Tyga shows growth, versatility with new album

By By: Josh Samson, Arts Editor

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Instead of appreciating rapper Tyga’s sophomore album Careless World: Rise of the Last King at face value, those who have followed the rapper since his debut will admire the Compton MC’s patience and growth while waiting for his album to be released.

 Despite being a member of Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment since 2008, the low sales of his debut album, which was released on the same day as Lil Wayne’s multi-platinum 2008 album Tha Carter III, together with the exponentially quick success of label mates Drake and Nicki Minaj forced Tyga to take a back seat and watch his brethren steal the show.

 As a seemingly popular trend in today’s rap world, Careless World has been in promotional limbo since Tyga released his first promo single “I’m On It” featuring Lil Wayne in 2010. Nine mixtapes and one group album later, Tyga has been using his independent grind to build up his own fan base and prove that he can succeed in mainstream waters.

 Using the time off to gather his thoughts and attempt to evolve as an artist and a man, Tyga shows his most lyrical and introspective side on several cuts from the new album. Whether he’s eyeing the throne on tracks like “Black Crowns” or holding his own ground against lyrical geniuses Wale and Nas on “King & Queens,” T-Raww actually allows his own personality to appear on the album, even beginning with album’s spoken word intro track.

 Records like “This Is Like” featuring Robin Thicke’s signature smooth vocals and “Light Dreams” featuring Marsha Ambrosius give Tyga the room to seem more like a man than a king throughout the album, although he knows when to snap back into character and live through his rap persona’s point of view instead.

 In order to do so, Tyga also fills the album with tracks like his stripper-anthem-turned-Billboard-hit “Rack City,” which reminds listeners halfway through why they bought the album, and “Faded” featuring Lil Wayne, which uses Young Money’s signature metaphor-laced rhymes to talk about getting drunk and finding women.

 Tyga takes full advantage of his Young Money connections to make collaborations solely to build up buzz for his own album, but not necessarily to push the envelope on his own record. The hard-hitting punchlines over trunk-rattling production found on tracks like “Mutha****a Up” featuring Nicki Minaj, and “I’m Gone” featuring Big Sean give the rapper songs that leave little to the imagination and much to be desired, especially since they do not add to the movie-style theme that holds the entire album together.

 With a total of 21 tracks, not including bonus cuts, the album could have been better overall if it had been condensed to a smaller selection of more album-worthy cuts instead of a barrage of mediocre tracks with legitimately good songs dispersed in between. Some tracks are hardly yawn-worthy, like “Celebration” featuring T-Pain, or “Love Game,” while other tracks are only decent because of their guest collaborations. “Potty Mouth” is sluggish up until Busta Rhymes’ signature rapid-fire rhymes, while “Still Got It” is a Drake throwaway rack that Tyga added verses to in order to make it a bonus cut on his album.

 Since his debut album No Introduction, Tyga has been given the room to expand into more dangerous and successful territory as an emcee. Careless World gives Tyga this room to grow as it is serious when necessary, braggadocios when called for, and impressive enough to consider the underground rap star as a future force to be reckoned with. On the other hand, the low points on the album also allow Tyga to mature and elevate his brand to newer heights in the future.