Producer: DJ Mustard
The ratchet era needed a Nate Dogg, a crooner capable of delivering the sexually explicit lyrics of his rap counterparts more melodically, transmuting the potentially offensive into hilarious and self-aware absurdity. Ty Dolla $ign slid into the role as one-third of L.A.’s unofficial ratchet triumvirate alongside DJ Mustard and YG. Originally released on Mustard’s 2013 mixtape, Ketchup, “Paranoid” is Ty’s most indelible contribution to the West Coast canon, the closest anyone has come to “Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None)” in the 2010s. The beat, like most of those in Mustard’s oeuvre, is sparse and rubbery, ping ponging between simple yet effective keys and skittering percussion. The hook compresses the sole nightmare of the unfaithful into a few lines; Ty’s verses are a page-by-page look at his black book and the game therein. The remix with B.o.B landed on Billboard for weeks, but Joe Moses’ verse on the original will probably haunt T.I. forever.