There is nothing more satisfying in hip-hop than when an up-and-coming rapper locks in with an equally as ambitious producer, resulting in a uniquely intertwined sound that shifts the needle in the culture.
This is a dynamic as old as hip-hop itself, and when talking specifically about West Coast hip-hop producer/rapper combos, the likes Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre come to mind as pioneers the iconic West Coast bounce.
Fast-forward to the 2010s, where another duo have been honing in on those classic G-funk sonics while taking it to new heights. Indeed, YG and Mustard have been collaborators, friends and two the most influential artists to bubble out the SoCal area over the past decade. Despite hitting a little turbulence with a mild beef in 2015, the two have kept the momentum booming out Bompton and beyond with a synergy unlike any other. The combination YG’s menacing gangster raps and Mustard’s anthem-like rhythms makes for standout hit records, as well as ferocious deep cuts.
The two have countless records together, now even more with the release YG’s third studio album Stay Dangerous — all which help solidify their bond and build their legacy.
Billboard narrowed down their illustrious catalog, picking their 10 best collab tracks. Check out the list below.
10. “Left Right”
“Left Right” was a smash single from YG’s acclaimed debut My Krazy Life. The beat, provided by Mustard course, is more thunderous than what we've come to expect from his usual arsenal sounds. The drums hit a little harder, and he even adds in a short little violin arrangement at the end that seamlessly wraps up the booty-shaking anthem with a red bow bandana. Mustard also drops in his signature hi-hats, claps and “hey” chant, to which YG perfectly crafts a short, simple chant-a-long track that will live in the clubs forever.
One YG’s first ferings was the 2009 street favorite tape The Real 4 Fingaz, which was centered around the Mustard produced “Glowin.” This is perhaps one Mustard’s most unconventional beats – using more moody melodies and less dry bounce. YG also styled on the track with less abrasive intensity, instead opting for tenderer rhyming. Not only was this song a stepping stone for both Mustard’s beats and YG’s bars, but its replay value in 2018 speaks volumes to their undeniable chemistry.
8.“Bicken Back Being Bool”
This track ended up being one My Krazy Life’s most formidable album cuts and featured the most traditional Mustard beats. The main melody bass synth is hoppy, looped and amplified by big bass and spray claps. This also happens to be one YG’s best displays lyricism, as he details his quite literal “krazy life.” Bars like “I used to rob n—-s/That's probably why they try to rob my style/And karma is a motherfuckin' biatch/You got your homie in jail, you sniatch/All in the court telling the judge who it is/Like a bitch when you get to the pen, n—-s on your wig” paint a more than vivid picture YG’s Compton carry-ons.
7. "Suu Whoop"
YG’s latest album Stay Dangerous isn’t as packed with Mustard beats as My Krazy Life, but it does have a few cuts that both fulfill their classic tandem sound and evolve their musical repertoire. “Suu Whoop” plays heavier on the trap side, with Mustard serving up rattling 808 drums, a wavy baseline and scathing hi-hats. YG gets f his best blood gang bars f in a tight three minutes. Before he jumps into the “suu whoop” chant, YG proclaims, “YG 4Hunnid chunkin' big P's/N—-s went quiet, then Mustard did the beat.” The rest is history.
YG has been killing mixtapes since the early ‘00s and one his most dense projects was 2012’s 4Hunnid Degreez which featured the pulsating “Grindmode.” 2 Chainz and Nipsey Hussle joins YG for some pleasantly surprising rapid-fire braggadocios raps, which is only made possible by Mustard’s machine gun speed hi-hats and haunting keys. The entire mixtape, but specifically this track, was detrimental to YG’s growth as a spitter. Had he not attempted these lyrical exercises across the tape’s 22 tracks, My Krazy Life might not have been as well-balanced.
5. “Bitches Ain’t Shit”
“Bitches Ain’t Shit” is a dangerously iconic song in not only YG’s catalog but for all other parties involved. This was the song that propelled YG into the spotlight, confirmed Tyga and Nipsey Hussle’s feature-verse prowess and allowed Mustard to prove himself as a certified hit maker. The chopped and repeated “bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks” chorus infectiously stuck its way into the heads everyone who listened. The high pitched keys are piercing, the hi-hats are quick and the paced clap evokes Chuck Taylor toe tapping and slow low-riding. This song has become a West Coast anthem thanks to YG and Mustard’s cohesive ability to get the party popping.
4. "My N—-" ("My Hitta")
Arguably the biggest song in YG’s catalog, this was the smash single that My Krazy Life revolved around. Mustard steps slightly out his comfort zone and drafts up an ominous baseline with echoing bells layered over top. But a hot beat is nothing without strong songwriting, and in 2014, YG had already perfected writing a hit record. Nabbing Rich Homie Quan and Jeezy to provide even more street cred, this homie-heavy anthem had crews everywhere preaching loyalty. It also peaked at No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100, which was colossal for YG’s commercial career.
3. "Big Bank"
YG’s latest single to bubble from his third album Stay Dangerous is the star-studded “Big Bank.” The track features Nicki Minaj, Big Sean and 2 Chainz, making it one the biggest and best posse cuts 2018. Even after a dozen listens, it’s hard to determine who has the hottest verse. That said, it’s one those tracks that has as strong verses as it does instrumentation. Mustard pulls out what can best described as a jingling trap xylophone, leading the beat’s main melody with underwater bass and claps pulling everything together.
2. "Who Do You Love"
YG and Mustard have made hit after hit for the past few years, but none is more well-rounded than the Drake assisted “Who Do You Love." Both YG and Drake’s verses ride the rumbling baseline with ease, while the cascading keys, “hey” chants and systemic claps weave perfectly throughout. Verses aside, the beat alone could be listened to on repeat, purely due to its immaculate construction. Of course, YG laces the chorus with another hard-hitting chant for all to sing along to.
1. “I Just Wanna Party”
“I Just Wanna Party,” featuring TDE’s very own Jay Rock and ScHoolboy Q, is perhaps the most listenable deep cut from My Krazy Life. All three West Coasters deliver top-notch verses while Mustard dishes the most archetypal beat his career. This would be the beat to play for those who want to know exactly what a Mustard beat sounds like. More than that, YG does a seamless job mixing deep narrative with club appeal. As much as listeners want to dance along to the catchy chorus, they can’t help but follow along to YG’s brazy storytelling.