The track appears on the Compton rapper’s latest album I Got Issues, which arrived on Friday (September 30), just weeks after the Philadelphia rapper was fatally shot during a robbery in Los Angeles.
Featuring guest verses from fellow Cali MCs Mozzy and D3szn, “How to Rob a Rapper” finds YG tapping into “the mind of a muthafucking maniac” and delivering a step-by-step guide on how to stick up a Hip Hop artist.
“Peep game, I’ma teach you how to rob a rapper / Catch a n-gga lackin’, he slackin’ on IG Live / He gon’ show his whereabouts on accident, he be high / He gon’ show the jewels he wearin’ and the car that he drive,” he raps.
A video for the song was released on Monday (October 3), complete with karaoke-style lyric subtitles.
With PnB Rock’s tragic September 12 death still fresh in the memory, YG faced criticism on social media for the timing of the release of “How to Rob a Rapper.”
“In light of PnB Rock being robbed and murdered in LA, YG dropping a song called ‘How to Rob a Rapper’ is a lil too much,” one person tweeted, while another added: “I ain’t saying YG dissing Pnb Rock with his new song but the timing is terrible.”
Someone else suggested YG should remove the song from his album altogether, writing: “We live in an age where songs can be removed from albums in real time. YG’s ‘How To Rob A Rapper’ should have been taken off considering PNB Rock.”
In light of PnB Rock being robbed and murdered in LA, YG dropping a song called “How to Rob a Rapper” is a lil too much.
— Riq. (@_tjflorence) October 3, 2022
I ain't saying YG dissing Pnb Rock with his new song but the timing is terrible
— Ben Dover (@50shadezoftae) October 4, 2022
We live in an age where songs can be removed from albums in real time. YG's "How To Rob A Rapper" should have been taken off considering PNB Rock
— 42. From New York (@fromoldharlem) October 1, 2022
One user held his label, Def Jam, accountable, calling their decision to release the track “extremely irresponsible.”
“In light of PnB’s tragic murder, it was extremely irresponsible of Def Jam to let this ‘How To Rob A Rapper’ track on YG’s album come out so soon,” they wrote. “And the cover art for this album is so ass lol smh. Album solid doe.”
In light of PnB’s tragic murder, it was extremely irresponsible of Def Jam to let this “How To Rob A Rapper” track on YG’s album come out so soon
And the cover art for this album is so ass lol smh.
Album solid doe.
— WHUTUPDOE (@WHUTUPDOE) October 1, 2022
“Yeah this shit hard,” 50 wrote on Instagram while sharing a screenshot of the music video. “@Yg ‘How To Rob’ Check this shit out. Boom.”
YG responded in kind in the comments section, writing back to his “I Wanna Benz” collaborator: “had to flip yo shitt gang” along with several steam face emojis.
The 4Hunnid rapper has yet to address the controversy surrounding the song, although he did pay tribute to PnB Rock following his death. “Damn gang long live PnB Rock shitt ain’t bool in da bity,” he wrote on his Instagram Stories.
YG is no stranger to detailing the dangers of street life in his music. On his 2016 Still Brazy song “Don’t Come to LA,” he issued a warning to his fellow artists about how to conduct themselves in the city where Nipsey Hussle and Pop Smoke, among others, have met their untimely demise in recent years.
“I don’t give a fuck who you n-ggas paying / Who name you saying, you ain’t good around here / ‘Cause y’all n-ggas fucking up the rep / Y’all playing with the set, it’s really war around here,” he rapped, before adding: “So when y’all n-ggas hop off your jet / You better tuck what’s on your neck and get the fuck from ’round here.”