By Rahul Lal
“I hadn’t seen him or talked to him in a year,” said DJ Mustard to Elliott Wilson and Brian “B-Dot” Miller when talking about his feud with Los Angeles rapper and close friend YG on the latest episode of the Rap Radar Podcast (part of CBS Radio’s Play.it podcast network). “It was the people around us making it worse than it was. Us having egos and us having money now, it was like ‘I don’t need him.’ ‘I don’t need him either!’”
Mustard told Rap Radar that the beef that has since been squashed between the two. He mentioned that a lot of the feud was centered around the people between them but they never had serious problems.
“I don’t know how I managed to be in L.A. and not see this man,” he said. “I’m seeing his mom, I’m seeing his sister, his little brother but we didn’t cross paths for a whole year.”
YG is often featured in a large portion of DJ Mustard’s songs, and they are one of the hottest producer-rapper combos in the game. The two have collaborated often, and many of YG’s first major hits came from Mustard beats.
“I think that a lot of people thought that because… me and him got our commercial success together, people thought that a lot of the s— he was doing was because of my beats,” he added. “They thought that my beats was driving him but I was like ‘No, he can actually do this s— without me, just like I can do it without him. It’s more so that he can do it without me… he didn’t need Mustard to be YG but together is better than separate.”
During this period, YG went on to create his hit album Still Brazy without the help of DJ Mustard, and he was happy that YG got the chance to prove what he could do on his own.
“YG can write amazing songs,” he continued. “He’s an amazing songwriter, whether it’s for him or for somebody else, he can write songs. That’s why YG will be YG forever, because he can write songs. It’s like Snoop and Dre, Snoop can write songs but he sounds better with Dre. Snoop will hold his own, he’s going to be Snoop Dogg forever; it’s the same thing [with us]… That’s the combo. That’s the Drake and 40, that’s Mike Will and Future, that’s Snoop and Dre, that’s that.”
The two were eventually being pressured to make up by their mothers who would spend holidays together, and Mustard said he finally realized that the feud was stupid. When YG was shot, Mustard was at the hospital to check if he was going to be okay but left before he could say anything since they weren’t talking.
DJ Mustard went through a tough time battling depression during much of the time the two weren’t talking. He was being sued by many people in his own camp who he was close to.
“Depression is so real man… that s— is real,” said Mustard. “When you have that much power and you in the forefront of it and taking care of the people behind you, it’s moving so fast and you grow faster than everyone behind you.”
Mustard was able to pick himself up by recognizing his own talent, and soon he produced one one of the biggest hits of 2016: Rihanna’s “Needed Me.”
“‘Needed Me’ was the first track that I said ‘I can keep going, I haven’t lost it. I haven’t lost my musical ear,’” he elaborated “That was a whole new sound for me. I had never tried to do no music or no beat like that [previously]. What made me gravitate to that beat was that it was so different and I kind of get tired of people saying ‘All your s— sound the same,’ so I need to take it up a notch and if I could successfully take it up a notch on this type of level with Rihanna, then people can’t say that s— to me anymore.”
He was later invited to go on tour with Rihanna and instantly knew how much of an opportunity this was and the scale that this could affect his life and career. Mustard said never envisioned himself getting out of Los Angeles let alone going into Europe and filling out his passport. Mustard says that experiences like that have helped him to be a better DJ.
“It’s like going to school. When you go to school, you studying,” he analyzed. “I’m using everything possible because I need to study. I’m studying to win, I’m not studying to be average, I’m studying to be the best at whatever I do… I ain’t perfect, I’m still trying to figure that s– out I’m studying to be the best at whatever I do… I ain’t perfect, I’m still trying to figure that s– out but once I crack it, it’s over.”
To hear the full interview check out the latest episode of of Rap Radar on CBS Radio’s Play.it podcast network.