous type, I recommend that you stay away from “Scared Money.”
“Scared Money” is definitely a triller, more polished version of the famous “na na na boo boo” song. Throughout the track, YG, MoneyBagg Yo, and J. Cole brag about their womanizing, money-making, big spending, and boss ways. While YG’s verse is more on the vicious side, Cole kills ’em with sly and snarky bars and MoneyBagg Yo kills ’em with saucy bars. Overall, the song has something for every kind of rap fan on the planet.
F**k it, I’m about to put 5 dollars on the Jets winning the Super Bowl (You ain’t about to call my money scared).
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. Issues (3.5/5)
2. Baby Momma (2.5/5)
3. Toxic (3.5/5)
4. Maniac (3.5/5)
5. How To Rob A Rapper (Ft. Mozzy & D3szn) (4/5)
6. I Dance (Ft. DuKi & Cuco) (4/5)
7. Scared Money (Ft. J. Cole & MoneyBagg Yo) (4.5/5)
8. Go Dumb (Ft. H.E.R.) (3.5/5)
9. No Love (3.5/5)
10. Sober (Ft. Roddy Ricch & Post Malone) (4/5)
11. Drink To This (4/5)
12. No Weapon (Ft. Nas) (4/5)
13. Alone (4/5)
14. Killa Cali (4/5)
One of hip-hop’s biggest secrets is that YG makes very good albums. I Got Issues is not only good, but it’s also a project that indicates how much he has grown as an artist.
Production: Do you know what I love about YG? He is so unapologetically LA. I feel like the only beats that excite him have Cali vibes attached to them. While you get a bunch of those kinds of beats on I Got Issues, he does also do some work over beats that are jazzy, R&B-influenced, and Latin-inspired. Way to mix it up, YG!
Guest Appearances: I think the guest appearances on this album are pretty good. YG did a great job of mixing it up with artists that he’s familiar with (Mozzy, H.E.R., and Roddy Ricch), while he also did work with artists that he’s not quite familiar with (J. Cole, Nas, MoneyBagg Yo, and Post Malone). I love it when artists both challenge themselves and stay true to their go-to sound.
The Performances: In this album, YG is comical, he’s blunt, he plays a robber, he plays an activist, he plays a womanizer, he plays a gangbanger, and he claims to be an alcoholic. The level of rawness that he approached this album with caught my attention. Aside from his many different hats, I think on songs like “Drink To This” and “No Weapon” you get strong rap verses out of YG that prove that he could go toe to toe with the best of them.
The biggest thing I would change: I wish that the album started off a little stronger. I get why he added tracks like “Baby Momma” and “Toxic” to I Got Issues; I just felt like he could’ve put those songs deeper into the album. Once the album really gets going, it becomes something really good.
The biggest reason you should listen to this album: It’s a well-crafted, down-to-earth body of work that accurately describes the life and times of a heartbreaker/hood savant/father of two. Though the album may not be as exciting as the other albums you’ve heard this year, it is something refreshingly genuine.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.