Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Album review: YG, My Krazy Life

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Album cover for My Krazy Life.
Album cover for My Krazy Life.

Most rappers are prone to a little narcissism, and YG (it stands for Young Gangsta) is no different.

In the build-up to the release of his studio debut, the Compton 24-year-old compared himself to rap icons such as Nas, Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre. He's got an inflated ego for sure, but judging by My Krazy Life, Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson isn't kidding around.

Two years in the making, the mixtape king's star-studded, G-funk-indebted sprawling studio debut is damn near a gangsta rap classic, easily delivering a masterclass in hip-hop that will be on many a best-of this year.

YG's debt to West Coast rap is undeniable, but he owns his influences, nailing a terrifying early morning crime spree over the minimalist bass thuds of 1AM, starting parties with the one-two punch of Left Right, making the off kilter synth-laced lope of Bicken Back Being Bool work wonders, and thrilling with the menacing piano romp Who Do You Love?

There are plenty of very important rappers showing up here, but YG holds his own against all of them - Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, Drake and Schoolboy Q included. It's early days, but this Young Gangsta is already krazy good - and he's only going to get better with age.

Verdict: His ego's huge, but he's got rhyme skills that thrill
Click here to buy My Krazy Life.

- TimeOut

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