YG’s 4REAL 4REAL Does Not Know if it Wants to be Classic or Cringeworthy

4REAL 4REAL is the fourth, full-length studio album from west coast hip-hop phenom, YG. YG returns to the hip-hop scene after a near 365-day hiatus since he dropped his last album, Stay Dangerous. Stay Dangerous was quite underwhelming as YG faded away from the nostalgic sound that makes west coast hip-hop the iconic subgenre that it is. Instead, YG turned more towards the mainstream, trendy sound of trap music and truly was the sellout artist of 2018 as he would get massive radio plays and even had a song featured on EA Sports’ Madden 19 video game. On YG’s previous projects such as My Krazy Life and Still Brazy, he was carrying the “gangsta rap” torch and brought back the ’90s west-coast hip-hop sound that was made famous from artists like Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Too Short. Tracks like “Left, Right” and “Who Do You Love?” will go down in west coast hip-hop lore and played for years down the line. 2019 bring us 4REAL 4REAL and I must say that I am flabbergasted by the inconsistent quality of this project from start to finish.

Prior to the release of 4REAL 4REAL, YG dropped the track “Go Loko” that is a clear representation of cultural appropriation since last time I checked, YG is not Hispanic. It is a cringe-worthy track as any track that features the likes of Tyga is bound to induce cringe in listeners. A week later, YG released the second promotional single of the album with an absolute banger in “Stop Snitchin”. While repetitive and minimalist, the track plays a teaser that YG could be returning to his sound that we heard earlier in the decade and the best parts of 4REAL 4REAL are when YG goes back to the vintage sound that brought him into the spotlight. Tracks like “Keshia Had a Baby”, “Play Too Much” and “Do Yo Dance” could have definitely been released back in the ’90s if you did not know any better. They are superb songs that give old-school, hip-hop fans something to be excited about on this project, but unfortunately, these tracks will be overshadowed by some really dreadful tracks that will more than likely get more plays than these. “Bottle Service” is a repetitive track with a corny hook and the gold standard for basic trap instrumentals. “In the Dark” sounds like something that fellow California rapper, Blueface would release. Do not get me started on Blueface. “Go Loko” is unfortunately on this project. Kamaiyah and G-Eazy provide features on the track “Do Not Disturb” that sounds like a ghastly cover of “Who Do You Love” with the piano chords.

I do believe that this is a slight step above Stay Dangerous for YG but as a single unit, I do not know what YG was going for because there are tracks that are way too formulaic and tracks that are actually of superb quality. I am at the point where I no longer look forward to listening to a YG project as he has proven over the last two years that his peak was in 2016.

Richest Tracks: “Hard Bottoms & White Socks”, “Stop Snitchin”, “Keshia Had a Baby”, “Heart 2 Heart”, “Play Too Much”, “Do Yo Dance”

Worst Tracks: “Go Loko”, “In the Dark”, “I Was on the Block”, “Bottle Service”, “Do Not Disturb”

Rating: 6/10

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4REAL 4REAL album cover

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