In Boyz N the Hood, Doughboy and Tre were haunted by demons of the same inner-city struggle. The main difference? Their methods of survival.
One could say the same thing about YG and Kendrick Lamar. The former's debut album My Krazy Life reflects Doughboy, while Lamar's Good Kid, M.A.A.D. city updates Tre.
YG's album was released last week and has garnered overwhelmingly positive reviews.
“We studied. We did a lot of studying. He studied a lot of Dre. I studied everybody,” said DJ Mustard. “From Biggie to Pac to Snoop. We really did our homework. We came to play ball this time.”
M.A.A.D City painted the picture of a good yet impressionable kid in tough circumstances. By contrast, the story of YG's constant battles with his mother, his own infidelity and other obstacles take inspiration from actual chapters in the life of the rapper born Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson.
Throughout Boyz N the Hood, the chemistry between Tre (played by Cuba Gooding, Jr.) and Doughboy (played by Ice Cube) was vital because of the perspectives each painted; one who lived the “thug life” and the other who examined it from the sidelines.
Over the course of My Krazy Life's 24-hour storyline, YG participates in gangsta parties, side chick sex, hitting licks, shootouts with friends turned enemies and jail stints. The album's energy is undeniable. YG is misogynistic, captivating, paranoid, introspective and brazen, to a potentially fatal fault.
As for Kendrick – he bears witness. He's an unflappable reporter, depicting stories from the cracks in his own pavement. See GKMC's most transparent moment, “Sing About Me,” whose first verse mirrors a situation identical to Tre and Dough's.
Other similarities exist, too, like the schizophrenia on YG's “Really Be (Smokin' N' Drinkin')” featuring Kendrick and well-placed Jay Rock and Drake features on both projects.
Ultimately, YG and K-Dot are bonded by their scarred Compton upbringings. Doughboy lamented on the same sentiment the morning after his brother Ricky's murder, famously declaring to Tre, “Either they don't know, don't show or don't care about what's going on in the hood.”
Compton, however, remains a hotbed for musical creativity. Good Kid, M.A.A.D City is a modern-day beacon of such. As for Krazy Life, Kendrick's confident. “He comes from a real place, a real lifestyle 'cause I seen him out there. That's a whole 'nother feeling. Nothing but success, I already know what it's gon' do.”
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