Keenon Jackson entered into the mainstream world of Hip Hop at the prime age of 19 with his hit song, “Toot it and Boot it”. The Compton native, known by his stage name, YG, signed with Def Jam the same year thanks to his friend and producer Tydolla$ign who was already signed to the label. YG released his mixtape 4 Fingaz the year before, but it was a hit track that made him a commercial hit. He wasn’t done creating and developing his sound and released a mixtape every year since The Real 4fingaz mixtape in 2010. The question on everyone’s mind was when he would be releasing his debut album. Five mixtapes into his career and the West Coast rapper was still not ready to release an album.
He pushed the pause button to an album and focused on his own record label, Pu$haz Ink he started with producer DJ Mustard, along with his clothing line 4hunnid. With the release of his latest mixtape, Just Re’d Up 2, YG publicly stated in a few interviews that he was finally ready to release his first studio album. He decided to title the debut album Welcome to Bompton which is a nod to his gang affiliates. YG explains the letter change from a “C” to a “B,” as this, “Where I’m from we change our B’s to C’s, its no disrespect, it’s just how we do.” This is a part of the gang lifestyle he’s grown up with on the streets in Compton. There is a street etiquette to which he respects and displays his loyalty with even a simple letter change. To YG the LA lifestyle is the structure that brings everything in his music together. He says, “LA is gang banging. That’s the cut. It’s not cool and it’s nothing to brag about, but that’s what it is.”
YG is focused on releasing a debut album that West Coast Hip Hop can be proud of. he used his mixtapes as a stepping stone to reach a level in which he would finally be at the point to release a studio album. When asked why he’s waited five years to release the project he simply says, “I was just not ready until now. I grew up, I matured, and now we know the sound. We got it on lock.” The Compton rapper found himself creating his Cali street style with mixtapes like 4Fingaz, Just Re Up’d, 4 Hunnid Degreez, and the latest Just Re’d Up 2. He’s developed relationships with many artists he’s featured from Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, and 2 Chainz which only helped him further prepare for the album.
YG worked with a solid number of artists on his Just Re’d Up 2 mixtape, and built a strong relationship with ATL rapper Young Jeezy. the rapper was featured on YG’s “Playin'” track with Wiz Khalifa. While in the studio, Jeezy offered to come on board as executive producer on Welcome to Bompton. YG comments, “Jeezy’s wants to help me make a classic album.” YG plans on making his hard street sound that his fans love on this album, but this time he plans to add more. “This album is going to be different from my mixtapes, because I’m going to tell my story. People are going to be more about me from this album. My debut album is going to be my introduction to the world.”
-Geneva Perezcastaneda (@GeevaBeba)