Published Jun 17, 2016YG avoids the sophomore slump with Still Brazy by evoking the crown jewels of West Coast hip-hop royalty.
On the lead single "Twist my Fingaz," the "Bompton" native claims to be "the only one that made it out the West without Dre" over a Terrace Martin beat in direct emulation of the Doc's G-Funk sound (the track even samples P-Funk). In fact, many of Still Brazy's sonic highs are fondly reminiscent of L.A.'s golden age, including the freeloader-damning "Gimmie Got Shot" and tale from the 'hood "Bool, Balm & Bollective."
YG displayed a penchant for the cinematic on his acclaimed debut, My Krazy Life, and indulges it again this time around courtesy of a handful of well-placed interludes, and carries Compton's hip-hop torch even without the tried and true synths and Fatback Band samples. Cuts like closers "Blacks & Browns" and "Police Get Away Wit Murder" aren't clones of N.W.A.'s anti-establishment sentiment so much as raw reminders that South Central and its ilk have yet to recover from damage done during the Reagan era. In other words, Still Brazy is L.A. in an audible nutshell, from YG's post-shooting mental breakdown on "Who Shot Me?" to "Twist My Fingaz," which was made to be played in a '64 Chevy.
Boasting both bars and beats that leave the West Coast's patented sound renewed but uncompromised, the album's flaws are limited to a Lil Wayne verse that saps the momentum out of "I Got a Question" and "Word is Bond," rendered filler by the singles and neo-G-Funk that follow it.
With DJ Mustard noticeably absent, Still Brazy manages to avoid the label of golden-age rehash, instead deftly stating that N.W.A.'s Compton has changed very little, if at all. (400/CTE World/Def Jam Recordings)