The first ever simultaneous men and rookies of the year

This year, while many felt that mainstream Hip-Hop took a backseat to the underground and alternative lanes that have fueled it for so long, three guys from Los Angeles said ‘yeah, right,’ and dominated from start to finish. It was refreshing to watch, listen to, experience, purchase and party to the result of stringent work ethics that not only came to fruition at the same time, but together. All year long, YG, Ty Dolla $ign and DJ Mustard joined forces, whether it was on YG’s debut album My Krazy Life, Ty Dolla $ign’s own slew of bangers (“Or Nah”, $ign Language) records (“Or Nah”) or the gazillion hits DJ Mustard produced, not to mention his own album, 10 Summers. They single-handedly changed not just regional radio, but the national sound-scape, all in their first full year in the league.

After much deliberation, debate, argument–and a couple storm-outs–it was decided that for the first time, The Source will have a dual Man and Rookie of the Year–in this case, men and rookies. Inside, the Pushaz Ink trio tell their tale to our writers first as a group, then individually, bringing you 18 pages of quotes, anecdotes and stories to help you understand why 2014 wasn’t just a fluke for these men, it was the foundation of an empire. Check out some excerpts below, purchase your digital copy today (App Store, Kindle Fire, Google Play), and grab your copy on newsstands this Tuesday, December 23.

Also inside, our Year In Review awards for Woman of the Year, R&B Artist of the Year, Verse of the Year and more, a Source Sports section that breaks down the Ray Rice vs Roger Goodell & The NFL fiasco and a Holiday Buyer’s Guide that will help you get super color-coordinated in these freezing temperatures, from tastefully camouflaged crew-neck sweaters to the best varsity jackets have to offer. Also, we talked to DeJ Loaf, OG Maco, London On The Track and more about the whirlwind 2014 they had, Karrueche–before the erm, break-up–and broke down some very high-profile 4th quarter releases, including the Wu-Tang reunion LP and Rick Ross‘ second offering of the year. Our Her Source section is back once again, we take a close look at a very specific call to action following the nation-changing events of Ferguson, Staten Island and more, and before we get ready for #SOURCE360 2015, re-live our 1st annual #SOURCE360 in 5 pages of photos.

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Shot by Anouk Morgan

One thing people might not know about YG:

YG is all-inclusive. Though a member of the Tree Top Piru Bloods, his inner circle includes members from rival gangs–even his mother. “My momma Crip, she from a Crip neighborhood,” he said laughing. His relationships supersede  gang affiliations, which is perhaps how he can seamlessly trade verses with the likes of ScHoolboy Q on his album, who raps the Hoover Street Crip set. “I’m the reason why we got Blood n****s and we got Crip n****s in one click–that’s me,” he proudly exclaimed.

Ty Dolla $ign almost threw it all away:

“I used to produce with this other dude named G Casso, and when he died that f*****d me up. He got killed. He got killed and it f****d me up to where I didn’t even feel like making beats like that, you know, that was another reason why I slowed down.”

Being producer of the year is no joke:

“That’s what a lot of people don’t understand, like, this is more than producing,” he explains. They don’t understand that this is a full-time job. It’s not like I’m just making a beat and Big Sean happens to stumble into the studio. It’s not like that.” […] “People take it lightly. You gotta grind for what you want and really take it to the next level–it’s a different era. It’s really just [about] changing the sound up, not staying the same.”

There’s more.

In honor of YG, Ty and Mustard’s feat, we figured we’d still need to honor them with dual covers. So, presenting the alternative cover, which will be available for digital purchase on Tuesday, December 23.

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Shot by Anouk Morgan

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