YG and Mozzy have always been rappers to turn out great pieces of work, one after the other, but as of recent their final products have been teetering on mediocrity as they try to blend into trends. YG has never been slowing his lyrical and technical abilities, but his recent work has had weird sonic directions, that hearing something nuanced is like a breath of fresh air. Mozzy has always had this distinguished swagger that brings more than his slow flows tell you. So upon hearing about their collaboration album, Kommunity Service, it gave me a small hype as I awaited the release. It delivers in many ways, as Kommunity Service feels more grounded and nuanced to the modern bounce centric west coast hip-hop that made both such monumental talents in the rap world. It has enough to keep in rotation as we hear the side of YG from the first half of the 2010s in rare, but note peak form, while Mozzy contributes as expected.
Kommunity Service opens on a bold note. YG and Mozzy flow over a flipped version of the instrumental to “Wanksta” by 50 Cent. This new take yearns for melodies and on-beat flows, and YG is the only one to truly make a splash on it despite Mozzy having some solid bars and trying to flow in melody. It is after this, where the album starts to get interesting and nuanced within production. It contains a west coast tune up; specifically in their melodic bounce overtones on most of the instrumentals. Though it is to their benefit they get bonafide producers like Tariq Beats and DJ Swish; the latter of which produced some of YG’s best work and the bombastic political anthem “FDT,” while the former has had his hand on the stellar “EAST COAST,” by A$AP Ferg and working with Californian rappers like Nipsey Hussle.
There are many high points in the production, but the features can make or break the whole track they are a part of. There are some significant highlights like G Herbo on “Dangerous,” and “First 48” with some Californian staples, D3SZN, Celly Ru, and E Mozzy.” It is reminiscent of posse cuts that embolden the west coast sound, which distinguished the music prominent to the areas, specifically the Bay Area, where this comes across as a modernized version with a big LA rapper – i.e. “Dusted & Disgusted,” with E40, Mac Mall, Tupac, and Spice 1. The distinguishing mark being on the flows and production that resonates with the area.
“Vibe With You,” in particular blends this off-putting acoustic riff over a simple percussion pattern that falls too inline with the many other boring love/relationship tracks. Ty Dolla $ign sounds like he is phoning it in as well. It is easily forgettable and one that could have been left out. Similarly this feeling comes on the track that precedes it, “MAD,” with Young M.A. who doesn’t bring much to the table. She feels too much like an outlier and even worse when the quality of the verse and delivery is subpar. It isn’t like the bouncy and bombastically fun “Toot It Up,” with Tyga, which is a prototypical booty bounce party track but it is delivered well with hypnotic flows and tolerable production. And outside of the aforementioned “Vibe With You,” and “Gangsta,” the other solo outings from the two are phenomenal.
YG and Mozzy have this unique equilibrium that fleshes that kinetic energy from one with vibrant and fun flows in YG, and while Mozzy keeps it within constant motion no matter the tempo/pacing. It is why some of the best highlights are in the tracks that contain no features, and those are both “Bompton to Oak Park” and “Bite Down.” The former is this beautifully bombastic gangster rap anthem that exhumes monstrous flexes, while the latter is a somber take at their personal lives, which has arisen from their reputation and status in their respective gang and celebrity status. It bounds the varying party tracks into something that explores a new brotherhood from YG and Mozzy.
The album cover’s homage to the DMX and Nas vehicle Belly embodies a lot of the themes reflected in Kommunity Service, like brotherhood and gang violence, which they never shy away from on the album. When it’s brought to life they strive above some of their more mundane outputs. It isn’t the most perfect album, but it has many highs and worth a listen.