While sharing the stage at The Kia Forum in Inglewood during Grammy week for his sold out show, YG revealed an important portion of the storyline that made this night especially significant. In between tracks that spanned from the salad days of his mixtape era in Just Re'd Up and Just Re'd Up 2 to his most current full length in 2022's I Got Issues, the Compton street savant reflected on what it meant to be holding court on such hallowed grounds.
Reconnecting with his longtime collaborator, YG and Mustard charged through the set and spoke of how more than a decade prior, the duo -- along with YG's mom who also shared the stage at point -- were living just across the street from the Forum working relentlessly through the infancy of their still emerging collective, Pushaz Ink.
In the years since, YG has forged ahead as one of hip hop's most bankable sensations, having done so with little, if any assistance -- earning the kind of allegiance among fans that usually suggests a cosign -- one YG never really needed.
In fact, the wordsmith that introduced the street vernacular that brought ‘Bompton’ into the limelight, opted to put everyone else on rather than seek any stamp of approval. His set at The Kia Forum reiterated that, as a litany of special guests each took their turn sharing in the spotlight.
YG would bring out Roddy Ricch to pay homage to Nipsey Hussle for a rendition of the anthem, "Racks In the Middle" under a blue hue that coated the arena interior. The recently released Wolf of Grape Street 03 Greedo rattled the house that Magic built with a wash of Purple that might've been a tribute to the Lakers, but wasn't. Throughout the set, Ty Dolla $ign, Blxst, and Tyga would all grace the stage before YG would triumphantly close out the night with both 2 Chainz and Big Sean flanking him for a run through of "Big Bank" that was pure spectacle.
In much the same way his live set underscored the kind of galvanizing quality YG has had on the culture, his most recent album I Got Issues functions just the same. Recruiting a broad range of collaborators from neighborhood legends that broke big like Mozzy and Moneybagg Yo, to the elite of the genre in J. Cole and Nas, to unlikely creative allies in songstress H.E.R. and indie darling Cuco -- YG's ability to build bridges is rooted in his authenticity.
His eagerness to share that shine is endearing. His unwillingness to adhere to expectation is admirable. His commitment to being fundamentally 400 is precisely why The Kia Forum was at capacity on a chilly Thursday night in Los Angeles.
YG would go onto make one more revelation that seemed to frame the evening best. Prior to his current tour, there was the option to perform at one of two iconic Los Angeles venues with the destinations being The Crypto Arena where LeBron currently reigns King or The Forum. For YG, the choice was clear.
YG opted for Inglewood, where he was adamant on returning to paint the town red.
Catch YG on the remaining dates of the Red Cup Tour with support from OhGeezy, Kalan.FRFR, Day Sulan and D3SZN.
YG -- THE RED CUP TOUR 2023 DATES
Sat Feb 04 – San Diego, CA – Viejas Arena!
Mon Feb 06 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Financial Theatre^
Wed Feb 15 – Minneapolis, MN – The Armory^
Fri Feb 17 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit^
Sat Feb 18 – Toronto, ON – HISTORY^
Sun Feb 19 – Queens, NY – The Knockdown Center^
Mon Feb 20 – Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall at Fenway^
Thu Feb 23 – Honolulu, HI – Neal S. Blaisdell Center^