My Krazy Life enjoys pre-robbery banter, the way Snoop Doggy Dogg’s debut Doggystyle relished sordid tales of niggas screwing hoes and hoes screwing niggas. Here home invasions are schemed, ratchet parties are attended and of course YG gotta find time to ride with the crew. These innocuous moments lead to a couple break-ins and all of a sudden the consequences have caught up to Keenon “YG” Jackson. But, Keenon doesn’t languish in those repercussions, instead he enjoys every illegal second spent on minor thefts and eating out his side chick.
My nigga, my nigga, welcome back to the block.
YG ‘s rap career dates back to late 2000s when kids in L.A. were still jerkin in neon colored skinny jeans and “Ratchet” was still Boosie’s dance. Having grown up on a mic this last half decade, YG finally found a non-Ty$ or DJ Mustard indebted voice, which wasn’t fully formed in his “Toot It and Boot It” days. This post-N.W.A. gangster rapper wasn’t even formed as “My Nigga” moved from a viral to Top 40 hit. My Krazy Life shows gangsterism that YG hinted at before, but never with this level of detail. ”Meet the Flockers,” for example, is a step-by-step home invasion record that’d make one think he and Tee Cee recorded the track when L.A. was stilling rioting.
Though YG and DJ Mustard have been paired most of their professional careers, My Krazy Life has some of the best producer and rapper chemistry since Waka Flocka Flame’s Flockaveli, where he and Lex Luger laid and perfected a Neo-Crunk style. The traditional minimalism of DJ Mustard is still here, but as the album’s primary producer Mustard leans on 90s G-Funk flourishes to accent his usual paired down tracks. “Do It To Ya” exemplifies this as a slinky sample of The Dogg Pound’s “Let’s Play House” lingers with YG and TeeFlii trying their best to keep up with the original track’s raunch.
The prototypical gangster rap form YG assumes for this album almost feels like a welcome retrograde stylistic return into the rap landscape. Where the little gangster rap that does get play on the radio right now creates unrealistic stakes, YG doesn’t have an eight digital bank account, he has six figures at Bank of America. Despite what the narrative arc might imply, this album isn’t showy with its ambitious: there aren’t multi-part songs, major and minor character or even any names given beyond his own of Keenon Jackson. My Krazy Life instead of folding under narrative bloat; it keeps most songs under three minutes before rushing to the next skit. But once “Sorry Momma” appears at the end, YG lingers on the phone: confessing, regretting and seeking out the one he should’ve heeded.
"You gonna end up in jail like your motherfuckin daddy" - Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson’s mother.
But a stupid street scrap doesn’t result in a life sentence. Fresh from jail the Deluxe Edition of My Krazy Life gives Keenon Jackson a chance to get some shit off his chest. “When I Was Gone” places our narrator and his longtime bros (R.J., Tee Cee, Charlie Hood, Reem Riches and Slim 400) complaining about the girls that left their dumb asses as they sat behind bars. It’s all very petty, but when YG dismisses his mother’s advice to forgive a former lover, the wounds that were fresh on “Sorry Momma” have clearly scabbed over. “Bompton” puts YG back on his chest-pumping bullshit with one of the harshest beats in Mustard’s catalogue; then the album’s true closer: “My Nigga (Remix)” lets it be known, for better or probably just worse, YG ain’t changed and is fine with blooding his hands to prove it. Time is a flat circle.