Like many new artists, L.A.’s Tyga is getting publicity more for who he knows than what he’s done. As the rumored cousin of Gym Class Heroes’ Travis McCoy and the next big thing off of Lil’ Wayne’s Young Money imprint, Tyga’s got friends in high places. Friends only get you so far and on his debut release No Introduction, it’s up to Tyga to deliver quality music to ensure his self-proclaimed future stardom.
In that he’s failed, as the album is consistently devoid of musical worth. Vapidity is the central theme of both the production and lyrics. “First Timers” typifies the sugary feel of the album, as Tyga boringly tells a breakup story over a beat that manages to rip off both the Backstreet Boys and Slick Rick. Tyga spends too much time talking about teen angst, failing to connect with any listener who has left puberty behind. Entire tracks are dedicated to meeting girls online (the horrific “Aim”) and playing phone tag on voicemail (“Press 7”). All of these tracks feature a production style that derives itself from Avril Lavinge rather than Run-DMC; it’s really more teen pop than rap. In this context, a standard club-banger like “Coconut Juice” actually seems refreshing; at least it’s got the narcissism and beat style that fans are used to.
Tyga does show flashes of lyrical acumen, and can occasionally get in a rhythm with his flow. On “2 AM,” he puts all the pieces together, covering his tough upbringing in a frank and emotional manner, and forcing you to take him seriously. “Summertime” finds him relaxed and confident enough to carry the Fresh Prince remake; as Tyga notes at the song’s begin “it’s that feel good music” pure and simple.
These moments of decency are rare oases in a desert of suck. What’s most disconcerting about the big time endorsements Tyga has received is that he’s a terrible rapper. He butchers lines in every way possible. Plenty of lines are nonsensical, such as the chorus to “Supersize Me,” where Tyga claims to “stay puff like the Marshmallow Man.” His rhyme scheme rarely rises above the level of “love it,” and “does it.” But his greatest failure is a Weezy-esque disregard for staying on beat. Too often, on tracks like “Don’t Regret it Now,” he speaks over the beat instead of staying in rhythm and using his voice as an instrument. With all these flaws in his rhyming, Tyga comes across as an amateur; someone whom you aren’t even sure really knows what it means to be an MC.
In a summer with few big releases and the ever pressing needs of 10-14 year old girls to find the jam of the month, Tyga has chosen the right moment to release his debut. It’s possible that the aforementioned “Coconut Juice” or the right teen love drama like “First Timers,” could gain traction. In the long-term, if he polishes his flow and his song topics mature with him, he may even release an album that appeals to all ages.
For now though, Tyga’s delivered a product that will make Hip-Hop fans wish they’d never been introduced.
For more info, visit www.myspace.com/tyga.