Tyga – Hotel California | Album Review


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The arrogance associated with calling yourself the last King is enough to attract the haters, – Tyga’s second album was titled Careless World: Rise Of The Last King – and donning a fur coat and hat whilst commanding an actual life-sized pet tiger in the courtyard of an expensive seaside mansion on his latest album cover is sure to send the hating in to overdrive. But if you strip away the flashiness and the Young Money facade, what are you left with?

Judging from his latest musical offering, Tyga’s undercoat consists of stalling creativity and a pretty boy swag. Don’t get it twisted, the cousin of Gym Class Heroes frontman Travis McCoy has his moments – let’s not forget that his smash hit “Rack City” is an undeniable party starter for both strippers and club goers alike – however, most of the material contained on his latest LP will leave you wanting to check out of Hotel California in a hurry.

Something that appears to come into conversation regularly when discussing Tyga is that much of his Young Money catalogue seems to sound the same. Obviously not every single track has a similar sounding outcome but if you listen to new tracks “Dope,” which features Rick Ross, and the vodka sipping anthem “Get Loose,” you’re reminded of previous cuts “Rack City” and “Faded.” Everything from the track’s production to the way in which the rapper spits on them feels like a copy of its predecessor. Not irritatingly poor, the “Deep Cover”-sampling “Dope” is actually a banger of sorts, but there’s just no escaping copycat blueprint.

Where Tyga shines best on this go round is when he exchanges the self-glorifyied untouchable millionaire status for one that sees him as a man first. For example, on “Diss Song” Tyga recounts time spent with a homie of his and how things went sour based upon life choices. Instrumentally slowed down, the song’s title is more a play on spelling (‘diss’ actually means ‘this’) than anything else. Searching for the issues behind the friendship’s breakdown instead of hurling abuse at his former friend, the combination of solid production and meaningful lyrical content results in a finely tuned record.

While content-wise “Palm Trees” doesn’t address anything new, the waythe song freely flows from start to finish with a mid-tempo backing track just works. Sick of people commenting on the way in which he conducts himself, “Palm Trees” hears T-Raww vent his frustrations with no compassion for those on the end of his tongue; “Look up and see palm trees, fuck everybody.” With music the perfect outlet to assist stressful situations, listeners in the same boat as Tyga on this particular joint might feel a great sense of release upon the track’s closing seconds.

Sampling Tony! Toni! Tone!’s “It Never Rains (In Southern California),” Tyga’s attempt at paying homage to his hometown falls on deaf ears. Sounding more like a rap karaoke session, the continuous Raphael Saadiq vocals in the background are off-putting and ultimately distracting. The track actually features a verse from Game, yet he isn’t listed as a guest on the album’s tracklist – it’s almost as if Game isn’t a big enough name to be name checked. “Molly” is another contribution to the album that is creatively poor. Featuring Cedric Gervais, Wiz Khalifa and Mally Mall, half of Tyga’s verse sounds like he’s rapping off beat – and there’s no way he’s convincing listeners that he did it purposely in an artistic manner.

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The Chris Brown-featuring “For The Road” is ok at best, while “Get Rich” is so boring that Tyga might have actually found himself a natural replacement for sleeping pills. Besides the nodding off factor, the removal of 2Pac’s unreleased lyrics on “Hit Em Up” goes to show that you still need to have a hot record before Afeni Shakur is giving up her son’s vocals – and it’s not like Young Money can’t afford it.

Hotel California is an unfortunate mess. The lack of structure and individual cuts with replay value halts the album’s ability to spark listening interest.

Tyga – Hotel California
Label: Cash Money Records/Universal Republic
Released: April 9, 2013
Buy: iTunes / Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk

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