When YG first came to the hip-hop landscape in 2010 with his song “Toot it and Boot It,” there were some questions as to whether he would be a great lyricist. A decade has passed and YG is not Kendrick Lamar or Juice WRLD when it comes to lyrics, but he has found his place in hip-hop writing lyrics from his heart and about his life in Los Angeles.
With his latest project “My Life 4Hunnid,” YG raps about topics ranging from police brutality to spending time with women. The result is an album that has a strong message but could have used some fine tuning.
The opening track “Jealous” is bragadocious and reminiscent of a classic Three Six Mafia song. Unfortunately, YG’s lyrics are underwhelming and don’t really have a message outside of him flexing his rise from the bottom.
YG is at his best when he is focusing on social issues and has a consistent tone on a song. The song that best fits this description is “FTP.” Not only is it the best song off the album, it also has clever punchlines and excellent structuring. Lines like, “Oh they mad, f**k it, let’s make ’em mad
/ (Let’s make ’em mad) / Without that badge, you’s a b***h and a half,” show YG’s wit at addressing a serious issue like police brutality.
There are also some featured artists on this album that help out YG. Artists like Ty Dolla $ign and Gunna who appear on the track “Surgery” add their own signature melodies to a laid-back instrumental. The lead guitar on the song has an eerily similar chord structure to “Without Me” by Halsey. Unlike that song, YG and company manage to keep the song low-key.
Not all of the features mesh well with YG, however. On the track “Thug Kry” featuring Calboy and Lil Mosey, the mixture of YG’s west coast sound mixed with modern melodic rapping is questionable. Mosey’s vocals are weirdly wispy for the first-half of his verse and he seems lost. Calboy’s vocals were mediocre and did little to excite me. YG attempts to be melodic with his flow and it is admirable that he is trying to be experimental. However, his melodies are not up to par with rappers like Lil Tjay or Roddy Ricch.
“My Life 4Hunnid” is an interesting turn in YG’s career. He has successfully proved doubters wrong about his lyrical abilities. With that being said, his latest record is weighed down by mediocre tracks with bland features.
This is by no means a bad album. In fact, the song “Out on Bail” is one of the catchiest songs of the year and displays YG’s best hook since “FDT.”
If YG had a consistent message throughout the album and got better rappers to feature on certain tracks, this would have been in contention for album of the year. “My Life 4Hunnid” wants to tell a compelling story of YG’s life and everything he has been through, but it falls short on delivering a consistent project with a clear message.