There are a lot of active artists out there in the music industry. It may seem weird to start off an article with just a statement of fact. But there are just so many artists out there making music for their respective audience. It’s really hard to keep track of all of them. I am not really somebody who actually reviews music by these artists. For the most part, it’s very hard to articulate my thoughts about each track of an album outside of “I like this song. This one, not so much.” I don’t have the kind of vocabulary you would often see in those kinds of reviews.
One of the genres I don’t often listen to is rap. There’s just not much in the genre that has gotten me hooked. I have listened to a few rap songs. But more often that not, it’s usually the ones that get played a lot on the radio. Even then, I don’t really remember much of those songs once they’ve finished playing. So whenever I find out about any artist that I am not familiar with, I am always a bit surprised when I find out that they’ve actually been industry for quite a few years. Case in point: the rapper YG.
Weirdly enough, I am more familiar with the Korean entertainment company YG Entertainment more than the rapper YG. Obviously, the entertainment company and the rapper have nothing in common other than those two letters. YG was roughly five years old when the Korean company was first founded. So they’ve both been in the world for a while. There isn’t much about to know about his childhood other than he was born in Compton, California. There are of different notable personalities, largely African-American, who have either been born or raised in that city.
YG, like a lot of rappers, first started their music careers with a mixtape. At the time he started releasing music on his own, there were a few digital platforms where you could buy his music. For the most part, streaming platforms weren’t the big thing that it was in 2010. The way artists would earn money from their works was through digital sales for the most part. I guess you could still sell physical copies of your music in stores. But the internet was sort of one of the best places to release stuff aside from the radio. His single “Toot It and Boot It” that he did with Ty Dolla Sign managed to get on the Billboard Hot 100 on the 67th spot.
He consistently released through under Pushaz Ink. Though it wasn’t really an actualy record label. He attempted to start one with Ty Dolla Sign and DJ Mustard, who were the ones who wrote Toot It and Boot It, but the process of finding another label to distribute it didn’t really work out. And some of the people in the roster for Pushaz Ink had parted ways with them. Still, the Pushaz Ink brand was still part of most of his mixtape releases. It was until he got signed to Def Jam that he started having a major label handling the marketing for his debut album My Krazy Life in 2014. Looking at his discography, YG has managed to get most of his major label releases on the Billboard 200 charts. Some of them also have certifications like platinum for My Krazy Life and gold for his later releases. He also has a few gold and multiple platinum certified singles.
Shortly after the release of his debut album under a major label, YG restarted his plans to have his own label. In August 2016, he started 4Hunnid Records. Even though YG was signed to Def Jam Records, the distribution for the albums released under 4Hunnid were handled by Interscope Records which, along with Def Jam Records, operate within the Universal Music Group. All of the releases he did soon after establishing his own label were in conjunction with his label deal. Though it seems that he and Def Jam parted ways in 2020. His soon-to-be released album I Got Issues is distributed by 4Hunnid and Epic Records. Even then, YG has managed to amass a net worth of about $2,500,000.
Although 4Hunnid started off mainly as a record label, it seems like they sort of expanded to also become a general lifestyle brand. Looking at the pieces that’s on the website, it’s mostly streetwear that’s inspired by the community that he lived in. I did forget to mention that apparently YG was a gang member.
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