Concert Reviews

YG's Cross-Country Attack on Trump Hits Dallas

With Sad Boy, RJ, Slim 400 and more
South Side Music Hall, Dallas
Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016

YG’s Fuck Donald Trump Tour is a battle cry that the West Coast rapper has adopted at the peak of campaign season. But on Tuesday night at South Side Music Hall, politics wasn’t the only meme the multi-faceted rapper indulged as he demonstrated why he’s one of the most dynamic figures in hip-hop today.

Lying on a gurney in the middle of the stage, the 26-year-old Compton (or Bombton, as he prefers to call it) rapper asked the audience, “Who shot me?” It’s a question YG’s been asking himself for over a year since he was caught in the crossfire of a shootout at a Los Angeles recording studio in 2015.

Rapping about being shot is standard fodder for gangsta rappers, but YG’s take on the song is what sets him apart. The slow-tempo track featuring familiar g-funk bass and keys of the classic West Coast sound offers an insight into YG’s psyche as he questions if he deserved to be shot for his behavior, his paranoia about being set up by his friends and asking if it was just his time to go.

Storytelling has been a staple of YG’s success and it’s why his debut album My Krazy Life was so critically acclaimed as it focused on a 24-hour period of life in Compton. On his sophomore album Still Brazy, YG continues the storytelling narratives but makes it more personal as he speaks on the emotional tolls life in Compton, police brutality and the current political climate have taken on him.

Between songs most of YG’s banter focused on the Republican Party presidential candidate, often yelling out “Fuck Donald Trump” and asking the audience to follow suit, and they were more than happy to comply. He even took it upon himself to ask everyone if they were registered to vote and when he saw some sheepish replies he aggressively made it clear how important it was to be registered for this election.
YG wasn’t oblivious to his audience, though. He knew they were there to have fun. “I know y’all wanna get drunk, turn up and get sweaty,” he said at one point.

With that he ran through a string of his hits, such as “Who Do You Love,” “My N***a,” “Bicken Back Bein Bool” and “Why You Hatin?” These songs have made him a star, earning him radio play and millions of views on YouTube, but YG’s catalog boasts a balance of true-to-hip-hop storytelling tracks and club bangers that few artists can pull off. On stage his mood doesn’t change no matter the subject matter of the song. In crisp, cuffed khakis and red Converse he blood walked across the stage, twisting his fingers with a breezy demeanor the whole night.

By the end of his 60-minute set, the crowd began to grow restless and yelled, “Where’s the piñata?” Laughing because he realized the audience saw videos of previous sets, YG obliged and brought out the Donald Trump piñata and invited several folks from the crowd on stage to bust it open with YG taking the first swing. After clearing the stage, YG went into “FDT,” the song on his album that he named the tour after.

Not only was L.A. rapper Sad Boy one of the show’s openers, but YG brought him out again to perform “Blacks and Browns” from Still Brazy. Sad Boy was just one of YG’s openers that gave the night a legitimate sample of the West Coast’s hip-hop scene. RJ, Slim 400 and Kamaiyah rounded out the tour openers with Curtis Mayz and Star 214 representing the local openers.

During the show he let everyone know Still Brazy was voted the 6th best album of the year so far by Billboard and hopes it will earn him a Grammy. YG is a rare breed of rapper who possesses a wide range of skills and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him earn a Grammy nomination.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Mikel Galicia is a trap scholar, the softest writer on the scene and his photo game is jumping out the gym. His work has been published in Sports Illustrated, ESPN and every major Dallas publication.