Label: 400, CTE, Def Jam
Released: June 17

Part of the success of My Krazy Life can be attributed to what was missing in 2014: an unapologetic street rapper who wasn’t afraid of his own truth. YG stepped into that role and owned it better than anyone thought he could. That surprise turned into speculation about whether he could do it again; coupled with a temporary split with close producer DJ Mustard and a shooting, it felt like the odds were against YG. Still Brazy squashed any doubt.

The separation from Mustard allowed YG space to collaborate with other producers (Swish, CT Beats, P-Lo) who helped the Compton MC dig deeper into his West Coast roots. His pen game also improved; check “Who Shot Me?,” which recounts the night of his shooting, and “Bool, Balm & Bollective.” He even provided the anti-Trump anthem of the year. Should YG get snubbed for a Grammy nod in the Best Rap Album category again, expect more outrage from the rapper. Justified outrage—it’s that good. —Edwin Ortiz