Tyga is still a few steps away from the true spotlight of mainstream hip-hop. He’s done himself some favors, like signing onto Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment record label, and putting out a slew of mixtapes over the past several years. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s the cousin of Travie McCoy, the frontman of the alternative hip-hop group Gym Class Heroes, and a man many radio listeners recognize as the artist behind the smash hit “Billionaire,” which he performed along with R&B breakout star Bruno Mars.
All in all, there are a lot of pieces there, but Tyga is still waiting on that big break. May it be just a big radio single, or a smashing album, he’s looking for something to propel him to the top the way guys like J. Cole and Big Sean were able to do last year. Releasing “Careless World” under Young Money, and including guest acts like Nicki Minaj, Wale, Nas, and more, gives him a chance to do just that.
There has recently been a slight snag, as his album has been pulled from Best Buy and Target, for including an excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech without getting proper permission. Still, thanks to the power of the digital world, the album is still projected to sell around 70,000 copies in its first week, as reported by the HITS Daily Double. In retrospect, as Big Sean was previous mentioned, his album from last year, “Finally Famous: The Album” sold 87,000 copies.
But in the end, this is a music review, not a sales breakdown, so let’s move on to that part.
Sadly, I don’t have too many good things to say about “Careless World: Rise of the Last King.” If I had to describe it in a very brief fashion, I would call it Take Care-lite. That seems to be the only identity I could muster from the effort. It tries to do a number of things Drake is already doing, and he doesn’t do any of them better or as well. Some of these beats even sound like meager Take Care B-sides. All this is coming from a guy who isn’t even a fan of Drake’s work.
Like “Take Care,” it’s a long album, spanning 21 tracks, and reaching a point of around 80 minutes. And if you were hoping that Tyga would consistently go in hard, like we’ve heard on his “Well Done” mixtape, you might as well just not listen. R&B fusion beats, with the half-rapping, half-crooning dominate the album, and Tyga isn’t too great with the crooning. He’s a satisfactory rapper, more delivery and style than wordplay, but here he seems lazy, settling for easy and repetitive rhymes and generally tired one-liners. Worse are the choruses, which seem “to be nothing but filler. On “Faded,” he simply announces 6 or 7 times that he is in fact, faded, and that he doesn’t care. If he doesn’t care, he should stop repeating it.
There’s also the general boredom that creeps in as you approach the halfway point. There’s only so many ways to allude to women as “bitches,” and when he’s not doing that he’s going on about someone special or some sort of lost love. It gives the album a bit of a confused feel, like he’s just going through the motions of what different rappers would say rather than what he himself might want to say. For a guy trying to stick to the Billboard charts, he just doesn’t have that much to say. The only thing I gathered from the album was that he appears to treat most women the way the general public treats toilet paper.
It’s overproduced, overlong, and the bright spots are few and far between. The brightest spots were the featured guests. Nicki Minaj finds an old-school groove in “Muthaf**ka Up,” Busta Rhymes aces it in “Potty Mouth,” and Nas and Wale steal the show in “King and Queens” and put in the best verses of the whole experience.
Tyga is a mixed bag right now. He’s teetering with stardom, but if this is the best he can deliver, where will he stand? Drake has this niche down pat, and he’s not offering us anything more than some middling Young Money songs, ones that go far to try and sound good, but don’t provide much to really get into. There’s still time for the ambitions youth, only 22 years old, but for now he’s still just a work in progress.
Key Track: “King and Queens” feat. Wale & Nas
Recommended If You Like: Might want to give it a shot if you liked “Take Care.” It’s far less ambitious, but it has a lot of the same general qualities. Also, if you’re a fan of Young Money, you might find moderate enjoyment with this one.
Rating: 2 out of 5