When I Was Gone
Label: Def Jam Recordings
Young Gangsta's irresistibly fun debut is a showcase for the endlessly inventive producer DJ Mustard, who embeds a bluegrass violin in "Left, Right," and loops an acoustic piano for "Do It To Ya." YG's raps, loosely structured around a day in the CPT life, are pure gangsta drama. He writes about the horror show of prison life on "Bicken Back Being Bool," and on "Really Be (Smokin N Drinkin)" he says, "Somebody needs to teach [women] less talk, more sex." It's all thug fun and games until he closes with "Sorry Momma," which makes up for his general disrespect of the fairer sex ... sort of.