For the past 5 years, the term YG has become more than the general title for a Young Gangster--specifically, a blood. Since dropping "Toot it and Boot it", the Bompton (no typo) rapper has been preparing for a event like last night's; the official listening party for his debut album "My Krazy Life." If you've ever been to a party in the hood, you might be able to anticipate what happened outside the off-Fairfax boutique. For those who haven't had the pleasure, refer to the BBQ at the park in "Menace 2 Society" for context of what the South Central (Bentral, if you're YG) flavored night entailed. Plus it was the young emcee's 24th birthday, so it was pretty much a hood function from the get-go.
Spray-painted black letters--in the font you'd find on trashcans and walls in the hood-- at the HVW8 Gallery on Melrose welcomed patrons to the exclusive celebratory event. Inside the pop-up gallery, below monochrome pictures of YG shot by West Coast photographer Mike Miller and above hi-top Chucks were the titles of the tracks to be featured on the album, dropping March 18th.
On into the al fresco main room for the night was the backyard boogie portion of the listening party. As the crowd warmed themselves up for the birthday boy with margaritas and 40s, the room filled with all types from familiar faces like Far East Movement members and Power 106 DJs to intimidating mugs like those worn by the guys under their Cincinnati hats.
The night's turn-up potential sweltered as the drinks were poured into custom Styrofoam cups with the "My Krazy Life" inscribed, blunts were burned, and tacos were served while a DJ played the ratchet shit we love to hear on the weekends. After a short introduction by media maiden Karen Civil, YG emerged in a Joyrich lettermen's jacket with his ace DJ Mustard. Along with them was Crenshaw's own Nipsey Hussle and the gold loving Trinidad Jame$.
Cell phones ascended as YG played the intro, a pep-talk from his mom, who stood on stage with him. Every couple songs, would summarize the concept of the tracks with an understanding that only the artist could truly articulate. As we went further into the album, the stories behind the lyrics and those involved with the illicit recapitulations became more illustrated. We could credit this to chugging of the tequila bottle in YG's hand throughout the night. After a wickedly detailed account of an event that landed the tipsy TreeTop Piru member in jail, one his comrades yells, "you want to go to jail, huh?"
The same guy would later yell, "you gone get us bracked, blood!" meaning he would get them cracked by the police, following another revealing exploit the Bompton natives found themselves engaged in.
By the time, the single featuring Drake, "Who Do You Love" played, YG was calling out his homies for everything from being in love to only coming around when convenient letting them know how they'd become the guys who didn't want to hear about themselves, while the audience had just become flies on the wall at a private YG birthday party.
His final song played was an ode to his mother whom he admitted to putting through hell, which he sang to her. Aww's echoed through the crowed as he rapped the song to her, tears filling up her eyes. The quintessential West Coast neighborhood night soon concluded but not before a 20-minute shout-out session that left out the performance of one last song. Likely, "My Nigga" since it'd been skipped over during the play of the latest introspective West Coast depiction.
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Random Notebook Dump: As a blood, YG often substitutes the Cs in his vocabulary for Bs as homage to his affiliation with his family/
Favorite Part of the Night: When the tipsy YG started rapping a line from the track "I'm from Bompton", the crowd starting rapping along eventually going back and forth line-for-line with for the whole song.