Although his upcoming Def Jam album is set to be called Freshman On Campus, YG is hardly new to the rap game. With a handful of mixtape releases, and an appearance as a 2011 XXL Freshman, the Compton native is proof positive that putting time into your music to find your stride can help separate you from the pack. On his latest mixtape release with DJ Mustard, 4 Hunnid Degreez, hosted by the team of DJ ill Will and DJ Drama, YG looks to continue to build on the momentum he has achieved recently.

Weighing in at 22 tracks, 4 Hunnid Degreez offers a variety of things that would make his already established fanbase seek the tape out to download. A laid back flow, and humorous lyrics and choruses permeate throughout, and appearances by notable names including Mac Miller, 2 Chainz, Tyga, Nipsey Hussle and Kurupt lead to some creative and energetic song pairings.

One of the strengths of the release involves some sampling and song concepts that pay tribute to West Coast greats. From “Too $hort” to “Bitch Betta Have My Money” with Tyga and Kurrupt, samples of Short Dog and AMG intertwine with good minimalist beats to form some enjoyable listens. Thematically and lyrically, the tape could benefit from a greater variety and detail, but YG is known for making listeners get out of their seat, and he offers more of the same here. With a deep amount of tracks, most of which deal with similar topics (sex and women), the release can tend to drag. A handful of the beats bang, but some are a little flimsy in their arrangement, and lacking in the oomph that made the West known for production over the years.

Hopefully, come time for Freshman On Campus, YG will square away those few issues and delivery the exciting and club-ready music. —Matt Wright