On Aug. 30 rapper YG will perform at the Made In America festival in Los Angeles. Ahead of his performance, YG visited The Recording Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., to participate in an exclusive interview with Nick Huff Barili of HardKnock.TV, discussing his musical beginnings and his recording process with Los Angeles producer DJ Mustard, among other topics.
"We [were] locked in the studio for [about] six months," said YG. "[DJ Mustard] knows how I like to do music; I know how he likes to do music. I trust what he says, he trusts what I say so he can get the best out of me [and] I can get the best out of him."
Born Keenon Jackson in Compton, Calif., YG created buzz on the Internet with singles such as "She A Model" and "Aim Me," which led to a deal with Def Jam Recordings in 2009. A year later his breakthrough single "Toot It And Boot It" (featuring singer Ty Dolla Sign) cracked the Billboard Hot 100. In 2011 he was included on XXL Magazine's annual Top Ten Freshman list with fellow Compton native GRAMMY- nominated rapper Kendrick Lamar, among others. In 2012 he released the DJ Mustard-produced hit "Snitches Ain't..." featuring rappers Tyga, Nipsey Hussle and Snoop Dogg. Together with DJ Mustard, YG helped popularize so-called "ratchet music," a subgenre of West Coast hip-hop that mixes G-funk, Bay Area and Atlanta sounds.
YG's debut studio album, My Krazy Life, was released in March and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Co-produced by DJ Mustard, the album features 14 tracks, including "Really Be (Smokin N Drinkin)" (featuring Lamar), as well as the hits "My Hitta" (featuring Jeezy and Rich Homie Quan) and "Who Do You Love?" (featuring GRAMMY winner Drake).